Victoria Concert Hall
The Victoria Concert Hall is a complex of two buildings and a clock tower joined together by a common corridor and is located in the civic district of Singapore and frequently holds concerts and musical events, including the Singapore Youth Festival for the performing arts.
It was gazetted as a national monument on 14 February 1992.
The colonial architecture is very elegant and grand and it is hard not to feel entirely dwarfed when roaming around the grounds and in on-site premises. My parents who were seated at the back few rows in my performance feed-backed that they were able to hear my playing clearly, even though I was the only one playing on stage besides a piano accompaniment. I distinctly remember walking out onto the stage where all the lights were shining in my face, which reminded me of something like a performer gazing out into the audience on a Broadway show, filled with anticipation and hopefulness.
There were also box seats on the second floor, where audience members could look down on the stage from their seats. There was a pair of dancers that came out before me, and I remember when we were back in school, our teacher who had came to watch us perform was clearly wowed by how the lighting played on their dance performance. Thus, I would probably guess that no matter where you sit, you'd probably still be able soak in the magical atmosphere of the performance in the Victoria Concert Hall!
My earliest memory of the Victoria Concert Hall were two towering timepieces made of dismantled organ pipes that adorned the walls along the stairway up to the concert hall. Pan and Sheng, as I loved to call them, were two lively musicians playing the flute and Sheng (a Chinese instrument) respectively, and had left a special impression on me after I'd read a storybook about them coming alive at night to enchant Sir Stamford Raffles with magical melodies by the Singapore River. I suppose that was probably one of my motivations for picking up the Chinese flute when I was a little older.
As time passed, my visits to the concert hall became more frequent, with my growing love for music and an increasing number of friends starting hold performances there. Somehow, the foldable red velvet chairs, bronze organ pipes and Elizabethan air seemed to add a touch of warmth and magic to each performance that unfolded on stage, and made our (sometimes tearful) celebrations together all the more memorable.
Though I do look forward to visting the new hall, which promises enhanced acoustics and revamped facilities, the treasured memories woven between the worn out patches of the old hall definitely make the old hall a difficult place for me to let go of. It will always remain a special place in my memory, and I believe in the memories of many others as well.
I was there to witness my friends perform in the band. The lights dimmed and we were stunned by the stereo quality of the sound that reverberated around that arena the moment the first few notes were blasted. There was minimum usage of microphones yet this architectural interior design had the ability to amplify symphonies that would put Dr Dre. high quality speakers to shame.
No wonder gazillions of orchestras battled to attain a slot whenever there is an empty vacancy at this venue!
I, too, performed in this lush stage with my organ companions. The backstage was like an extract out of the Glee shows. Mirrors were bordered with lightbulbs. We were provided and powdered with the celebrity treatment the moment we laid a foot on that venue. Literally. Blushes, rouges, puffs of powder engulfed several rooms as we were prepped up for the performance. Then, we leapt onto the stage and belted the stuff that we rehearsed for decades. The stage, the lighting, everything. It left us wondering.
" Omg are we at the Grammys? Are we jamming at the Grammys? Are we?"
Again, like Singapore conference hall, VCH is quite a small muscial hall, where operas, musical performances and other cultural items are showcased. Though old in terms of facilities, I felt that VCH retained the flair of the olden days, where the British would come and watch plays and listen to concerts.
VCH was undergoing construction or upgrading to improve this old but grand building's exterior, and I really hope that it will still retain that sense of culture. Inside the hall though, the equipment and chairs are very modern and up to age. It is a good alternative from the Esplanade to musical concerts.
It is a good place to visit, rivaling Esplanade, a place for music lovers to go to and for those who want to be taken back in time to experience and reflect upon Singapore's history.
Don't let the facade deceive you though, the interior is modern, elegant and impressive. Performing groups do not have trouble using modern equipment for their performance and you'll be astounded by how much modern gadgetry it can pack.
Moreover, the performances are truly beautiful, a heaven if you're a lover of musicals. It is indeed a place that you should at least drop by
It was breathtaking.
Especially since I entered the building when daylight was still out and I could see the splendour of the building and the amazing, intricate architecture of the building very clearly, and left at night around 10pm and saw Victoria Concert Hall in a completely different way. The small lamps lit the building in the most nuance manner. It produced such a different effect on me than it did in the day. The shadows cast on the top of the clock tower were haunting and beautiful.
The interior of the concert hall was grand and luxurious. It was clean, elegant and polished. I feel like the place stood a substantial amount of sentiments in my head and to think that I could still recall its details and grandeur really meant something, Definitely a place you should check out, or pass by at the very least.
Needless to say, after intermission, I never returned to the concert, much to the irritation of my aunt who was trying to get me into the whole classical music scene. I hung around the Victoria Concert Hall for a while and took some pictures, which turned out great. I still have them.
The place is so completely elegant, and the architecture and greenery is so inspiring. It is truly beautiful.