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SPH Gift of Music presents a National Day Weekend Extravaganza

- SSO @ Nanyang Polytechnic and Singapore Botanic Gardens
- Celebration concerts featuring local singers and bands at the re-opening of Esplanade Outdoor Theatre

Singapore, 6 August 2008 – Celebrate 43 years of nation-building with a musical extravaganza this coming National Day weekend. The free weekend concerts, under the SPH Gift of Music series, are specially presented by Singapore Press Holdings (SPH) as a special gift to the nation.

Singapore’s national orchestra, the Singapore Symphony Orchestra (SSO), kicks off the National Day celebrations with two free concerts. They will perform at Nanyang Polytechnic on August 8 (Friday) at 6pm and the Singapore Botanic Gardens on August 10 (Sunday) at 6pm.

The two SSO concerts also mark the start of the orchestra’s two-year musical partnership with Singapore’s young conductor Darrell Ang, top prize winner at the 50th International Besancon Competition for Young Conductors in France and second prize recipient of the Antonio Pedrotti International Competition for Orchestra Conductors last year. Darrell, who was a hit with the crowd when he conducted the SSO at Woodlands MRT and Republic Polytechnic last year, returns to perform for SPH Gift of Music at Nanyang Polytechnic and Botanic Gardens.

Another highlight at the SSO concerts this weekend is the premiere of "Sketches of Singapore" by Singaporean composer Kelly Tang, following his popular "Symphonic Suite on a Set of Local Tunes", a crowd pleaser at previous SPH Gift of Music concerts.

Over at the Esplanade, SPH Gift of Music will present the first two weekends of On the Waterfront concerts to launch the redeveloped Esplanade Outdoor Theatre.

Kicking off the first day’s performance on August 8 is a celebration concert featuring local artists from the 70s to the present. Taking turns to wow the audience are Ramli Sarip, Rahimah Rahim, Nathan Hartono, Jack & Rai, Sheikh Haikel, Cai Lee Lian, Juz B and more. The celebration will carry on for the next two days on August 9 and 10 with veteran local bands The Trailers and Jerry & the Neu Faces. Singapore’s jazz sensations Jeremy Monteiro, Claressa Monteiro and veteran rock singer John Molina will take centrestage the following Sunday on August 17.

The redeveloped Esplanade Outdoor Theatre, equipped with an in-built sound console and rigs for lighting, boasts a new performance stage 2.5 times the size of the original stage, with an audience capacity of 1,000, which is twice the size of the previous theatre.

Ms Ginney Lim, Executive Vice-President, Legal and Corporate Communications, said: "As Singapore’s leading media company, SPH is proud to sponsor the opening programmes for the launch of Esplanade’s redeveloped Outdoor Theatre. This sponsorship, as well as two other concerts by the Singapore Symphony Orchestra at Singapore Botanic Gardens and Nanyang Polytechnic, are our treat for all Singaporeans on this special National Day weekend. They are also part of our ongoing SPH Gift of Music series, which brings all genres of music to the masses."

Concert programme*

SPH Gift of Music presents SSO on Campus @ Nanyang Polytechnic (Free Admission)
Friday, August 8, 6pm
Nanyang Polytechnic Auditorium

Strauss, J.II Overture to Die Fledermaus
Smetana The Moldau (Vltava) from My Fatherland
Sibelius Finlandia, Op. 26
Kelly Tang Sketches of Singapore
Borodin Polovtsian Dances from Prince Igor
Dvorak Slavonic Dances No. 15, Op. 72

SPH Gift of Music presents SSO Classics in the Park (Free Admission)
Sunday, August 10, 6pm
Shaw Foundation Symphony Stage, Singapore Botanic Gardens

Berlioz Roman Carnival Overture, Op. 9
Liszt Hungarian Rhapsody No. 2, S359
Kelly Tang Sketches of Singapore
Strauss, J.II Overture to Die Fledermaus
Chabrier Espana - Rhapsody for Orchestra
Dvorak Slavonic Dance No. 8, Op.46
Dvorak Slavonic Dances No. 15, Op. 72

SPH Gift of Music presents On the Waterfront @ Esplanade Outdoor Theatre (Free Admission)
Venue: Esplanade Outdoor Theatre

Friday, 8 Aug 7.30pm - 8.15pm
8.45pm - 9.30pm
10pm - 10.45pm
11pm - 12.30am
Jack & Rai
Timmy featuring E.I.C
Celebration party hosted by Najip Ali & Rosalyn Lee, featuring Sheikh Haikel, Nathan Hartono, Cai Lee Lian, Ebi Shankara, Rahimah Rahim, b-boy da-collective, Juz B, Ramli Sarip
Saturday, 9 Aug 4pm - 4.45pm
4.45pm - 5.15pm
5.15pm - 6pm
9pm - 9.45pm
10.15pm - 11pm
SMU’s Samba Masala
The Trailers
The Trailers
Sunday, 10 Aug 7.30pm - 8.15pm
8.45pm - 9.30pm
Jerry and the Neu Faces
Jerry and the Neu Faces
Sunday, 17 Aug 8.45pm - 10pm Celebration concert hosted by Najip Ali & Rosalyn Lee, featuring Budak Pantai, Cat Ong, Ann Hussein, Robert Fernando, Jeremy Monteiro, Claressa Monteiro, John Molina

*Concert subject to prevailing weather conditions.

Issued by Singapore Press Holdings Ltd
Co. Regn. No. 198402868E

For more information, please contact:

Francis Mah
Corporate Communications
Tel: 6319 1028
Mobile: 9697 8208

About SPH Gift of Music

The SPH Gift of Music has been entertaining Singapore audiences since its launch in 2005. For the past three years, the popular concert series has toured the heartlands, parks and school campuses. This year, SPH Gift of Music expanded to include shopping malls. In addition to the SCO, other local talents featured in this free concert series include Singapore Symphony Orchestra, The Philharmonic Winds, and local bands such as Jive Talkin´ and Ngak & the Ang Mo Pais.

About Singapore Press Holdings Ltd

Newspapers and Magazines
Main board-listed Singapore Press Holdings Ltd (SPH) is the leading media company in Singapore, delivering news and information through print, Internet and broadcasting platforms. In Singapore, it publishes 14 newspapers in four languages. Every day, 2.9 million individuals or 81 percent of people above 15 years old, read one of SPH’s news publications. SPH also publishes and produces more than 100 magazine titles in Singapore and the region, covering a broad range of interests from lifestyle to information technology.

Internet and Mobile
Beyond print, the Internet editions of SPH newspapers enjoy over 150 million pageviews with 9 million unique visitors every month. Apart from SPH AsiaOne portal, SPH’s online and new media initiatives include a revolutionary mobile advertising and information service, ZapCode; online marketplace for products, services and employment, ST701; local search and directory engine; and STOMP (Straits Times Online Mobile Print), a portal that connects, engages and interacts with readers on the Web and via mobile phone messaging.

SPH has a 20 percent stake in MediaCorp TV Holdings Pte Ltd, which operates free-to-air channels 5, 8, U and TV Mobile, and a 40 percent stake in MediaCorp Press Pte Ltd, which publishes the free newspaper, Today. In the radio business, SPH has a 80 percent stake in SPH UnionWorks Pte Ltd, which operates entertainment stations Radio 100.3 FM in Mandarin and Radio 91.3 FM in English.

Outdoor Advertising
In addition, SPH has ventured into outdoor advertising through its wholly-owned subsidiary, SPH MediaBoxOffice Pte Ltd, Singapore´s largest outdoor motion display advertising network media company, and a 35 percent stake in TOM Outdoor Media Group, a leading outdoor advertising company in China.

SPH owns and manages Paragon, the prime retail and office complex in the heart of Orchard Road, Singapore’s main shopping belt. SPH’s wholly-owned subsidiary, Times Development Pte Ltd, is also developing a 43-storey upmarket residential condominium, Sky@eleven, at Thomson Road.

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