Over 1,200 attend inclusive orchestra's concert
When his 10-year-old son Orion was diagnosed with autism seven years ago, music enthusiast Stuart Ang would not have dreamt that he could play in a concert with his son.
But yesterday, that happened.
Playing the French horn, the pair joined around 100 other musicians as part of The Purple Symphony orchestra to perform for more than 1,200 people, including Prime Minister Lee Hsien Loong and Deputy Prime Minister Heng Swee Keat.
Mr Ang, 37, who is self-employed, told The Straits Times it was the first time they were performing together.
He said Orion, who has a short attention span, picked up the instrument in March.
"Some people say it's one of the hardest instruments in the world to learn. It takes practice, and he practises every day," said Mr Ang.
The concert at the Esplanade was held in conjunction with the fifth anniversary of The Purple Symphony, which is Singapore's largest inclusive orchestra.
It features musicians with and without special needs.
Ms Denise Phua, mayor of Central Singapore District and adviser to The Purple Symphony, said the orchestra was proof of what individuals with and without special needs could achieve together.
She said: "These five years have not been easy, but it was worth every minute and every effort to put together Singapore's largest inclusive orchestra from scratch.
"We want to show others that our musicians can use their talents and abilities to inspire Singaporeans through their music, and be a beacon of inclusivity for others."