Singapore Armed Forces Bands

The Singapore Armed Forces Bands (commonly known as the SAF Bands) is the musical arm of the Singapore Armed Forces. Playing a vital role in the ceremonial parades and ceremonies, the SAF Bands provides musical support for parades such as the National Day Parade, SAF Day Parade, Passing Out Parades, Change of Command Parades and other duties. Other than discharging Ceremonial Duties, the SAF Bands also presents concerts which aim to bring music closer to the masses. It also seeks to build up the band's music repertoire into an extensive array of styles and variety.

Through the years, the SAF Bands has had the opportunity to work with several distinguished conductors and soloists including Frank Renton, Steven Mead, John Sharpley, Evelyn Glennie, Jan Van der Roost, Toshio Akiyama, Yasuhide Ito, Eric Whitacre and Hardy Mertens. More recently, the Bands were conducted by Philip Sparke, Frank Ticheli, James Barnes, Roger Swift and Prof. James F Keene of the University of Illinois.

In recent history, the SAF Bands have been representing Singapore at international music festivals. These include the Toowoomba Carnival of Flowers street parade in Australia; the Festival International de Musiques Militaires in Saumur, France; the Kuala Lumpur Military Tattoo in Malaysia; the Brunei International Tattoo 2006 in Bandar Seri Begawan, Brunei Darussalam; and the Wonju Tattoo in Wonju, South Korea.


The SAF Bands is formed in 1994 comprising of men and women made up from the Singapore Infantry Regiment Band, Republic of Singapore Air Force Band and Republic of Singapore Navy Band. The formation of SAF Bands come in a restructuring of the bands within the Ministry of Defence for more effective distribution of manpower. From 1994, the different bands within the SAF Bands operated at different camps and locations. Central Band and HQ(RSN) in Tanglin Camp, Parade Band B (RSAF) in Tengah Airbase and Parade Band A (SIR) in Pasir Laba Camp. These sections combined in November 2003 after the completion of renovations work to the 'White House' the former British Colonial Officer's Mess in Nee Soon Camp.


The logo of SAF Bands is a combination of the three services within the armed forces. Light Blue signifying the Air division, Red signifying the Land division and Deep Blue signifying the Sea division all united within the Lyre, a universal symbol of military musicians. The Logo is topped with the National Coat Of Arms which was launched on 3 December 1959 together with the National Flag and National Anthem at the installation of the Yang di-Pertuan Negara at the City Hall steps and adopted by government agencies nationwide. Below the Logo is a banner inscribed with the Band's motto, "In Harmony". The logo was designed by retired Senior Director of Music MAJ Tonni Wei and then SSG Goh Poh Wah.

Structure of SAF Bands

The unit is made up of 4 sections: Bands HQ, SAF Central Band, SAF Parade Band A, SAF Parade Band B.

Bands HQ

The HQ is the main support wing of the SAF Bands. providing logistical and administrative assistance to the operations and training of all SAF Bands. It consists of administrative staff and the Training Wing, whose function is to train musicians and to prepare them for their duties in the main bands.

The SAF Bands HQ is led by the bands' Commanding Officer/Senior Director of Music, MAJ Philip Tng and Regimental Sergeant Major is 1WO Abdul Razak. The SAF Bands Training Wing is led by the bands' Chief Instructor CPT Muhd Yusri, who is also concurrently appointed Director of Music, SAF Central Band. The Wing Sergeant Major is 2WO Chua Leng Heng, and it's trainers are Master Sergeant Nur Hassan and Staff Sergeant Syawaludin.

AF Central Band

Singapore Armed Forces Central Band is the premier band of the Singapore Armed Forces, and consists of a core of professional regular musicians, supplemented by Full-time National Servicemen (NSF) fulfilling their conscript duties. The Central Band is made up of members of the former Republic of Singapore Navy Band performs as a concert band, a marching band as well as a ceremonial band. It is further able to perform in a variety of smaller configurations, of which include a brass quintet, a combo & stage band, ceremonial fanfare trumpeters and a clarinet quartet. The SAF Central Band is most often seen in the public eye at major parades like the National Day and SAF Day parades. On a more regular basis, the band stages three concerts a year as part of its In Harmony and Chamber Repertory series.

The SAF Central Band is led by Director of Music, CPT Muhd Yusri and Senior Director of Music, MAJ Philip Tng. Its Band Sergeant Major (BSM) is 1WO Goh Poh Wah, assisted by Assistant BSM - Master Sergeant Cecilia Yap.

AF Parade Band A

The SAF Parade Band A was formerly known as the Singapore Infantry Regiment (SIR) Band. With the restructuring of the bands in 1994, the SAF Parade Band A evolved as one of the two Parade bands of the Singapore Armed Forces. The band's duties include most official parades like the monthly Istana Changing of the Guards Ceremony, Officer Cadet School (OCS) Commissioning Parades, Guard of Honour (GOH) Parades for visiting dignitaries and other internal SAF ceremonies.

The SAF Parade Band A is mostly made up of Full-time National Servicemen (NSF), supplemented by several specialists, and led by Director of Music, CPT Johnson Lee [] . Its Band Sergeant Major (BSM) is 2WO Radin Yusoff, assisted by Assistant BSM - Staff Sergeant Selamat.

AF Parade Band B

Formerly the Republic of Singapore Air Force(RSAF) Band, the band was subsequently renamed the second parade band of the Singapore Armed Forces. Co-sharing duties with the other parade band, the Parade Band B is constantly on the go as they perform to dignitaries, officials and the public. They are most often publicly seen marching down Orchard Road for the Istana Changing of the Guards Ceremony with the Provost unit.

The SAF Parade Band B also regularly fulfils other SAF-wide commitments like GOH Parades. Comprising of mostly Full-time National Servicemen, the SAF Parade Band B is led by Director of Music CPT Tan Aik Kee. Its Band Sergeant Major is 2WO Ong Wee Hong (BSM), assisted by Assistant BSM - Staff Sergeant Gilbert Lim.

Key Personnel

*Chairman, Singapore Armed Forces Music Board: "Brigadier-General (BG) Tsoi Mun Heng"
*Head, Joint Manpower Department, Singapore Armed Forces: "Colonel (COL) Lim Jit Chek"
*Senior Director of Music/Commanding Officer, Singapore Armed Forces Bands: "Major (MAJ) Philip Tng"
*Director of Music (Central Band): "Captain (CPT) Muhd Yusri B M Ali"
*Director of Music (Parade Band A): "Captain (CPT) Johnson Lee" []
*Director of Music (Parade Band B): "Captain (CPT) Tan Aik Kee"
*Chief Instructor (Training Wing): "Captain (CPT) Muhd Yusri B M Ali"
*Regimental Sergeant Major: "First Warrant Officer (1WO) Abdul Razak B M Noor"


Incomplete listing
*Adam Gorb - "Awayday"
*Alexander Borodin - "Prince Igor"
*Amilcare Ponchielli - "Capriccio for Oboe"
*Andrew Lloyd Webber - "Excerpts from Evita, Chess, Cats, Phantom of the Opera, Starlight Express"
*Artie Shaw - "Concerto for Clarinet"
*Carl Teike - "Alte Kameraden Swing"
*Catherine McMichael - "Woodland Serenade and Rondo"
*Claud Michel Schonberg/Alan Boublil - "Selections from Les Misérables, Miss Saigon"
*Claude T Smith - "Festival Variations"
*D A Pope - "Nightfall in Camp"
*Darius Milhaud - "Suite Francaise"
*David Bedford - "Sun Paints Rainbows on the Vast Waves"
*David R Gillingham - "Be Thou My Vision"
*Dimitri Shostakovich - "Festive Overture"
*Edward Gregson - "The Sword and the Crown"
*Eric Whitacre - "Godzilla Eats Las Vegas!, Ghost Train Triptych"
*Eugene Bozza - "Children's Overture"
*Francis McBeth - "Of Sailors and Whales, The Inferno"
*Frank Ticheli - "Symphony No.2, Vesuvius, Blue Shades, An American Elegy, Sun Dance, Pacific Fanfare, Cajun Folk Songs, Loch Lomond, Amazing Grace"
*Franz von Suppe - "Light Cavalry Overture"
*George Frederick Handel - "The Royal Fireworks"
*George Gershwin - "Rhapsody in Blue"
*Georges Bizet - "Carmen"
*Gioacchino Rossini - "William Tell Overture, The Thieving Magpie"
*Gustav Holst - "First Suite in E-flat, Second Suite in F, The Planets"
*Hardy Mertens S"ingapore Experience, Louice and Blue Eyes, Prayer, Xenia Sarda, Variazioni sinfonische su "Non Potho Reposare"
*Igor Stravinsky - "The Firebird"
*Ira Hearshen - "Divertimento for Band, Symphony on Themes of John Philip Sousa"
*Jacque Press - "Wedding Dance"
*James Barnes - "Symphony No.3, Symphony No.4 "Yellowstone Portraits", Symphony No.5 "Phoenix", Festive Music for Singapore (Commission), Poetic Intermezzo, Alvamar Overture, Fantasy Variations, Hobart Centennial, The Long Gray Line"
*James Curnow - "Concertino for Solo Percussionist and Symphonic Band, Rhapsody for Euphonium"
*James L Hosay - "Turquois Daydreams"
*Jan Van der Roost - "Puszta, Spartacus, Olympica"
*Jared Spears - "Affirmation"
*Joaquin Rodrigo - "Concierto de Aranjuez"
*Johann Sebastian Bach - "Jesu, Joy of Man's Desiring, Fugue in G Minor"
*John Barnes Chance - "Incantation and Dance"
*John Philip Sousa - "The Invincible Eagle, The Stars and Stripes Forever, The Washington Post, Hands Across the Sea, Nobels of the Mystic Shrine, U.S. Field Artillery, The Thunderer, Liberty Bell, Semper Fidelis, King Cotton, Fairest of the Fair, El Capitan"
*John Williams - "Selections from E.T., Star Wars Trilogy, Summon The Heroes, Olympic Fanfare and Theme, Schindler's List"
*Joseph Horovitz - "Fete Galante"
*Julius Fucik - "Entry of the Gladiators"
*Karel Husa - "Les Couleurs Fauves"
*Kees Shoonenbeek - "Starlight Concerto for Trombone"
*Leroy Anderson - "Bugler's Holiday, The Syncopated Clock, The Typewriter, Sleigh Ride"
*Ludwig van Beethoven - "Wellington's Victory"
*Luigi Zaninelli - "The Golden Horn"
*Malcolm Arnold - "The Padstow Lifeboat"
*Michael Daugherty - "Philadelphia Stories:Bells for Stokowski"
*Modeste Moussorgsky - "Night on the Bare Mountain"
*Nicolai Rimsky Korsakov - "Capriccio Espagnol, Flight of the Bumble Bee"
*Nigel Hess - "Global Variations, East Coast Pictures"
*Norman Dello Joio - "Scenes from 'The Louvre
*Ottorino Respighi - "Belkis,Regina di Saba, The Pines of Rome"
*Paul Dukas - "The Sorcerer's Apprentice"
*Paul Hindemith - "Symphony in B-flat"
*Percy A Grainger - "Colonial Song, The Gumsuckers March, Lincolnshire Posy, Molly on the Shore, Country Gardens"
*Peter Graham - "Harrison's Dream"
*Peter Ilyich Tchaikovsky - "Marche Slave, 1812 Overture"
*Philip Sparke - "Symphony No.1 "Earth,Water,Sun,Wind", Postcard from Singapore, The Year of the Dragon, Dance Movements, Sunrise from Angel's Gate, Jubilee Overture, Pantomime"
*Ralph Vaughan Williams - "Sea Songs, English Folk Song Suite"
*Robert W Smith - "Song of Sailor and Sea"
*Scott Boerma - "Cityscape"
*Sergei Prokofiev - "March,op.99, Peter and the Wolf"
*Soren Hyldgaad - "Hans Christian Andersen Suite"
*Stephen Bulla - "Rhapsody for Flute"
*Stephen Melilio - "The Speech of Angels"
*Thom Ritter George - "First Suite in F"
*Thomas A Brown - "Brazilian Street Dance"
*Tsao Chieh - "The Singapore Artillery March, Singapore,Symphonic Suite for Wind Orchestra"
*Vaclav Nelhybel - "Chorale and Danza"
*Wolfgang Amadeus Mozart - "Concerto for Clarinet in A, The Magic Flute"

External links

* [ Singapore Armed Forces Bands]
* [ Ministry of Defence, Singapore]

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