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“We both love mu­sic,” Mr. Christo­pher Ho con­fesses, “but my wife sings and I don’t.” That’s enough for him and his wife Rosy, how­ever, to rally for the Sin­ga­pore Sym­phony Or­ches­tra (SSO). The cou­ple has made a joint de­ci­sion to fo­cus on one char­ity in or­der for their ef­forts to be “more mean­ing­ful and have a greater chance of suc­cess”. Their shared pas­sion brought them to the SSO in 2001. “I’m very happy to see that Sin­ga­pore’s na­tional or­ches­tra has grown from strength to strength over the years,” Mr. Ho says proudly. Mr. and Mrs. Ho have con­trib­uted to the arts for many years, par­tic­u­larly to­wards clas­si­cal mu­sic. To date, they have given over S$1.3mil­lion to SSO and its af­fil­i­ated per­form­ing groups. Be­sides mak­ing do­na­tions, the cou­ple has been ac­tive in dif­fer­ent fund-rais­ing ac­tiv­i­ties for the or­ches­tra. They are the Prin­ci­pal Cham­pion of the SSO Chil­dren’s Choir; Mrs. Ho holds the dis­tinc­tion of be­ing the longest­serv­ing mem­ber of the SSO Ladies’ League, which raises funds an­nu­ally for the or­ches­tra. “I must say that it is very sat­is­fy­ing when we see the pos­i­tive im­pact it has on the or­ches­tra’s de­vel­op­ment,” Mrs. Ho says. Mr. Ho no­tices, how­ever, that while many other char­i­ties seem to re­ceive bet­ter sup­port, the arts ap­pear to lag be­hind. “Some­how do­nat­ing to (the arts) takes a back seat,” he ob­serves. “It’s as if there is a hi­er­ar­chy for do­na­tions, and mu­sic is at the back of the line.” Mr. Ho feels it is im­por­tant for chil­dren to have the op­por­tu­nity to ap­pre­ci­ate re­ally good mu­sic. Adds his wife: “As a mother, I have seen the im­por­tance of mu­sic in young chil­dren’s lives. I be­lieve it up­lifts the soul and helps bring out one’s char­ac­ter. I hope that ev­ery mother will bring her chil­dren to con­certs – not just to mu­sic lessons – to en­joy all that is beau­ti­ful in mu­sic.” Mr. Ho and his wife un­der­stand the value of sup­port­ing mu­sic. “It is not only for the tan­gi­ble as­pects, which are many; it is also good to see peo­ple who are happy with a mu­sic per­for­mance, and find it in­spir­ing. We all need to be in­spired,” Mr. Ho en­thuses. “What I find most sat­is­fy­ing is that I’m able and happy to (sup­port mu­sic). It gives me im­mense sat­is­fac­tion to do my small bit to build a more in­spired com­mu­nity.” Mr. and Mrs. Ho love lis­ten­ing to great mu­sic, par­tic­u­larly live per­for­mances. “So much goes on in a live con­cert that you don’t get from a record­ing.” Mr. Ho hopes to see more peo­ple ap­pre­ci­at­ing clas­si­cal mu­sic, par­tic­u­larly the lighter clas­sics. His wife goes even fur­ther with her wish to hear clas­si­cal mu­sic even in street per­for­mances. “That will re­ally help to light up Sin­ga­pore.”


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