He Plays In NDP2020 Which Pays Tribute To Frontliners Like His Wife
STORY: Sim Ding En
26 July 2020
"Music brings people together and touches people’s souls in a different way," says ME2 Muhammad Khairunnizam Bin Amran thoughtfully, when asked why music is so important during this period and in his area of service. "And it can inspire a person during tough times as well."
Indeed, it, ahem, warms the cockles of many a Singaporean heart (this is here to stay for a while, get used to it) to hear the familiar strains of "Tentera Singapura" at every National Day Parade.
Yes, that recognisable quick march composed by A. Abdullah Sumardi which accompanies the entrance of the marching contingents (and that many of us don't know the name of):
At this year's parade held at the Padang (the site of Singapore's first NDP in 1966), ME2 Khairunnizam - the principal saxophonist with the Singapore Armed Forces (SAF) band and one of close to 200 contingent members from the SAF and Singapore Police Force - will once again pick up his brass instrument to salute the nation.
It's a particularly meaningful occasion for the 36-year-old who has a Licentiate Diploma in Saxophone Performance (LTCL) and a Fellowship of the Trinity College London in Saxophone Recital (FTCL): not only is it his 10th year participating in the NDP, this year's parade also pays tribute to frontline fighters and essential workers - like his wife - keeping Singapore safe and going during the COVID-19 pandemic.
"My wife is a nurse (at Ng Teng Fong General Hospital), and she has been heavily involved in the handling and care of these COVID-19 patients," he says.
"Observing how committed she is in handling the fight against the virus, and the sort of sacrifices she’s made gives me a sense of respect and admiration for her and her colleagues in the healthcare line."
This National Day, his wife and two children - a girl aged nine and a boy aged 6 - will be cheering him on from home.
"My kids always look forward to my participation in the parade. Every time they watch the NDP, they will always look out for me - their dad," he says (and you can totally imagine him beaming proudly behind his mask).
"If I weren’t involved this year, it would be strange for them. So it’s almost like I have to be involved every year!