In a dazzling display of talent and inclusivity, ExtraOrdinary People Limited (EPL) successfully brought back “An ExtraOrdinary Celebration,” Singapore’s largest concert celebrating the harmonious blend of abilities. Held on the 15th of November 2023, at the Ho Bee Auditorium in the University Cultural Centre, National University of Singapore (NUS), this grand event was graced by the esteemed presence of Guest-of-Honour, Mr. Tharman Shanmugaratnam, President of the Republic of Singapore.
Themed “A Kaleidoscope of Love and Hope,” the concert unfolded as a mesmerizing showcase of 11 performing groups, featuring a staggering 750 talented individuals from both special education (SPED) schools and mainstream institutions. The chosen theme vividly encapsulated the essence of the occasion, illuminating the myriad facets of love and hope, transcending backgrounds and abilities to create a harmonious symphony of inclusion.
Distinguished institutions such as APSN Katong School, MINDS Towner Gardens, and Cerebral Palsy Association Singapore (CPAS) took the stage, delivering enthralling performances that left the audience in awe. A notable highlight was the debut of the newly formed ExtraOrdinary Music Company, established in August 2023. Taking centre stage with the captivating ExtraOrdinary Light Orchestra, they delivered an unforgettable musical experience for all in attendance.
In an ambitious bid for the Singapore Book of Records, EPL coordinated the largest-ever handbell ensemble in Singapore, etching their mark in history and adding a unique touch to the event.
Since its inception in 2018, EPL’s annual concert has been a catalyst for significant collaborations between performers from SPED schools and mainstream educational institutions. These collaborations are more than mere entertainment; they serve as a testament to EPL’s unwavering dedication to cultivating an inclusive society where every individual feels valued, embraced, and included.
Mr Ivan Chin, CEO of Extra Ordinary People Limited, expressed the organization’s mission, stating, “Our annual concert stands as a testament to our unwavering commitment to nurturing a world where diversity flourishes as a source of strength and harmony. We continue to emphasize inclusivity as an integral part of our society, rather than an afterthought.”
EPL’s ExtraOrdinary Campus Programme: Empowering the Future
EPL’s commitment to empowering youths with special needs extends beyond the concert stage. The ExtraOrdinary Campus Programme, announced last year and launched as a pilot in early 2023, has seen good progress, expecting full enrollment by its official launch in July 2024.
Tailored for post-18 youths with disabilities, the campus program offers an extended, guided pathway to identify and support relevant vocational courses, enhancing beneficiaries’ employability. With a focus on fostering independent living skills and providing comprehensive job training, participants are well-prepared for prospective careers through specialized curriculums, leading to pathways in music and culinary arts.
The Creative Lab, part of EPL’s ExtraOrdinary Campus Programme, serves as a vocational art incubator specifically designed for individuals with a keen interest in visual arts. Under the guidance of skilled therapists, participants explore their creative potential, transforming artistic talents into fulfilling and meaningful careers.
As “An ExtraOrdinary Celebration” made its much-anticipated return, accompanied by the introduction of new program offerings, EPL aimed to foster growth, compassion, and inclusivity within Singapore’s vibrant and diverse community. The concert and campus program are not just events; they represent a movement towards a more inclusive and empathetic society. For more information on EPL and An ExtraOrdinary Celebration, visit extraordinarypeople.sg.