EXPERT BLOGS


Take a walk down the cultural road less travelled

I’ve always been a big supporter of the arts, and even more so live performance. Over the years, I’ve learnt to sit back and enjoy it all – be it theatre, dance or classical music. I’ve come to a point  in my life where I feel I have a broad understanding of what can be classed as a good production, or for that matter, a ‘great’ production (not to mention the clangers along the way that just don’t cut it).

            For many of my colleagues, Singaporean friends and expat comrades who don’t have any desire to experience theatre, dance or classical music whatsoever, I completely understand (it’s not for everyone). But, I urge you to rethink your position, especially now as the arts in Singapore experience exponential growth in all disciplines associated with creativity. You are missing out. Singapore is serving up a delicious platter overflowing with brilliant entertainment options.

            This city is, without doubt, emerging as a leader in Southeast Asian when it comes to producing innovative events and inspirational entertainment. This month alone Singapore plays host to visiting Estonian conductor Neeme Järvi who will conduct Mendelssohn’s Italian Symphony performed by the Singapore Symphony Orchestra, together with one of Rachmaninov’s most prized piano concertos highlighting the talents of Russian-born Israeli pianist Boris Giltburg. Take my word, this is the ideal classical concert to attend as a newbie, especially when you are putting your foot into the water for the first time (when it comes to live classical music that is). The experience will be euphoric, believe me. It’s not an overly long concert, and it’s sure to wash away any unwanted stress and put your mind at ease.

If you are up for something a little more challenging (and yes, you get brownie points for getting out and allowing yourself to discover the unexpected here), there’s a brilliant exhibition involving three Japanese artists coming together to create one unified artistic dimension, (OK, stay with me). Nagata – a Japanese Calligrapher; Haioka – a composer who blends traditional Japanese music played on traditional Japanese instruments with modern music; and Nakano – a film director and modern artist who specialises in sumi (ink wash) painting will come together at the Japan Creative Centre on April 26 to create a unique and powerful exhibition – a beginning of a new Japanese artistic dimension. And yes, this is happening here in the Lion City, right under our noses. Take the leap of faith and take your ‘inner child’ on a date (for a bit of ‘me’ time) and plan to be inspired by this coming together of forces.

            So here’s my check list of things to consider when taking a walk down the cultural road less travelled. One – take the time to seek out new beginnings. Two – manage your own expectations and don’t anticipate some monumental revelation to suddenly overcome you (go with an open mind), and Three – just take it all in; breathe and when you’re done; simply walk away. This is called being in the moment. Enjoy it all!

 

PANGDEMONIUM

Adapted to the developing setting of the 70’s era in Singapore, Olivier award-winning musical THE RISE AND FALL OF LITTLE VOICE is a fun-filled, heart-warming show which incorporates something refreshingly new – exclusive cabaret seating right up with the actors. May 2-18 Drama Centre Theatre. Tickets: $30-$88. Tel: 6348 5555, Email: debbie@pangdemonium.com www.sistic.com.sg

 

FRONT COVER With thanks to our April cover and feature story guest Bernie Baskin of Gatehouse Publishing www.gatehousepublishing.com

 

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Posted by SPH The Finder Tue, 01 Apr 2014 06:24:00 GMT


Welcome to the February 2013 issue

Let’s face it. There are certainly pros and cons when it comes to living and working in a foreign country, and being an expat in Singapore is no exception, especially at a time of celebration when loved ones may not be at hand. Whether you’re in the Lion City running solo, earning a few bucks to attain a half decent lifestyle back home, or settled in for the long term, family in tow and not thinking of leaving too soon, Singapore certainly raises the bar when it comes to the convenience of day-to-day living in this urban metropolis we call home.

The Finder Singapore The Essential Expat Resource visited Jimmy Monkey Cafe at One North Buona Vista a few days ago and meet up with owner operator Michael Ryan who has agrred to appear on the cover of The Finder Singapore in 2013 - Michael has a fasinating story to share with The Finder Singapore readers. If you know someone who might have an enthralling story to share with The Finder then simply drop me an email and introduce your friend to us here at The Finder Singapore. 

If you are new to Singapore, welcome. We are all a part of a fascinating community providing a diverse cultural blend of old world meets new. Already two months into 2013, and Singapore is not letting up. Culture continues to explode – be it art, music, fashion or design, the urban landscape seems to metamorphose before your very eyes and at a rate of knots unknown to modern man. And then there’s the food, the glorious food – the number one fascination here on the little red dot, with a selection that never ceases to impress, be it your local hawker centre speciality or a favourite international eatery offering world class menus by award winning chefs from all corners of the globe. This month in 5 minutes with… The Finder meets up with cover and feature story guest Joel Fraser of The Cufflink Club, who shares his thoughts on the development of the bar culture in the Lion City while providing some insightful tips on getting in touch with your inner entrepreneur.
If you’ve been living in Singapore for a few years (as most of The Finder readers have been), then you would know this month offers the ideal opportunity to get involved with tradition and celebrate with colleagues, friends and family as we move into the Year of the Snake. Read your 2013 horoscope in Singapore Secrets with Feng Shui master and divination specialist Clarice Georgia Victoria Chan and learn the fun legend of the 12 zodiac signs. A time to embrace abundance, prosperity, luck and, of course, bountiful wealth, February in 2013 heralds the arrival of Chinese New Year. From Sunday, February 10 through to Sunday, February 24, you will be witness to celebrations at their most precious. The love of family and friendship is honoured only as Singaporeans know how – with grandeur, sentiment, and a good old Yu Sheng, otherwise known as the Prosperity Toss or Lo Hei. The short, culinary ritual is great fun and worth making a booking to experience it at one of the superb international hotel dining rooms across town.
Associate Editor Nadira Begum visits four of The Finder’s favourite afternoon tea haunts in Wine & Dine and in Going Places resident travel writer David Bowden takes you on an Australasian roundup of idyllic romantic getaways, all in the name of love. And as reliable as the sun sets in the west, The Finder continues to offer a selection of over 150 quality and dependable businesses for you to go shopping right here, right now. Gong Xi Fa Cai!           
 
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Posted by SPH The Finder Wed, 30 Jan 2013 04:38:00 GMT


Welcome to the December issue

It’s December. Santa is well and truly ready to rock ‘n‘ roll, all suited up for a Lion City visit. The glistening Christmas decorations along Orchard – and into the impressive new Marina Bay precinct – are ablaze in all their spectacular grandeur. And the constant hum of tuneful carolling piped over speakers in every shopping mall from Woodlands to Pasir Ris reminds us all of the joyful sanctuary we celebrate as a unified whole, no matter our race or religion. I invite you to visit Singapore Secrets where we suggests some celebratory activities for all to enjoy – and on a budget – this festive season. The holidays are here, whether you like it or not, and it’s a good time to ask yourself, “What am I really thankful for this Christmas”.

           After five years (going on six), and apart from the obvious benefits of living in an international metropolis offering some of the best wine, dine, entertainment and shopping experiences anywhere on the planet, I find myself regularly observing the precious moments and much appreciated involvement of Singaporean elders in our community. Aunty clearing glasses and attending to guests at social functions or taking burger orders at the fast-food outlets in malls across the Island. Or Uncle preparing tables at the local Hawker Centre for the next onslaught of diners eager to dig into their favourite local fare. When it comes to respect for others and getting involved in the community, it’s all systems go here in Singapore.

One would find it hard to disagree, life in Singapore is a gift, and we are all on the receiving end of it. To truly make Singapore our home, it’s essential for us all to feel engaged and continue contributing in our own particular way. Whether you’re caring full time for the family or have the flexibility to be out and about amongst the community, doing your bit to help someone possibly less fortunate than you, or further afield in a more humanitarian capacity, building shelters, helping to raise awareness for the need to end human trafficking – whatever the cause – it’s admirable to get involved in giving and good to appreciate what life has on offer.
 
Christmas is definitely an exciting and joyous season for giving and receiving, and it’s the perfect time to get in touch with the local community as a whole and – as the saying goes – share the love. Find out what our four inspired Integrated International School students appearing on this month’s cover have on their mind in 5 minutes with…And in Going Places, our monthly travel focus, join David Bowden on a roadtrip over the causeway into Malaysia – with a pit stop in Cameron Highlands, just seven hours north of Singapore. And of course, it goes without saying, now is the perfect time for our editorial team to be highlighting exciting gift ideas and gourmet festive selections in our annual Celebrate The Festive Season Insider’s Guide. I invite you to be inspired with over 60 gift ideas for the kids, for him, for her, or for the one who has it all. Merry Christmas and safe travels!
 
And don’t forget to secure your tickets to the ANZ AUSTRALIA DAY (LAST CHANCE) Jan 26, 7pm-2am Black-Tie. Celebrate Australia Day at the biggest and most anticipated Annual Ball in SE Asia graced by 1,200 attendees. Fairmont Ballroom Swissotel The Stamford. Tickets: $210 per person (AustCham member), $245 per person (non-AustCham member). Book Tickets online HERE 
 
 
 December 2012 FRONT COVER With thanks to Diantha D’Cotta, Ann-Kathrin Strube, Sidhant Singh and Tobie Young, students from the Integrated International school.

Youn can also check out a sneak peek at our December  2012 issue right HERE

or even better, download The Finder Singapore FREE APP HERE

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Posted by SPH The Finder Wed, 05 Dec 2012 09:13:00 GMT


Change is often as good as a holiday!

Change is often as good as a holiday. Now, for many who have returned to Singapore after a mid-year break, you probably feel your holiday is about to begin. Kids back to school, routine settling down to an almost manageable affair and the thought of a few weeks of normality ahead – before the silly season starts to nestle its way into our thoughts – September, for most, can be a blessing in disguise.
            I recall a grand old aunt referring to me as ‘a lucky Virgo’. I was born in the month of September and take great pride in my star sign, although I don’t follow astrology or numerology in any great detail, I do believe it’s important to be able to define yourself in terms of loyalty, commitment and respect for others. This is something The Finder does – every month – when we compile the content of this highly respected and sort after lifestyle guide, with you in mind.
            For those new to The Lion City, it’s a big month in Singapore, as always, not only do we have the Singapore Grand Prix with its sumptuous menu of international artists and on-track excitement to thrill even the mildest of spectators, there’s a host of exhibitions, concerts and new restaurant openings to consider when planning your social calendar. Check out our Wine, Dine & Gourmet Insider’s Guide for all the latest in what’s hot in town – including the welcomed arrival of a superb ‘nook in the woods’ – you’ll be spoilt by choice when it comes to booking your next outing with friends or family. And catch up with husband and wife motor racing duo, Rolf and Andrea Seibl, in 5 minutes withwho chat with Associate Editor Nadira Begum about how they managed to turn a hobby into a full-time career – with all the family involved.
Travel writer David Bowden takes us on a gastronomic journey in Going Places and introduces you to some of the most popular cooking school destinations throughout Southeast Asia, and once more, all within a convenient few hours travel time from Singapore. You’ve got to love living in such a premium locale with almost 50 percent of the worlds population at our doorstep there’s always something new to discover. Speaking of which, The Finder this month, as with every issue, introduces you to some of the most respected and recommended businesses in Singapore, not only in print but now also available for FREE download across the digital network.
            As a result of our most recent readership survey, it was blindingly obvious you wanted more accessibility to our monthly magazine, so we have acted on your requests and gone the extra mile to cater for your individual needs – in print, online and now available as a convenient APP on your preferred device, be it mobile, tablet or as a convenient flip book online. I now invite you to come on a journey with The Finder lifestyle guide as we take you into a new era of convenience, practicality and above all our continued commitment in providing a 20 year tradition of connecting you to premium businesses in Singapore offering a level of customer service second to none. Enjoy!
 
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Posted by SPH The Finder Mon, 10 Sep 2012 07:08:00 GMT


Go For Gold!

It was only a few short weeks ago the world focused on the UK for the official celebration of the Diamond Jubilee of Queen Elizabeth II. Now, four years since the Beijing Olympics and midway through the year, participating nations across the globe wait with bated breath to witness the Opening Ceremony of the London 2012 Summer Olympics in all its pomp and ceremony on July 27.

There’s a sense of pride and a realisation of unification when major historical and sporting events such as these take place. It allows all citizens of the world to feel a part of something far greater than what we experience at the local level as a family unit or as an individual experiencing life and all it has to offer. Either way, we are all capable – and possibly destined – to Go for Gold in some way, shape or form.  So in this months issue of The Finder we highlight some events and festivals to bring a sense of unification to the fore.

Managing Editor John Gordon

Take for example husband and wife team Citira and Christian Corrigan (pictured below) in 5 minutes with who gear up to represent their respective teammates when they participate in what has become an annual White Collar Boxing event here in Singapore. Corporate Fight Night will be held at the Ritz Carlton next month on August 18 to raise money for Dan’s Fund for Burns, the charitable cause set up after the 2002 Bali Bombings where a number of expatriate sportsmen living and working in Singapore at the time lost their lives. This year marks the 10th anniversary of the bombings, and it therefore seems appropriate to acknowledge how appreciative we all are to be living in this vibrant country where it is safe to bring up a family, work and strive in good health and with a happy heart.

Also in this issue we take time out to visit four favourite French eateries in Wine & Dine where we discover we don’t have to travel across continents to experience the best in fine French cuisine. It’s right here on our doorstep. And join guest writer Shalini Ragu as she visits four traditional – and not so traditional – Tea Houses in Singapore meeting Tea Masters dedicated to the ongoing education of ancient tea appreciation rituals and experiences and learning there’s more to tea brewing than meets the eye. Travel writer David Bowden hits a high note this month in Going Places rounding up some of the Top Malaysian Music Festivals and highlighting what’s on offer when you and your friends or family attend these much anticipated cultural events in Damai Beach near Kuching, in Langkawi and in Penang. 

The Quincy Hotel was recently awarded Singapore’s No. 1 Trendiest Hotel, so this month we team up with the hippest crew in town and give you a chance to win a weekend stay and experience what all the fuss is about in Win Prizes We invite you to enter for a chance to win a weekend experience you’ll be talking about for days. And be sure to spend time familiarising yourself with our Home & Property Insider’s Guide where you will find a selection of premium businesses providing quality goods and services for in and around your home. Bonne lecture! 

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Posted by SPH The Finder Sat, 14 Jul 2012 07:26:00 GMT


What’s your passion?

 

Few would disagree getting the blood pumping, igniting those endorphins and feeling truly alive, is one of the best natural highs you can experience – if only you could find the time and the motivation to “go for it” and get active. You may have the opportunity to exercise at first light but you are simply not a morning person! Or perhaps an afternoon Power Plate session or a work out late in the evening after the kids have settled is your thing. Mind you it’s a challenge to juggle a well-deserved glass of wine and a pair of 15kg kettle bells at the end of a busy, not to mention exhausting day! So what’s my poison?

Between 2000 and 2003 while living and working on the north coast of Australia, I spent many an early morning saluting the sun. Yes, practising yoga. I was stationed in the popular Northern Rivers town of Byron Bay, New South Wales where a relatively holistic lifestyle prevailed. Now 10 years on and after endless procrastination and half-hearted – not to mention overzealous commitments to a variety of exercise schedules, I’ve finally found my balance. And my hamstrings and triceps – as I revisit what was once my eagerly anticipated daily wellness routine, early morning Ashtanga Yoga practice. Now in my late 40s, the return to the discipline was certainly a shock to my nervous system but the rewards are great. I’m on fire and feeling more alive and alert than ever. Muscle memory helps get me through the sequence of static poses, stretches, breathing and relaxation but there is a fundamental element at play, a simple case of re-education. For three years, all those years ago back in Byron Bay, I practised a stringent physical routine now etched in my muscle memory and by applying a well-overdue process of re-learning, I hope now to reap the benefits.
 
To learn a skill, a craft or overcome adversity at the hand of education – or re-education - is a gift, just as it is to offer one’s knowledge and dedicate a life to teaching.So this monthThe Finder chats with experts and specialists tackling learning differences head on. Meet Anaberta Oehlers-Jaen, Director of DAS International in 5 minutes with…who discusses with Assistant Editor Jassmin Peter why learning difficulties can affect more than just school work and why it’s important to detect such issues early. Always wanted to get into seriously good shape? The Finder introduces celebrity trainer Gavin Watterson as he announces the launch of Ultimate Fitness Performance Studio and unveils a brand new golf training machine to significantly improve your swing. And in Expat Profile we learn how Shona Sanosi overcame her own adversity and opened The Blue House Nursery as testament to her professional philosophy and personal high standards associated with preschool education right here in Singapore. Time to visit some Spanish bars with bite! We’ve lined up some tasty tapas treats for you this month in Wine & Dine and we highlight novel ways to help save our planet in conjunction with Earth Day on April 22 in Singapore Secrets.
 
The Finder is here to inspire as it has done so for almost 20 years. In the pages to follow you will find expert tips and advice, interesting finds across the Lion City and a wealth of up-to-date and relevant information to help get you through the month ahead. So take a few moments to sit back and enjoy all that’s on offer in this month’s issue. You’re in good hands!
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Posted by SPH The Finder Sun, 08 Apr 2012 09:53:00 GMT


Give effortlessly and Christmas Cheers!

John Gordon & Jassmin Peter (Assistant Editor) spend quality time with Santa.

Every month is a celebration in Singapore and without exception December takes the (Christmas) cake.  Term break for the kids, festivities to organise, holiday plans to confirm, not to mention the additional and obligatory retail therapy excursions, December in Singapore offers a sumptuous variety of diversity and choice.
Art, music, culture, entertainment, food, wine and seasonal soirées with family and friends all to a backdrop of twinkling fairy lights and snowflakes along the thoroughfares of Raffles City, Millenia Walk and without doubt the most magical and enchanting of all lighting displays, Orchard Road. Be delighted as a member of the local community or an international visitor in a month long celebration of colour and movement to ignite your senses.
If you’re looking for an excuse to hijack your daily routine, now would be a good time to hang up those running shoes – and yes, I’m talking to the 60,000 participants of the Standard Chartered Marathon (you know who you are), we have news for you. It’s time to Party! But getting the party started calls for organisation and military precision. Whether you’re willing to tackle a home cooked spread and savour in the delights of all thing culinary or source the most appropriate festive dining location for you and your loved ones to eat, drink and be merry, we have created a complete Christmas issue which shines a star of wonder to point you in the right direction.
Celebrate the Festive Season is your essential roundup of the tastes of Christmas, where to book your year-end celebration, source the perfect tasty turkey or peruse gift ideas for the one who’s got it all.  There are plenty of festive offers to consider and shopping suggestions to fill your X-mas stocking. And if you’re looking for a venue to raise a glass for a festive cheer’s, Assistant Editor, Jassmin Peter has some high spirited suggestions in Singapore Secrets after visiting waterholes upping the classiness of the Lion City’s cocktail culture.  There’s no denying, we all like to indulge now and again, and in anticipation of those few extra pounds that may creep up on us all in the weeks ahead, The Finder takes a note from a Personal Trainer and Nutritionist who share fitness and wellness advice to ensure we all look sharp throughout the festive season.
Without doubt, Christmas is one of the most anticipated and joyous times of the year where giving is regarded as an integral part of the Yuletide, therefore a perfect time to reflect and consider giving a gift from the heart. We introduce you to The Chain Reaction Project (TCRP) and Cambodian Carers in 5 minutes withtwo women whose gift is to give for the benefit of others.
The Finder is the result of a team who give effortlessly and I wish to thank everybody named on the right of this page for their creative, professional and consistent contribution throughout the year. On behalf of The Finder team, we wish you a Merry Christmas and a healthy and Happy New Year.Happy Holidays!
  The Finder Team in Singapore 2011
 
 
 
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Posted by SPH The Finder Mon, 05 Dec 2011 07:14:00 GMT


WTP (Window to the Past) Fresh Look and Looking Good!

 X-mas furniture Wish List 1….. Santa …is it possible to get "my new best friend" down the chimney this Christmas?

The Finder had the pleasure of attending the launch of WTP’s on-site retail revamp on Wednesday evening. Loyal clients, past and present, media editors, writers, photographers and a swag of personalities, including the Aussie Ambassador were entertained by cool-jazz grooves on the top floor of this spaciously, yet warmly refurbished Kung Chong Road location. The event was relaxed and welcoming providing plenty of opportunity for the crowd to mix and mingle while enjoying a glass of wine and delicious appetisers all to a backdrop of beautifully displayed furnishings spread across four huge floor areas.

Getting around the store is easy with practical internal lifts and wide wooden staircases allowing you to browse between floors and navigate the displays with ease and in comfort. The combination of natural and enhanced lighting moods throughout the space help articulate the furnishings on display and provide a good indication of how the pieces will look in your home.

 This green dining space is on show this month at WTP, also check out the kitchen displays on the top floor. WTP really do do all the work for you!

The current WTP collection is varied, vibrate and vast. You will be delighted with the range and selection on show allowing plenty of choice for your next acquisition. You are encouraged to speak to one of the consultants on hand or to Founder of WTP, Mimi Somjee herself. Mimi, known to her many clients as a "great perfectionist" is available to discuss your individual requirements and offer expert opinion on fashionable furniture trends and hot looks for your home.

Thanks Mimi and the team at WTP for offering Singapore a world class furnishing experience right here in the Lion City. I look forward to my next purchase….will it be the hand-crafted wooden dining table on level three…..Maybe!

WTP is a destination to visit for home furnishing inspiration especially if you find yourself navigating through home improvement options with a number of different suppliers. You could say WTP is your one-stop-shop and a definate must-visit when ticking off your X-mas Wish List…Enjoy!

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Posted by SPH The Finder Thu, 24 Nov 2011 05:50:00 GMT


Signature Art Prize Vote Now Online

 

 

The Singapore Art Museum (SAM) and Asia Pacific Breweries (APB) Foundation recently announced the finalists shortlisted for the 2011 APB Foundation Signature Art Prize.
The 15 finalists come from 14 countries and territories across Asia Pacific. Cambodia, China, India, Indonesia, Japan, Malaysia, Australia, New Zealand, Pakistan, Philippines, Singapore, Taiwan, and Vietnam has one finalist each, while South Korea has two finalists.
The Finder spoke with Australian finalist Daniel Crooks from Melbourne, Australia about his single-channel HD video “seek stillness in movement” (Top: Video still) Daniel’s video installation explores the visual state of nothingness.
Taken collectively, the artworks demonstrate the thriving vibrancy of art-making in Asia Pacific today. On 17 November, five winners including one Grand Prize winner (SGD 45,000), three Jurors’ Choice Award winners (SGD 10,000 each) and one People’s Choice Award winner (SGD 10,000), will be announced at the APB Foundation Signature Art Prize Awards Ceremony.
While the Grand Prize and Jurors’ Choice Awards will be conferred by the judging panel following a viewing of the installed works, the People’s Choice Award will be presented to the public’s most loved work. Nominate your favourite finalist work for the award online at www.singaporeartmuseum.sg/signatureartprize  or cast your vote in person at the Asia Pacific Foundation Signature Art Prize 2011 Finalists Exhibition. You stand the chance to win an Apple MacBook Air, or receive one of 20 limited edition commemorative catalogues about the Prize, the finalists and their artwork.
The Asia Pacific Breweries Foundation Signature Art Prize 2011 Finalists Exhibition will run from 11 November 2011 to 4 March 2012 at SAM Singapore Art Museum 71 Bras Basah Road, Singapore.
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Posted by SPH The Finder Wed, 09 Nov 2011 09:41:00 GMT


Singapore’s youngest cellist Brendan Goh

 

The Finder is pleased to announce Singapore’s youngest cellist Brendan Goh will be launching his first CD on Thursday November 3rd 2011. The title of the CD is Brendan: A brand new day. All sales proceeds will be donated to The Business Times Budding Artists Fund, which provides financial assistance to other artistically gifted children like him, who hopes to develop their talents in Singapore.
Aged 12, Brendan is not only juggling his schoolwork and rehearsal schedule, but is also setting aside time to play all the right tunes for charity. The recording of this CD was made under the close supervision of his mentor, world renowned cellist Qin Li Wei, who is also head of the cello department in Yong Siew Toh Conservatory of Singapore (NUS).
The CD is priced at $25 dollars and will be available at Tanglewood Music School, all GPA Dental clinics, Synwin Music, Gramercy Music (Katong) and Gramercy Music (Esplanade Mall).
The Finder is excited for young Brendan and look forward to following his career as he matures onto the international stage. Watch this space!

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Posted by SPH The Finder Tue, 25 Oct 2011 03:41:00 GMT