SINGAPORE – Music lulled the audience in a sultry evening at the Singapore Botanic Gardens on Sunday (July 21), as the Singapore Symphony Orchestra (SSO) played to thousands of visitors at The Straits Times Concert in the Gardens.

Even before the free evening concert had started, the lawn in front of the Shaw Foundation Symphony Stage quickly filled with picnickers, leaving latecomers to stand along the fringes of the green. Concert-goers sipped wine and tucked into their picnic spreads, enjoying a relaxing evening with friends and families, and pets, in some cases.

Led by associate conductor Joshua Tan, the SSO played a selection of classics and family favourites, including Rossini’s Overture To The Barber Of Seville, Shostakovich’s The Golden Age, Sketches Of Singapore by local composer Kelly Tang, and Home by Singapore singer-songwriter Dick Lee.

Early birds to the show managed to snag freebies such as picnic mats, paper fans and balloons. They were also offered Ice Mountain sparkling water sponsored by Fraser & Neave.

Children enjoyed activities organised by weekly magazine Little Red Dot where they could win souvenirs. Free popcorn and candy floss further sweetened their afternoon out.

The ST Concert in the Gardens is part of SPH’s Gift of Music series. This year, the event marks the SPH’s 35th anniversary.

For many attendees, it was a good opportunity to bond with their loved ones.

Engineer Dave Chua, 39, who was with his family, said: “It was a nice way for us spend the evening, with great music and even better company.”