It’s Time to Take His Cue: Orchestrating the Magic of Chingay 2024 — Melvin Tang

Amidst the myriad of performers, artists, and volunteers, one name shines brightly — Melvin Tang. With over a decade of dedicated service to this iconic cultural celebration, Melvin’s journey from stage manager to Parade Cue Master and Assistant Artistic Director is a tale of personal and professional growth, perfectly aligned with the theme of Chingay 2024 — Blossom. His profound connection with Chingay goes beyond mere career aspirations, reflecting a deep commitment to preserving cultural heritage, fostering unity, and embracing innovation.

In anticipation of the upcoming Chingay@Heartlands Parade, we sit down with Melvin Tang to delve into his story and involvement with Chingay 2024.

Embarking on the Chingay Journey: Melvin’s Evolution

Melvin Tang’s journey with Chingay spans over a decade, marked by a series of transformative moments that have shaped his profound connection with this iconic cultural celebration. 

Reflecting on his earliest days with Chingay, Melvin’s journey began long before any formal roles, as he volunteered as a dance instructor, teaching choreography to performers. This early experience provided invaluable insights into the parade’s structure and sequence, enriching his approach to event management and choreography.

Chingay Profile Interview Melvin Tang - Down There
Still showing an eye for detail in the choreography even a decade on as a dance instructor

Shortly after, Melvin recalls a sense of awe and excitement as he embarked on his role as a stage manager fresh out of the Nanyang Academy of Fine Arts (NAFA). Little did he know then that this experience would be the beginning of a journey filled with growth, challenges, and countless unforgettable memories.

As Melvin immersed himself in the intricacies of Chingay’s production, he quickly realised the enormity of the task at hand. From coordinating performers and managing logistics to ensuring the seamless execution of stage elements, every aspect of the parade demanded meticulous attention to detail and unwavering dedication. Yet, amidst the chaos and frenetic energy of the production process, Melvin found himself drawn to the magic of Chingay —  a magic that transcended the boundaries of culture and language, uniting participants and spectators alike in a celebration of Singapore’s rich heritage and diversity.

Over the years, Melvin’s role within Chingay evolved in tandem with the parade itself, “Reflecting on my journey with Chingay over the past decade, it’s clear that this grand celebration has been a cornerstone of both my personal and professional evolution”, he states. From his early days as a stage manager to his current position as Parade Cue Master and Assistant Artistic Director, Melvin’s journey has been defined by a continuous quest for excellence and innovation. Each year brought new challenges and opportunities, from orchestrating innovative parade formats to navigating the complexities of digital presentations in the wake of the COVID-19 pandemic. Yet, through it all, Melvin remained steadfast in his commitment to Chingay’s core values of creativity, resilience, and community spirit.

As he looks back on his journey with Chingay, Melvin is filled with a profound sense of gratitude and pride. Gratitude for the countless individuals who have supported and inspired him along the way —  from his colleagues and mentors to the performers and volunteers who bring Chingay to life year after year. Pride in the role he has played in shaping the parade into a vibrant celebration of Singapore’s cultural heritage, showcasing the best of what the nation has to offer to the world.

For Melvin, Chingay represents a journey of self-discovery, growth, and transformation. As he gears up to embark on yet another chapter in his remarkable journey this year, one thing remains abundantly clear — his love for Chingay and all that it represents blossoms more beautifully than ever before.

Behind the Scenes: Melvin’s Balancing Act

Juggling multiple roles within the spectacle that is Chingay demands a unique set of skills, from managing artists and running rehearsals to overseeing administrative tasks and ensuring the seamless execution of the parade. This delicate balancing act is a grand showing of his unwavering commitment to excellence and his ability to thrive in high-pressure environments.

Chingay Profile Interview Melvin Tang - Cadence
Not just relegated to a viewing platform, an orchestrator that is hands-on and amongst the performers

At the heart of Melvin’s approach to balancing responsibilities lies a meticulous prioritisation and planning process. Recognising the importance of staying organised and focused amidst the chaos of event production, Melvin starts by identifying critical tasks and deadlines, and creating a structured timeline that allows him to allocate his time and attention appropriately. By setting clear priorities and objectives, he ensures that each aspect of the parade receives the attention it deserves without compromising on quality or efficiency.

Putting a focus on effective delegation, Melvin acknowledges that he cannot do it all alone. He surrounds himself with a talented and dedicated team of individuals, each bringing their own unique skills and expertise to the table. By entrusting responsibilities to the right people and empowering them to take ownership of their tasks, Melvin fosters a culture of collaboration and accountability where everyone plays a vital role in the parade’s success.

One of Melvin’s closest collaborators would be the esteemed Artistic Director, Mr. Fan Dong Kai, and the duo’s main aim is to bring the creative vision of Chingay to life. Their partnership is founded on creative synergy and a shared commitment to excellence, making them a formidable duo to spearhead Chingay 2024. Central to their collaboration is a dynamic exchange of ideas and perspectives. Mr. Fan, with his extensive experience and visionary approach, sets the overarching artistic direction for Chingay, drawing inspiration from Singapore’s rich cultural heritage and contemporary trends. His keen eye for detail and innovative spirit serve as the guiding force behind the parade’s creative vision, inspiring awe and wonder in audiences year after year.

In contrast, Melvin brings a wealth of technical expertise and creative flair to the table. His deep understanding of event management, coupled with his passion for storytelling through music and performance, allows him to translate Mr. Fan’s vision into tangible, immersive experiences for parade-goers. Together, they navigate the complexities of Chingay’s production process, from conceptualisation to execution, ensuring that every aspect of the parade is meticulously crafted to captivate and inspire.

With so many moving parts and stakeholders involved, communication is also paramount in Melvin’s approach to balancing responsibilities. Melvin emphasises maintaining open lines of communication, which is essential for ensuring everyone is aligned with Chingay’s vision and objectives. Regular check-ins, team meetings, and updates help to keep everyone on the same page, allowing for quick adjustments and course corrections as needed.

Lastly, Melvin highlights adaptability as perhaps the most critical aspect of the balancing act. In the fast-paced world of event production, things don’t always go according to plan, and unforeseen challenges are par for the course. Whether it’s a last-minute change in the schedule, a technical glitch, or a sudden change in weather conditions, Melvin’s ability to adapt and think on his feet allows him to navigate even the most daunting obstacles with grace and poise.

Ultimately, Melvin’s success in balancing responsibilities within Chingay is a testament to his passion, dedication, and unwavering commitment to excellence. By combining meticulous planning, effective delegation, open communication, and adaptability, he ensures that each Chingay Parade is a seamless and unforgettable celebration of Singapore’s rich cultural heritage and vibrant community spirit.

Chingay’s Significance: Through the Lens of Melvin

According to Melvin, the true joy of Chingay lies not just in the spectacle’s grandeur but in its profound impact on the audience and participants alike. As he reflects on his years of involvement with Chingay, Melvin is filled with a deep sense of gratitude and fulfilment, knowing that his contributions have helped to create moments of joy and wonder that will be cherished for years to come.

Chingay Profile Interview Melvin Tang - Crowd Work
Words of encouragement and well wishes to spur on all performers and behind-the-scenes crew

One of the most rewarding aspects of Melvin’s role is witnessing the audience’s enjoyment of the parade. Whether it’s the spirited singing of students during National Education shows or the thunderous applause for captivating performances, each moment reaffirms the value of his hard work and dedication. “Seeing the smiles on people’s faces and hearing their cheers fills me with a sense of pride and satisfaction”, Melvin fondly recalls, knowing that he has played a part in creating memories that will last a lifetime.

But the joy of Chingay extends beyond the spectators to the participants themselves. For many performers, Chingay is a once-in-a-lifetime opportunity to showcase their talents on a grand stage, surrounded by thousands of cheering fans. Whether they’re dancers, musicians, or cultural performers, each participant brings their own unique energy and passion to the parade, adding to the vibrant sights and sounds that define Chingay.

Melvin’s own experiences as a performer have only deepened his appreciation for the joy of Chingay. From his early days as a volunteer dance instructor to his current role as Parade Cue Master and Assistant Artistic Director, Melvin has been fortunate enough to witness the magic of Chingay from both sides of the stage. For him, there is no greater thrill than seeing months of hard work and preparation come to life in a dazzling display of colour, music, and movement.

In essence, the joy of Chingay is not just about the spectacle itself but about the sense of community and connection it fosters among all involved. Whether you’re a performer, a spectator, or a production team member, Chingay is a celebration of unity, creativity, and the power of collective imagination. It stands as a towering symbol of Singapore’s rich cultural heritage and vibrant multicultural identity, preserving and celebrating the diverse traditions and customs that define Singaporean society. 

Through its vibrant displays of music, dance, and performance art, Chingay is a powerful reminder of the values that bind Singaporeans together as a nation — tolerance, respect, and mutual understanding. Chingay ensures that these cherished traditions remain a vibrant and integral part of Singapore’s cultural landscape, pushing the boundaries of artistic expression and captivating audiences with its bold vision and boundless creativity. 

Illuminating the Future: Melvin’s Vision for Chingay 2024

As Chingay 2024 fast approaches, Melvin sets his aim high, “My vision is to elevate the parade into a multifaceted spectacle that not only celebrates our rich cultural heritage but also embraces the future through innovation and inclusivity”, he states. He is particularly excited about the floor projection element, which will interact with the audience, blossoming more flowers through their energy. It’s a vision of a parade that captivates, educates, and unites, that will sure to leave a lasting impact on all who are part of this grand celebration.

Melvin Tang’s role as the Parade Cue Master and Assistant Artistic Director transcends mere formal titles. For over a decade and counting, he has been orchestrating the magic behind Chingay. Through his leadership, creativity, resilience, and unwavering focus on community spirit, Chingay continues to evolve and inspire, as it weaves its magic through the streets of Singapore, shining brightly as a beacon of cultural pride for generations to come.


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The Chingay Parade may be over, but the celebrations don’t stop. From now till 9 March 2024, Chingay is moving into the Heartlands!

Date, Day Heartlands Caravan Route
Start Point End Point
1 March 2024,  FridayHolland-Bukit  Timah GRC & Bukit  Panjang SMCFrom 5:30pm: Ghim Moh Road 
From 7:30pm: Petir  Road (In front of  Petir Park)
Senja-Cashew CC
2 March 2024,  SaturdayMarine Parade GRC  & MacPherson SMC  and Mountbatten  SMCFrom 4pm: In front of Braddell  Heights CC  Basketball Court  and Sports ArenaLarge Floats: In  front of Blk 311,  along Eunos Link 
Community Floats: Carpark in front of  Blk 311, Ubi Ave 1
3 March 2024,  SundayPasir Ris-Punggol  GRC & Punggol  West SMCFrom 5pm: Carpark opposite  Downtown East  (Pasir Ris Close)One Punggol
9 March 2024,  Saturday West Coast GRC &  Pioneer SMCFrom 5pm: Carpark in front of  Telok Blangah CCAlong Jurong West  Street 91, beside  Blk 953

More information about Chingay@Heartlands can be found on Chingay’s official website, as well as Chingay’s official Facebook page and Instagram page.

Visuals courtesy of People’s Association.

Jeffrey Lee

A Singaporean raised abroad, you might want to see Jeffrey's different take on things — especially if you frequently find yourself swinging around a climbing gym or with a crossword in hand.

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