United by their love for music | The A List
Joel Ow, Josh Lee and Jovan Lee are members of Novo Winds, a non-profit community band that organises charity concerts as well as provide outreach to secondary schools. (Photo: Novo Winds)

United by their love for music | The A List

Musicians from the local community band Novo Winds lead a double life. Like many characters in superhero films, they mostly have day jobs outside of the arts but come nightfall, they turn into music marvels.

They practice hard, spend time mentoring young music-makers in school, and stage charity concerts. It is perhaps fitting then, that the band, formed in 2010 and supported by the Toa Payoh South Community Club, will be serenading audiences with superhero film soundtracks at their upcoming performance, Heroes! LIVE, at the Esplanade.

What makes Novo Winds members juggle the demands of a full-time job, sometimes struggle to make band practice, and still not give up on their double life? For member Joel Ow, it is an enduring love for music and sharing it with others.

A chef by day, Ow, 21, trades his apron and knives for a tux and trombone come evening, to perform with Novo Winds. He picked up the instrument in secondary school and continued to perform with the Singapore Armed Forces Band during National Service. Now, he dedicates up to two hours every day to practice on his trombone, even after a long day toiling away in the kitchen.

He says: “Music to me is a way of pushing the limits of what I can do.”

For band member Jovan Lee, 21, who works in military intelligence and plays the French horn, the discipline of his profession bleeds into his passion for music. Discipline, on the other hand, was something fellow member and financial consultant Josh Lee, 23, struggled with, until he picked up the tuba.

He says: “Having typical Singaporean parents, I was sent to music schools at a very young age to learn piano, guitar, and other instruments, but I never had the discipline to hone my skills in one instrument, until I picked up the tuba when I was 13.”

His double life fascinates colleagues in the financial industry and they often show up at Novo Winds concerts to support him. He is grateful for the audience’s applause but what keeps him going is not fame, it is passion; just like it is with superheroes.

Details about Heroes! LIVE here.

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