Pre SYF Exchange at PLMGS on April 1
Photo credits: THW
SYF Performance at SOTA on April 18
Photo credit: THW, Grace Ng
To be honest, I have never had any experience in choir before. As a new student to the school, I have many CCA options to choose from; however, I decided to choose choir because I want to challenge myself to do something totally different from what I usually do.
In my first choir practice, we were told about the Singapore Youth Festival Performance that our choir going to participate and that we only have less than 4 months to prepare for it. I did not feel much stress in term 1 because there wasn’t much schoolwork to do and the demands in choir was very manageable for me. However, as Mid-Year Exams approaching, schoolwork getting more stressful and I got sick frequently which affected much of my performance in the choir. I was thinking of dropping SYF to focus more on my studies. However, our choir conductor and teachers gave me a lot of support and motivation to carry on. Not to mention the understanding and encouraging that I got from my fellow choir members although I knew that I had frequently letting them down for the mistakes that I made during practices.
I am really glad that I persevered. In the actual SYFP, I can really fell that adrenaline went rushing down my veins as we sang our second song, Bushes and Briars. I would have never experienced it if I quit half way. I truly felt happy and a sense of achievement as we have overcome one of our biggest challenges yet as a family. I will always treasure this experience for what I have learned along the journey.
Even though I have only joined for five months, I am so surprised and fascinated by how much the choir has to offer to newcomers, especially foreign scholars like me. It was beyond my expectation how much we achieved and how well-organized every event we took part in this past semester. We got to watch a world-famous choir at a humongous concert hall, collaborated with our seniors from Vocal ACcord to performance a mini musical at the Founder’s Day Service, put on quite a marvelous show at Esplanade Concourse, to name a few, and as wild as it got, we even recorded our tracks at an established studio! Nonetheless, the best part was our wondrous performance at SOTA for SYFP. It was the fruit of months of restless training and perfecting our singing to the very bits. With all dedication and efforts, we learnt to suppress our stage fright, to break through our self-imposed limits, and to put up one performance after another as one unity. It was hard. But in the process, we learnt that there was no shortcut to perfection, we kept on trying and thriving nonstop because we knew ‘we have that sound’; like Mr. Low our instructor would encourage us. SYFP was not a mere competition to me, it became our unanimous goal that pulled all of us in choir closer together. It taught me to believe in the power of a family, be it in choir, or in class, or even in school. Unity can do magic, it needs not be spoken aloud, it just needs to be believed in. Because on the stage, all is heard is our voice, and the applause.
Duong Duc Minh 3.02
In Youthful Company, performance at Esplanade Concourse on April 25
Photo credit: Grace Ng
On the 25th of April, our choir was invited to perform at the Esplanade programme, In Youth Company. It was a week before our Mid-Year Examinations and most of us were both mentally and physically tired from the Singapore Youth Festival Performance. I don’t really know what to expect performing at Esplanade Concourse. When we were at the backstage, pictures of professional artists caught my attention. A sense of pride hit me as our choir was going to perform at Esplanade, an international platform showcasing the best of the arts, almost like the professional artists.
During our soundcheck, we encountered a few technical problems; however, our conductor, Mr. Low, was able to solve the problem on time so we could bring our best to the audience. Even though we were given a very short amount of time to finish our dinner and to prepare for our performance, we were more anxious and nervous about our performance. We don’t really know what to expect. Will the audience be satisfied with our performance? Are we doing our best? Will we be able to sustain our stamina for two sessions of half an hour of performance on a weekday evening? The time was 6:45 p.m., time for us to performance. One by one we went up the stage. There were not many audience, most of them were family members. Even though familiar faces were there, we were determined to give our best, to showcase our talents that gained us to a distinction at the Singapore Youth Festival Performance. To me, our performance at the Esplanade Concourse was a success.
Through this wonderful experience of performing at Esplanade, we learned that teamwork makes dream work. Crisis bound to happen during performances but with the guidance from our teachers and conductor and the team spirit of the choir, we could overcome whatever obstacles along the way. We want to thank God, without Whom our experiences, our friendships, and our achievements would not be actualized. To God be the glory, ACS (Independent) Choir’s Best Is Yet To Be!
Cheah Hao Yi 3.02
Performing Arts Night Festival 2017 on April 29
Photo credit: THW
Recording at Yong Siew Toh Conservatory of Music Recording Studio with Advent Music on May 23
Photo credit: THW
Beatbox Workshop with Charles Wong on May 18 & 25
Photo credit: THW
The beatbox workshop conducted by Mr. Charles Wong was something I thought was very enriching and a great opportunity for us to release our stress after the Mid-Year Exams. The workshop exposed us to things beyond what we usually know and helped us to develop skills that we wouldn’t be able to attain during normal lesson times. I was unable to join the first session due to sickness and I regretted it quite a bit. The instructor was very knowledgeable and engaging. The event also changed my perspective about our choir totally. When I first joined the choir, I had a very negative mindset. I thought that the choir would only be singing folk, traditional and classical songs. I was proven wrong, though. The beatbox workshop and other fun activities that we had this semester really made my school life much more enjoyable. I can see that choir teachers, conductor, and the committee really take the choir very seriously. They truly care for us and always strive to improve the standard of the choir. Other than our vocal skills and techniques, the choir teaches us very important life skills like teamwork and steadfastness as well. I am very thankful that I chose to join the choir because I truly believe that the choir is an excellent and wonderful CCA.
Timothy Jessen 3.15
We had a beatbox workshop in May that was long awaited for some of us. The two sessions workshop were led by professional beatboxer and instructor, Charles Wong. On the first session, we were taught all the basics skills in beatboxing, such as making the three main sounds: ‘b’, ‘t’, and ‘k’. As we were attentively listening to his explanations, the lesson started to get more and more sophisticated. The instructor started to teach us how to make sounds that are unique and catchy with the techniques that he taught us altogether. I was totally amazed by it. At the end of the lesson, eight of us were chosen to battle each other with the skills that we learned on the first session. After a few rounds of friendly battles, two of the candidates managed to be in the finals and they tried their best to deliver the skills to impress the rest of the choir. As we were cheering upon the tight battle, one of our friend emerged to victory and won the battle. We truly had a good time on that day. On the 2nd session, we were trained to perform as a group for our own upcoming performance. Charles gave us tips on how to perform beatboxing in front of the audience, such as ways to hold the mic, facial expression, and strategies on how to win over the crowd.
This workshop has enriched me with a vast knowledge which I have never known earlier. I am very thankful to have the opportunities to try many different things in choir and beatboxing is just one of them.
Samuel Oscar 3.05