Splash of Sound: A Band Concert Review

Don’t miss our review of the Red Dot concert, the latest collaboration between EJC Symphonic Band and the Philharmonic Youth!

Written by: Dillon Phang (19-I4), Lee Keng Yan (19-U1), Aloysius Tng (19-U4)

Designed by: Jo Yeoul (19-A2)

As the sun set on the Singapore River, two bands ascended Esplanade’s Outdoor Theatre as one. EJC Symphonic Band, together with the Philharmonic Youth, took to the stage on 10th August, and produced yet another magical night, full of nostalgia and promises.


A wide array of uniquely Singaporean songs were performed over three sets of performances. Each set varied a little from the others, giving the audience a unique experience in each one.  They performed a Xinyao Medley, a mix of popular Xinyao classics to create a beautiful piece exemplifying the beauty of Xinyao songs.  The songs used in their own rendition contained the songs 细水长流, 你是我的唯, 人生如梦,说时依旧,恋之憇 and 我们这一班. Upbeat, smooth and evocative of the long Chinese tradition, woodwinds and percussion were featured prominently in this song and created something undoubtedly Singaporean. Other hit Chinese songs such as 小人物的心声 and 城里的月光 were also performed, the former featuring Mr Ralph Lim as a clarinet soloist, while the latter featured EJC Band president Leslie Yip, with a saxophone solo. Both improvised, with Leslie mixing the McDonalds theme song into his solo while Mr Lim played Careless Whisper, a popular song by Wham! Both put up spectacular performances, if the audience’s standing ovation at the end of their songs had anything to say. Bunga Sayang or “Flower of the Heart”, another classic composed by Dick Lee, was also played, being one of the few performed across all three sets. It has a gentle melody which fills one with nostalgia, and despite being an old song, still remains popular today and had been reinvented for SG50 and starred in Mediacorp’s new television series, Fried Rice Paradise. Several of the most memorable National Day Parade Theme songs were also played, including Stand Up for Singapore by Hugh Harrison, Where I Belong by Tanya Chua, and We Will Get There by Stefanie Sun, each from the years 1984, 2001, and 2002, respectively. 

These songs are among some of the most renowned NDP songs and has become a staple for every national day. Reminiscent of the early days of Singapore and the long, hard road to success, EJC Band perfectly captured this enduring spirit in their performance. At the finale of the performance, the band performed Home, by Kit Chan, the NDP theme song of 1998. The crowd sang along, while waving their flash on their phones to the tune. The scene was simply amazing, to see everyone in the crowd joining in along to the song we all know and love. We were enthralled by the performance, and the passion of the crowd. 


After that night of music, we approached the aforementioned Leslie Yip (19-I4), who featured in the performance for his thoughts about the experience. 


“It was an honour to work with such a wonderful group of musicians from Phil(harmonics) Youth!” The Band president profused when asked about their collaboration with the more experienced group of musicians. He felt that the Symphonic Band had learnt a lot from their time together, from their initial meeting, preparation, and then performance as one unit.  With regards to Mr Lionel Lye’s participation, the saxophonist recalled his initial surprise upon learning the current Acting Dean of JC1’s proficiency with the saxophone, and expressed his gratitude towards Mr Lye’s support in playing alongside the Band.


The Esplanade Outdoor Theatre was a new stage in more ways than one for the Symphonic Band. “This was our first external performance without our seniors around, so it was definitely challenging.” Leslie commented. Yet the Symphonic Band stepped up, and showed no signs of hesitation even in front of the unfamiliar public audience. The Band President was evidently quite proud of this, especially since the Band had an incredibly short time to prepare for this milestone event. Even the less experienced musicians, he felt, had pushed through the challenge with pride and determination, displaying great competency in the performance. For him, the Band has once again proven itself a place he is proud to call home.


This time, the Band took one step further into the public eye. We continue to listen eagerly for their future performances, and for the splash they’ll make on the local scene. Happy National Day, Happy belated 54th birthday Singapore! “This is home, truly”. 

Light the Way: Kaleidoscope

To conclude our college day series, the Origin* proudly presents Light the Way: Kaleidoscope!

Written by Aloysius Tng (19-U4), Athena Lim (19-A4), Dillon Phang (19-I4), Lee Keng Yan (19-U1)

Designed by Athena Lim (19-A4)

Interviewer: Athena Lim (19-A4)

Photographs by: Ang Wei Ning, Asher Tan, Goh Jun Xuan, Lee Shao Yeap, Yau Yu Hao from EJ Media

Five torches came together to create a resplendent light, a majestic performance as one Eunoia. The Performing Arts CCAs truly outdid themselves.

On 11th May, Eunoia Junior College saw our third College Day, at the University Cultural Centre (UCC). The ceremony itself began at 4pm in the afternoon, the proceedings graced by the guest of honour Mr Christopher de Souza, the school administrative board, and of course the freshly minted alumnus. As the next batch of Eunoians looked on, the alumnus received their due awards, Eunoia Shining on a much grander stage. But the true highlight was arguably the performance that came after, showcasing all five of our Performing Arts CCAs: Chinese Orchestra, Symphonic Band, Dance, Drama and Choir. They came together both onstage, to present a performance that wowed the audience, and offstage.

Right before the start of the concert, our interviewer, Athena Lim, met with Arethea Lim (18-U2) from Drama, Lim Yuling (18-A1) from CO, Karis Goh (18-A3) from Choir, Rachel Lim (18-I3) from Dance, and Leslie Yip(19-I4) from Band, representatives from each CCA to find out more about their thoughts before the performance and to uncover the long road each CCA travelled to finally reach here.

The performance certainly contained several unforgettable moments, for the audience and for the performers themselves. When asked about her favourite part of the performance, Rachel from Dance said “My favourite part of the dance performance is the mass jump, where all the J1’s,  J2’s and the teachers are dancing together.” She felt that it was in this moment where she could feel the interconnectedness in every dancer, teacher and student alike, and this interconnectedness is what she had hoped to bring to the audience through her dance. Karis, on the other hand, said her favourite moment was the curtain call. That moment, when all the performers and stage hands came together as one family, was to her the most heartening and memorable moment, which she hopes everyone will keep close to their hearts.

Light the Way certainly held a lot of meaning to the CCAs who had to ensure that their performances fit the theme of the concert. While Leslie felt that their performance items did not link to the theme directly, he certainly felt that the process leading up to the performance did, with every member having the determination and perseverance to push through, his claim that it “really embodie(d) how we push(ed) through despite all the hardships to light the way”. Karis concurred, feeling that it was the process that mattered as they were a small orchestra and had to push themselves and persevere to the very end.

To many of them, this performance also offered a kind of closure, as it would be the last time that both batches would be performing together before the J2’s start preparing for their ‘A’ levels. Yuling also wished to convey a feeling of inspiration to the audience as this College Day did not come easy to all the Performing Arts groups, and hopes the audience will know how much this performance means to each and every performing arts CCA. Despite being a relatively new junior college, she wants to put Eunoia and Eunoians on the stage, and was extremely proud of how far they’d come. Leslie agreed with this, wanting to prove that Eunoia is more than able to stand, even though it is a new school.

She also hoped that the audience will be able to be engaged in the performance and receive the emotions of the pieces. With how much hard work the orchestra has put in over several months, she hopes that the audience can see the fruits of their hard work and appreciate the performance.

Karis mentions that the favourite piece she performed was O Sapientia. One reason was because of the sentimental value within this piece, as the very last piece she performed after her 10 year journey in Choir. It is also a very unique piece as it involves percussion noises on top of singing. She says, “We have parts where our hands will be clapping or shuffling to make percussive noises to add to the music, and it adds a lot to the mood and meaning of the song.”

Before we concluded the interview, we asked them how they felt about working together in one performance. To them, it was a once in a lifetime opportunity to be able to work together, in one common setting, with so many other performers and performing groups. This performance provided them with a platform to showcase to the rest of the school their hard work and passion, and possibly for them to show greater appreciation for the Performing Arts.

Though the day has passed, the performers truly did Light the Way. Blazing the trail for their juniors, their contributions and their day in the spotlight will never be forgotten.

To everyone who came down to UCC to support your fellow Eunoians, thank you! See you at next year’s College Day!

30 Second Reviews – Band Fiesta

Beginning this segment of 30s Reviews…

A mundane evening in the botanical gardens was transformed by a resounding performance by the EJC symphonic band. Within the span of 2 hours, park-goers basking on the lawn by the Shaw Symphony stage, were treated to classic pop hits like Ed Sheeran’s Shape of You and a medley of Taylor Swift classics from her 1989 album. Conducted by the experienced maestro Adrian Chiang, the band, although consisting of many first-timers, pulled off an undeniably mesmerising performance. From the jovial upbeat pace of Shape of You, the groovy beat of Despacito, to the seamless transitions between Blank Space and Shake It Off, the performance was worthy of a standing ovation. Although marred by technical inadequacies of the speakers, the evening was a pleasant end to a hectic week.

Grace Marie Yeh


CCA in the Spotlight – Symphonic Band

(Photo credit: Mr Marc Kenji Lim)

Hi all!

Have you ever thought about joining a musical CCA – Sharring the stage and making music with like-minded peers? Next up we have…

CCA: Symphonic Band

Interviewee: Brian Wong

Interviewer: Austin Wang

Brian Wong is EJ Symphonic Band’s percussionist. With a radiant smile and a hidden reserve, Brian never fails to charm those around him. As a pioneer member of the band, he speaks to us about his year in the CCA.

What do you do during CCA?

During CCA time, I usually spend the time going through the pieces and practicing my parts. On Wednesdays, we have tutorials, where an external tutor will come down to our school and we will work together to improve our skills. During sectionals, we will work on our parts so our combined rehearsals will go more smoothly. On Thursdays, we have combined rehearsals, where all the sections will come together and practice our pieces together.

 What do you enjoy most about your CCA?

I think what I enjoy most about CCA is interacting with my section mates and performing together. I look forward to CCA sessions and meeting my friends, where we can catch up with each other and break the monotony on school life. My section mates are also what keeps me motivated to come to CCA, and make band life more pleasant.

 What are some troubles you encountered in your CCA and how did you overcome them?

One of the problems encountered was that I was an inexperienced member when I first joined band, and it meant having to learn how to play the instruments properly before our SYF, which was in April 2017. To learn the instrument in around 4 months was no easy task, but our section leader Keane helped us a lot and we made the effort to attend practice every morning the week before SYF to ensure we can master our instruments and put up a good performance for SYF.

 As seniors, you will be holding auditions for the juniors, so what is your CCA looking for in prospective members?

Experienced players are one aspect we look for but we also accept people who are keen on exploring and learning new instruments and those who have a genuine interest in music.

 What do you think is a highlight for your CCA last year?

While many people might say SYF was a highlight, I personally feel that the Celebrate December Concert was the highlight for me. The whole band performed for the performance, and we managed to prove that our band is up to standards with other more well-established band, such as the one from VJ. It was also a really tough performance for many of us, as it was the first time we had to perform for such a long time. Nonetheless, I felt that we put up a superb performance that night for both shows and the performance will remain one of the year’s highlights for me.

What comes to mind when people talk about Symphonic Bands? Perhaps it’s the lively composition of brass and winds and percussion? Or perhaps it’s an awe-inspiring and unifying concert brought together by talents of all musical backgrounds? Whatever it may be, the EJ Symphonic Band is a CCA you should most definitely consider if you are interested in music!