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!

Light the Way: Many Noteworthy Voices, One Perfect Harmony

EJ Choir never fails to surprise and enchant us with their voices. In this article, the Origin* takes an exclusive look behind the scenes of EJ Choir and their journey towards the final show.

Written by: Beverly Tan (19-E3), Li Xin Rong (19-I4), Sit Jie Ren (19-I4)

Designed by: Athena Lim (19-A4)

Photograph taken by: Jacey Teoh (18-E1)

EJ Choir’s melodious voices are usually reserved for the competitive season, namely the Singapore Youth Festival (SYF), which has just passed. After clinching a ‘Distinction’ for SYF a few weeks ago, EJ Choir is gearing up once again for the upcoming ‘Light the Way’ concert on 11th May 2019. More of the student body will be able to hear their unique performances, many for the first time. Their journey continues, a cycle which has been fraught with challenges but is now bearing the fruits of their labour.

On a balmy Monday morning, the three of us interviewed Gabrielle Joly Lee (19-A3), Gabriel Tan (19-A4) and Gaston Liew (19-A2), three J1 members from EJ Choir.

For starters, we asked them how they practiced, and whether or not they practiced at home. “Normally we practise at MEP Room 1 and our practice days are on Tuesdays and Fridays, from 4.30pm to 7.30pm”, says Joly. According to Gabriel, the Choir members “send themselves recordings of themselves singing to listen on the go”. To quote Gaston, while “practice was encouraged, it was not enforced”. Taking into account that the Choir members have their own hectic schedules to deal with, it may be difficult to find time to practise, especially with looming deadlines and numerous CA tests.

It was no doubt that the days leading to the College Day performance have been fraught with challenges; juggling multiple commitments in their hectic JC lives while maintaining the quality of their practice is just one of them. According to Joly, “time constraints, especially because the College Day performance is near lecture tests like the economics lecture test” was an issue majority of the Choir members faced. In addition, they had to be more conscious of their diet and consume less fried and spicy food in order to preserve their voices for the final show. Gaston cited the inconsistency during practice sessions as a challenge because “one practice may be good but another may not be as good as the previous one”. This is to be expected as the different hours of each school day leaves them at varying levels of lethargy, which would affect their vocal performance. It is indeed a mean feat for the Choir members to ensure their voices are in the best condition for practices and the eventual performance, all while juggling their personal commitments.

Upon asking what they would be performing on College Day, and whether or not they would be keeping it a secret, the three of them shared conspiratorial smiles, but still shared it with us. The 2 songs they will be singing are ‘My Love Dwelt in a Northern Land’ and ‘O Sapientia’.

“My Love Dwelt in a Northern Land” is a choral piece composed by Edward Elgar, an English composer. Hauntingly beautiful and enthralling, it tells the tale of the separation of two lovers, hinting at the possible death of one of them in war. ‘O Sapientia’ translates to ‘of wisdom’ in Latin. It is an old piece that was one of the Great O Antiphons, taking the form of short chants that were once recited as part of liturgical tradition. Gaston further elaborates that the “two songs are very contrasting pieces in the way they sound, having different musical textures and it would be interesting to listen to two very different songs”. The presentation will be a unique one, with the different languages they are chorusing in and the different emotions they would inspire.

In all, there is no particular theme for Choir’s performance, although it will follow the theme set by the name of the College Day Concert, “Light the Way” .

Last but not least, we rounded up our interview with the hackneyed question, “What does Choir mean to you?”

To Joly, EJ Choir is like a family; a place where she knows none of her friends would judge her and where due acknowledgement is given. “It’s just like how you always look forward to see your closest friends or your family after a long day,” she said with little hesitation, “This is one of the reasons that I am motivated to do my best for Choir.” Gabriel adds on that even when they are not practicing, they still spend time together, be it playing badminton together or chatting online. “Sometimes, when we stay in school, we just chill or study together. I think Choir has really brought us together.” Finally, Gaston shares that they enjoy singing and creating music together. “It’s quite a beautiful thing because everyone matters in creating the sound they create,” referring to the overall melody that is strung together to form a masterpiece they can be proud of.

The sentiment is bracing and sincere, leaving little room to question their strong bond. By performing as one heart, one mind, we are sure that EJ Choir will put up a captivating show on College Day. Press would like to wish Choir the best of luck for their concert and we certainly look forward to watching their performance on the 11th of May.  

CCA in the Spotlight – Choir

只许成功,不许失败. Read more about the Choir CCA and what the J1s think about it here!

What was your first impression of the CCA?
Qing Fong: When I first met the choir, they were very formal and attentive and yet, still friendly towards the juniors.

Charissa: The people in the CCA seemed really serious about what they are doing. The CCA looked decent but I was overwhelmed by the very formal behaviour of the members.
What made you decide to join your current CCA?
Qing Fong: Honestly I thought that joining the choir would be fun and learning how to sing would be neat 🙂

Charissa: I joined it as I have experience in my secondary school.
What do you enjoy most about your CCA?
Qing Fong: I enjoy the fact that I can goof around and have fun with my section mates. They make choir practices very fun.

Charissa: I like that I can learn more about singing techniques and I enjoy performing in a group.
What is one essential quality a person must possess to join this CCA?
Qing Fong: Determination. It doesn’t seem like it but anyone from a performing art would know that practices can get very intense and tiring. One must always be prepared to spend a lot of time practicing, which is really mentally exhausting if your CCA is serious.

Charissa: People who are experienced in music.