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!