My SYF Experience: Vera Lam

Vera Lam Kai Ting
Clarinet / Pei Hwa Secondary School Symphonic Band

SYF 2013

The clock was ticking fast, the days left to SYF was numbered. Then, I was only a Secondary Two student and had no experience with SYF before. I was a nervous wreck and did not know what to expect or how I would be able to play my choice piece and set piece smoothly without panicking. The hours for band practice in my school was indeed not enough to achieve a distinction In SYF easily- this meant that I had to work harder. As the seniors had started learning the choice piece earlier than us, I had to work harder to catch up and also, in order not to disappoint them.

A few weeks before SYF, band sessions were very stressful. Nonetheless, I still enjoyed making music with the people whom shared a common interest with me. As compared to the other schools, our band seemed so meek, so small. Few thought that we would even make it to get a certificate of accomplishment. I couldn’t wait to prove these people wrong-that the band could do it, and that the band would achieve an award even higher than distinction.

With the towering piles of assignments and commitment I had to put in weeks before SYF, it was really a tough period and I thought of giving up. However, my passion for music made me realize that no matter the outcome, I should enjoy myself on that stage and do my best- without any regrets. With the support of my seniors and conductor, we managed to polish the parts we lacked precision in during the last two weeks to SYF. It was so heartwarming to see the band preparing and striving towards a common goal as one. It will definitely be one of the things about band I would always remember even after I graduate from the band.

On the day of the competition, everyone was nervous and scared. With the encouragement of the band teachers, conductors and alumni of the band, we felt less tense and more enthusiastic to put up a good performance. At the conference hall, the tension was so thick a knife could slice through it. Everyone however, maintained a calm composure and focused during the entire course of the tuning session we had. It was then time to face our biggest fears.

While walking up the stage, my eyes felt dazed by the shocking stage lights. The lights shined solely on the stage, whilst the stalls were pitch black. During the entire course of the set and choice piece, I could not help but feel that the band had come so far and was so proud of the band. Even if we were not to get a distinction, We tried our best and that’s all that really mattered.

As our band was one of the last fee bands before the SYF results were released, we didnt have to wait long to find out on how well we did. When the results of our distinction came about, I was more than estatic! Our hard work finally paid off! All those long hours of practicing definitely wasnt put to waste.

So here is my message to all those people whom are participating in this year’s SYF. Do not ever give up and always remember, use your passion for music to move people!

Good luck and all the best for this year’s SYF!

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