Marching Bands; The Journey Within is documentary produced and directed by Asyraf Osman in 2013 as part of his Final Year Project for his Diploma in Design & Media with the Nanyang Academy of Fine Arts (NAFA), majoring in Video Production.
The 16 minutes film seeks to explore the depths of the Marching Band scene, and enforce a greater understanding of this band program for students and parents, in hopes of retaining the dying tradition in Singapore.
As Asyraf puts it,
This idea of producing this particular documentary came about because of my passion towards the art of marching band. Saddened by it’s declining numbers, I wanted to create an awareness on this particular form of art. I myself was from a marching band; Ping Yi Marching Band under the baton of Mr Kenrick Poh. I marched years 2004-2007 and have been actively involved since then till present day. Something about it just captures my heart since 11 years ago – the sights, the sounds and the feeling of being in a marching band.
Although trainings can be tough, I really enjoyed it because the people that I go through it with makes it really enjoyable. Even after practices, we would still hang out. We can never get enough of each other. What I also loved about this activity was that intense fighting spirit that we all had to achieve that common goal at the end of it. That was what kept us going and pushing us to our limits every single practice. I could still remember fondly that feeling when I was a student, the moment our buses reached the National Stadium during SYF, the sounds of big strong award-winning bands rehearsing really scared a small neighbourhood band like mine. Our hearts pumped hard but we were always reminded to not fear them and to focus.
Being in a marching band had definitely affected me tremendously in my life. If not for band, I would not have been able to garner all the skills I have today, not just musically but also beneficial in life. Throughout my journey, I’ve learnt to manage my time well and not to do things half-heartedly. I’ve grown to like that feeling of being on top and even when I lose out, I strive to be better the next time. Not only that, band had also shaped me to be a leader. To take charge and lead a large group of people being it when I was in band or since I graduated had made me a much more confident person as compared to before and being in band had definitely contributed much to that.
With that, I don’t see why marching bands should decline in numbers given the benefits that it gives to an individual. In fact, there should be a growing number in the marching band scene and I hope that in the near future, more schools would take up this form of art and may the marching band scene in Singapore grow and be able to match the international standards one day.
A contributing editor at TBP.