The CHIJ Katong Convent Concert Band returns to Limelight for their second concert, under the batons of conductors Sim Kim Seng and Ong Yeow Tong.

Despite its short history since being formed in 2010, the CHIJ Katong Convent Concert Band has won consecutive Gold awards at the biennial Singapore International Band Festival (SIBF) and the National Band Competition from 2012–2016; the Certificate of Distinction at the 2013 and 2015 Singapore Youth Festival Arts Presentation; and First Prize at the 2015 Singapore Clarinet Festival Ensemble Competition.

“I feel very fortunate to have been given the opportunity to perform another Limelight concert at the Esplanade Concert Hall. As a senior, it will be my second Limelight concert and I am very excited as I believe it will be the highlight of my 3-4 years with the KC Concert Band. At the same time, I am feeling nervous because this time, I will be leading my juniors through the performance. The band has been working very hard and we are very determined to do our best to deliver an unforgettable concert to our audience.

We will be playing some very unique pieces and familiar favourites such as pop songs and movie soundtracks. We are also performing the repertoire from our SYF ensemble pieces and a piece for piano solo with concert band. We would like to invite you to come with your family and friends!” said Caitlyn Szeto, Clarinet section leader.

The Band to me is like a second family. We went through thick and thin together and we shared both good moments and bad. I’m extremely excited and grateful that we manage to get this opportunity to perform at the Esplanade Concert Hall but that would be a bittersweet experience as that will be my last time performing with the whole band.

People should come and watch our concert as we have worked so hard, I’m sure they will not be disappointed with what they will hear on that day. Not only that, they have the opportunity to support the youth performing arts and I’m sure would leave a forever memory on the band members, seeing the amount of people coming to support them,” Band President, Natalie Chen shared.

In this upcoming concert, the band will present musically interesting and well written works for young band, of which, many are not frequently performed in Singapore.

“When selecting the repertoire, I look out for musically meaningful works that are suitable to the current level of development of our young musicians. In addition, this repertoire effectively develops the students’ concept of sound, phrasing and the sensibility needed for quality music making. One of our main objective during each rehearsal is to find ways to convey the composers’ musical intent convincingly as this is a showcase put up by a small band of 35 student musicians,” conductor Sim Kim Seng said.

Repertoire Highlights

Family Fugue by Timothy Loest: Inspired by Prokofiev’s Peter and the Wolf, this work is a fun instrumental opera for narrator and concert band. Blending prose with music, this piece tells the story of three children who learn a valuable lesson about playing music in harmony. This is programmed as a concert opener as it introduces the different families of band instruments to the audience.

The Red Balloon by Anne McGinty: An original composition based on a painting the composer saw just once. The painting showed a small child and a grandfather, facing away. The two people and the background was entirely white, but the only color in the painting was the red balloon held by the child. The music itself depicts the balloon floating in the air, and the work uses some intricate use of texture and harmony underneath a simple reoccurring melody. The band spent quite some time on this piece when they were preparing for SIBF last year – they always wonder and can only imagine, without any answer, what the grandfather and child in the picture were actually thinking and feeling.

Whirlwind by Jodie Blackshaw: This work was the unanimous winner of The Frank Ticheli Composition Contest. It uses some innovative composing techniques for developing musicians – the melodic material employs only four notes and is a wistful tune that appears as solos, in two-part canon and four-part canon throughout the piece. The composer has created an unusual and appealing soundscape that employs “home-made” instruments such as water-glass chimes, rattles and even corrugated plastic pipes that are spun by the player to generate the blustery atmosphere. This is a truly effective and unusual piece.

Dreamsong by Richard Saucedo: Written as a a lyrical piece for solo piano and concert band, it will feature a member of the band, Rene Lee on the piano. Mr Saucedo went to the school in 2014 for a workshop and his warmth, expertise and encouragement left a deep impression. It was one of the most memorable moment in the short history of the band and this is the very first time the band will be performing his work.

“The performance is a very important part of a musician’s learning process. In our band, I require all members to perform what they have learnt at least once to an audience. Limelight is an excellent platform for the ensemble to showcase what they have learnt for the past one year in a proper concert hall setting.

I am sure this would also be a memorable experience that they would cherish for years to come,” Mr Sim expressed.

Concert Details

Limelight 2017: CHIJ Katong Convent Concert Band

11 April (Tuesday)
Esplanade Concert Hall, 7.30pm

Tickets: $13 (excluding SISTIC fee)
Available from


Written By Editor

A contributing editor at TBP.