As preparations for Singapore Youth Festival Arts Presentation 2018 goes underway for the primary school bands, we had the chance to speak with ME4 Johnson Lee Kah Hee, who was commissioned to write the SYF set piece.
“I am truly honoured to be given this opportunity to write the set piece for 2018 SYF Arts Presentation. Having written and arranged many pieces for the concert band, and have them performed on National Day Parades and in concerts, I am glad that AEB has recognised my music, and engaged me to write the set piece,” Johnson said.
By naming the work ‘Dare to Dream‘, Johnson hopes that students will be brave and not limit themselves. He hopes that the young generation is inspired by his music to break new grounds and live their dreams.
“I thought that a march style would be an easy genre for the young musicians to understand. With a 8 bar introduction, the piece has a simple but punchy melody. There are several interesting lines for the Tuba section, and melodic lines for the lower brass, which modulates to the minor tonality to create some interesting colours. I have also included counterpoints and counter melodies, and have written in cue notes so that the piece can be played outdoors and indoors.”
“I definitely hope that my work will be played not only for the Arts Presentation, but also on other occasions, such as School Anniversary parades, National Day parades or even in school concerts,” he added.
Through his work, Johnson hopes that the students involved in the SYF Arts Presentation can learn something out of their music-making process. Students can get to play interesting rhythms, analyse the harmonic piece structure, and work together as a section, and across sections, to produce a good sound for the piece.
“Individually, students should take it as a challenge to overcome any technical difficulties, and practice to polish their skills as much as they can.”
“By working together as a team; encouraging one another and learning from each other, they can only get better each time. Everyone has a part to play in the band, and should perform the music up to the best of their ability. Most importantly, they should never give up!”