Rachel Chong

Band Major
Ang Mo Kio Secondary School Symphonic Band

I started my journey as a flutist with the AMKSS band in 2016, after joining the school through the Direct School Admission (DSA) Exercise. I applied through the DSA because I had heard much about the band’s excellent reputation.

The first few months were very tough as I tried to adjust to the rigorous practice regime and over time got used to it. And over the next 3 years and 4 months, I have experienced both adversity and joy, and gained many unforgettable memories, both good and bad.

In Secondary 3, I was appointed to the positions of Section Leader and then Band Major. I faced many difficulties and challenges due to the pressure of being a leader and the many tasks and responsibilities that came with these roles. Fortunately, I had the support of the executive committee, teachers, my conductors, and the whole band. The close friendships that I made in the band gave me strength to push through the difficult times, and allowed me to enjoy and look forward to coming for daily practices.

AMKSS band had given me the opportunity to take part in many different performances, such as the Junior Band Festival in 2016, the Victoria Concert Hall performance in 2017, the National Day performance @ the Istana and the Night Festival at Dhoby Ghaut in 2018, and 2 Limelights’ events held at The Esplanade in 2017 and 2019, just to list a few. I also had the privilege to participate in the Singapore Youth Festival (SYF) when I was in Secondary 2 and Secondary 4, where we attained the coveted Certificate of Distinction for both years.

Although the training for the concerts and for the SYF was very tough and required me to sacrifice a lot of my time at band practices, the end result of performing in front of a live audience, and being able to immerse them with our music made all the sacrifices worth it, and was the best reward that I could have asked for.

Being in the band has taught me many values, such as total commitment, responsibility, resilience and teamwork, that I know will be useful in helping me through life. Now, after graduating, I can look back on this journey with no regrets, and leave with many good memories and lasting friendships.

Would I do this all over again if I had the chance? Most definitely!