Bandemeer: A Fruitful Band Journey

Adrian Tan

Flautist
Public Relations Officer (2018-2019)
Bendemeer Secondary School Concert Band

When I joined Bendemeer Secondary School in 2016, it did not seem like an ideal choice as I thought I did not have the adequate foundation for it. I was glad to be proven wrong. I decided to join the band as the members then were very enthusiastic in recruiting new members! Over the last 4 years, my band journey was definitely not smooth as many may think, it took much blood, sweat and tears for me to reach where I am today.

During the first few weeks of band, I was changed from flute to trumpet. However, I knew my passion was in flute and did my best to persuade the teachers and instructors to allow me to stick to learning the flute. With newfound confidence and hard work, I started to get better at the flute and rose to the main band quickly.

However, after joining the main band in the 3rd quarter of the year, I had a culture shock. The pace of practice in the main band was entirely different from junior band. I found myself struggling as the band was preparing for 2017 SYF as well as Hong Kong Winter Band Festival. There were many pieces to practice for the competition and performances at the Hong Kong Disneyland, which were challenging for me as a Secondary 2 student.

To ensure that I could play to the best of my abilities, I spent the holidays practicing scales, running notes, and rhythm. I found this exceptionally difficult as I had to do this within a span of one to two month. While we did not bring back a gold medal at the Hong Kong Winter Band Festival, my hard work definitely paid off as the band showcased different music which were well received by audiences. This will definitely be one of the memorable highlights in my journey with the band.

As soon as we returned from Hong Kong, we started practicing for 2017 SYF Arts Presentation. Our choice piece was Primavera – Beautiful Mountain Winds by Satoshi Yagisawa. The band worked hard to ensure that every detail was to be spot on. It was my first SYF with Bandemeer and I went with my heart all pounding. The long practice hours as well as sectionals were made worth it when we finally manage to achieve the Certificate of Distinction for the first time, 40 years after the beginning of the band. Bringing this Distinction home to school made me felt so proud of the band and gave me the motivation to work even harder!

In 2017, the band also performed along with Tampines Secondary School Band for the Opening Ceremony of Tampines Hub cum National Day. Despite the drizzle, we continued performing in the open area, and it was certainly an interesting experience for us, as we played under the rain while trying to protect our instrument and scores as well!

In 2018, the Exco result was released and I was appointed the Section Leader as well as Public Relationship Officer! With this role, I had to promote the band and update our social media. For most performances, I had to record, edit and finally post updates on our Instagram and Youtube (@Bandemeer)! While there were not many requirements for this role, you just have to have passion for it, because it is hard to do a good job with passion!

2018 was also an eventful year for Bandemeer as we had our 2nd Limelight performance at the Esplanade Concert Hall. I was so nervous for the concert as I had many solos for it, but with encouragement from the band, I managed to pull through them with confidence! When our last note ended, the clapping went on continuously and audiences were asking for encore. I was deeply touched as it showed that our hard work had paid off and they enjoyed our performance and wanted more! In August, we were invited to perform for the National Day Observance Ceremony at the Ministry of Education Headquarters where we performed local tunes to the staff working there.

In 2019, I took part in the SYF Arts Presentation again, leading my section this time round. I was unable to settle my heart for the results day as I was not confident of achieving the Certification of Distinction. A few weeks before SYF, we were definitely not ready for SYF. However, with unending help from our instructors, tutors and teachers, who continued to encourage us, we worked harder to make sure we performed our best on stage. When the results were released and I found out that we managed to maintain our Distinction, I was overwhelmed with emotions and cried tears of joy.

My time in Bandemeer was fruitful and all these could not have happened without our conductor Mr Joseph Teo, who endlessly helped the band and patiently guided us throughout my 4 years in the school!

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