Amber Lim

Euphonium Player
St. Margaret’s Secondary School Symphonic Band

My band journey thus far has been filled with a number of significant milestones along the way, but something particularly memorable for me was the preparation for SYF.

Initially, everyone was starting to get anxious because we felt unprepared. Our set piece, Festival On Earth, and our choice piece, Aurora Borealis, was only just starting to take shape. Upon hearing these comments, some of us felt discouraged but we were motivated to work even harder for the upcoming performances, such as our parents preview and our band exchange.

During the march holidays, our band had a severe bout of HFMD. At the start of the week, we had one person who was ill, before it quickly escalated into more than ten people who were under observation. This meant that we not only had many missing players, but our other bandmates also ran a risk of contracting the disease as well. We had to cancel a full day’s practice in order for us to come back and disinfect the instruments and the band room.

Thankfully, there were devoted band mates who took the time off to do so. I was also very grateful to our conductor, Mr Alvin, because he came back to help us despite having a school to go to later in the day. Even though some of us were worried about contracting HFMD, I saw more people come back for self-practice in order to make up for lost time. It was very heartwarming to see everyone so hardworking and we even learnt to grow closer as a team.

Before we went to the Singapore Conference Hall, we had two hours worth of practice for us to tidy up our two pieces. However, we stopped our practice after an hour because we had finally played with such emotion and musicality! The only reason why we were able to sound like that was solely because we didn’t play to get the Certificate of Distinction, but we played with the intention of touching someone’s heart through our music.

Through all the setbacks that we’ve had in preparation for our SYF, our band managed to bond over this event as well as work harder together to achieve our common goal. I’m comforted by the fact that I have a second family to rely on and be supported by. When we build each other up and encourage each other, we can then be able to overcome our challenges together.

As a result, we are proud to have achieved the Certificate of Distinction for SYF 2019!