Nur Fatihah

Quarter Mistress 2018-2019
Tampines Secondary School Concert Band

Unlike many other people in band, band was never my first choice. To me, I thought it was scary to be part of a band at first. I didn’t know a single thing about how to play an instrument. All I knew was when you blew air into it, you create sound and that’s about it.

When I first joined in 2016, I was scared of how to play an instrument, how to read the scores and how to read the conductor’s conducting. I was afraid that I was unable to play the instrument the way I was supposed to, and how I should master it quickly.

I happened to be on leave from band due to a surgery, and I had seniors who constantly tried to convince me to attend band practices. Their efforts did not pay off, as I still went on with my decision not to attend them.

2017 came, which meant it was finally time for SYF. I was panicked at how I would not be able to catch-up with the band’s progress as I was far way behind. I had really strict seniors who pushed me to strive towards being the best. As a saxophonist, it was not easy trying to learn how to tongue fast up till today. It was also not easy to coordinate my fingers and eyes together along with the tempo.

Throughout the SYF 2017 journey, I learned how effort and determination play an important role in making sounds turn out great and impactful. Under the baton of our great conductor, Mr Joseph Teo, he has helped the band in many ways to improve the band. We may be a small sized band, but it does not mean that our quality would be low. Many of our seniors tried their best to get the band as together as possible. We also faced many ups and downs together as a whole band. It was definitely difficult as we had issues with our own members and difficulties in playing our own parts of the pieces.

At that point, all we cared was how we were going to perform on the day itself. We prayed for the best to happen, and that hopefully our efforts would be paid off. And it really did, with a Distinction for SYF 2017! That year, we were so involved with many performances like the Our Tampines Hub opening cum National Day performance, and another at West Mall. It made us experienced how hard we had to work to put up a good performance for the public.

Fast forward to 2019, which was another SYF year. This time, we faced even more challenges than we had the past years. We had an issue with the band size, the bonds between members, and also our desires to do well for the band. It was difficult when some people did not want to co-operate as everybody play an important role in the band. We really wanted to do our best and put in our best effort. It was as if the band was on a roller coaster, with happy times along with sad ones. We worked hard to attend all the extra practices, and tried our very best to put on a good performance during the SYF. 

With great anticipation, we waited for our desired result which we have been aiming for. It was at first disappointing to get an Accomplishment after getting Distinction the past few SYFs. However, I learned that every band has their own ups and downs, and not everything will possibly go our own way. We took it rather positively even though we did not meet our goal. We enjoyed the memories that we can vividly remember after all the tough times we have been through. We cherished every memory we had as a band, such as our sleepovers before SYF day and our night practices. Even after all those tiring practices, we never dreaded band. We can be serious, but we can also have fun! 

I would like to thank all teachers that played such an important role, the ones who organised our events and the ones who has always been there for us since the very beginning. Not only that, our main conductor, Mr Joseph Teo, our assistant conductor, Mr Brian Theodore Lim, our tutors and of course, Mr Adrian Chiang for guiding us through this whole SYF journey and always pushing us forward, not giving up on us. It was never an easy one, but we have all learned so much from this journey.

We hope to come back stronger than we have ever been!