Tan Jia Xin Calista

Bedok South Secondary School Symphonic Band

The music soared through the air, encompassing the whole theatre. Then, after the crescendo, we tongued the last three notes with all our might, our breath stolen from our bodies. It was a shared journey that held us mesmerised in enchanting silence.

There was thunderous applause and our conductor took a bow as we left the theatre with huge and accomplished smiles on our faces. However, things were not always so smooth-sailing.

Firstly, we had a change of conductors at the start of the year. Many of us could not adapt to a different conducting style as fast as we expected to. There were many changes to the techniques taught and our band had to quickly pick them up only a few months before the Singapore Youth Festival (SYF).

We are also a relatively small (size-wise) band. As some key members could not come for every training due to other commitments, the piece just did not sound right and complete without them. We had to ensure that every single one of us turned up for band practices, and made many sacrifices to make band our utmost priority.

Despite the all of these challenges, we still managed to put up a good performance on the competition day itself. We had a tough time trying to overcome these obstacles, and the process of failing and trying again was exceptionally arduous, but the end result was worth it.

SYF did not just bring us a certificate to flaunt our achievements, but it also taught us the value of hard work, embracing change and most importantly, working together with our peers and conductors as a band.

As the Bedok South Symphonic Band motto says, “In music, we believe”. For us to have believed in the music, it was ourselves that we believed in first.