EJC Symphonic Band: Building Camaraderie through Music

Chang Aik Chuan

Percussionist
President
Eunoia Junior College Symphonic Band

EJC Symphonic Band has had an extraordinary journey leading up to SYF.

Back in 2018, a majority of our JC2 batch had no experience playing an instrument in Band. For half of the year, our batch was separated into two main groups; the experienced players who stayed in the band room running through pop pieces, and inexperienced players who spent their time working on their fundamentals. Everyone was uncertain of our future, and our conductor Mr Adrian Chiang even floated the possibility of choosing not to attend SYF at all.

This year, our JC1 members were welcomed to the family in late February. By this time, we had already committed to attending SYF, and wasted no time in preparing for our performance in May. We cycled through several potential choice pieces before finally settling on “Sea of Wisdom”, which was by no means an easy piece for us to learn. With little time left, how would we even be performance-ready by the time SYF comes around?

Nonetheless, we never gave up and continued pushing the band every practice. In every opportunity we had, we would either be reminding each other to practice, or be practising ourselves. We also came up with many ways to boost morale in the weeks leading up to SYF. Food was by far the firm favourite, and the Exco often distributed tidbits and snacks to band members after the end of combined, even managing to create a makeshift chocolate fondue one evening. Gradually, resignation turned into determination and we were all fixated on getting the band to sound its best.

From this journey, the most valuable experience that we have gained are the friendships and bonds that we made along the way. All these early mornings, long evenings and late dinners spent together have not only made us better musicians, but better friends as well. There’s a certain type of camaraderie that you only gain by helping someone else with their parts, running through problematic sections of a piece, and spending time working hard towards a goal in mind. It’s the feeling that knowing that our combined efforts are making us improve and sound even better as the days pass, and that each of us have the full support of everyone else in Band.

I’m certain that these hectic few months have also been the most fulfilling for the Band. I’m immensely proud of the JC2 batch for doing what we thought was impossible by improving leaps and bounds. I have full confidence that our spirit and liveliness will also be passed on to our juniors, many of which are talented musicians with vast potential.

This SYF journey is only the start of EJC Band’s legacy, and all of us are eagerly looking forward to what the future holds for EJC Band.

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