Naval Base Symphonic Band: Realizing our Potential

Nix Koh Joo Chong

Percussionist
Band Major
Naval Base Secondary School Symphonic Band

Our band’s Singapore Youth Festival Arts Presentation (SYFAP) journey is nothing exceptional.

However, it was a special experience for us. It got off to a rocky start as it was difficult for us to finish learning the two pieces of music – the set piece, ‘Festival On Earth’, and our choice piece, ‘Call Of The Wild’ by Brian Balmages. Many of our band members were made up of lower secondary members and they did not understand the significance of the SYFAP. When they were met with setbacks, there were struggling to cope with the challenges they were facing.

The teachers and conductors persevered and continued to motivate us through a series of talks. We also had a masterclass with Mr Keiichi Kurokawa that was an important turn of events for the band. Through the masterclass, we discovered the potential we have as a band. The band realized that through focus and teamwork, the band will be able to achieve their desired results. Committed and determined, the band practiced hard and gave their all towards the last lap of preparation. It was a heartening moment.

At the end of March, just several weeks away from the SYFAP, we had a school-based showcase where our school’s Performing Arts CCAs presented their SYFAP performances to an audience consisting of our family and friends. We reflected on our performance and worked hard on improving in several areas. We were ready to address the gaps. We stayed united and determined to give our best during the SYFAP. We came back stronger and put in every ounce of our effort to practice in the following two weeks.

We did the best we could during our SYFAP performance and achieved a Certificate of Accomplishment. This journey has really taught me the values of being a band member. Participating in the SYF is not really just about the results, but also about the journey and the experiences that a band member goes through.

Band is a family. Results do not determine the bond and the memories that band members have created with one another. True happiness is being able to see and experience the band improving every practice, the satisfaction of hearing how far the band has come, and most importantly, the joy and laughter that you and your fellow band members have shared.

These are the real enjoyment that a band member experiences.

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