Raiqah Haziqah Bte Mohamad Haslam
Euphonium player & Drum Major
Yio Chu Kang Concert Band
I joined the band in 2018, which was the same year that Yio Chu Kang Secondary School and Chong Boon Secondary School merged.
Since then, my band journey had been a rollercoaster ride.
The first year in band was good – there were many seniors helping juniors like me, and there was a strong sense of warmth and camaraderie. The bond developed and soon we were a strong group.
As I entered Secondary 2, there were inevitable changes such as the Secondary 4 seniors stepping down from CCA, which made me start to miss their presence. I was also given the role of a Section Leader and had to become more responsible to bond with my Secondary 3 seniors who were simply full of life. When I was enduring struggles, they would help by guiding me and giving me confidence. Our school value “teamwork” constantly reminded us to work together in the interest of a common goal, and this helped me to connect them easily.
In 2020, the world was thrown a curve ball – the Covid-19 pandemic. Everything in that year was moved online, including our school lessons as well. With the Safe Management Measures (SMMs) in place, our practices were transformed in many ways. We no longer get to play our instruments three times a week, but instead, we were attending online band practices once a week, and focusing only on music theory. Even though the year was not perfect, I believe that I made the best of it wholeheartedly.
In the same year, I was appointed the Drum Major. It was honestly tough to be entrusted with such a big role in band during such an uncertain time.
Initially, I was apprehensive on how I should lead my bandmates. Every session was a challenge as things were different from the past when we had face to face practices. I could not implement the routines that my seniors used to do, and I had a hard time trying to lead a group of people remotely through a screen. However, I persevered and thought out of the box. I started by texting my section members weekly and check on their wellbeing.
Through my actions, I felt that my committee members were somehow influenced to do the same with their respective sections. Even though we could not meet each other physically, we remained a united band. I has a strong sense of duty to ensure that all my juniors were healthy and happy through my conversations with them.
When we first received news that SYF Arts Presentation would be happening in 2021, we were filled with mixed feelings. As one of the leaders in the band, I wanted to make sure that the juniors who were still new to the practice schedule will put their best efforts into learning how to play their first band piece. I sympathised deeply with them because when I was of their age, I had the help of my seniors to guide and teach me on how to play my parts.
Our choice piece Romanesque was a challenging piece to play; made tougher by the COVID-19 restrictions as we were not able to practice in sectionals. Despite such difficulties, we constantly encouraged our juniors to actively listen to the piece and work on the parts with guidance from the seniors.
Overall, I believe that my journey with the Band has been an amazing one. I learned about resilience, teamwork, courage and also managed to make amazing friends and other incredible people along the way. Being in the band is not just about how well you play the music but it also about the meaningful memories you create.
Since I am stepping down from my CCA this year, I would like to wish my juniors all the best and hope they commit wholeheartedly to their band journey. I had an unforgettable journey and I am sure that theirs would be exciting too. Without music, my secondary school life would definitely have been emptier.