Kickstarting 2022 is a collaboration between the Band Directors’ Association (Singapore) and Choral Directors’ Association (Singapore) featuring vocal band MICappella, titled ‘Bounce Back!

Supported by the National Arts Council and venue partner Academy of Rock, this project seeks to show the resilience and strength of all wind and choir musicians through a symbolic collaboration, which also showcases MICappella as a representative of a fusion of voice and instruments working together in a well knitted fashion.

“I think we can concur that amongst the respective performing arts industries, the band and choir industries were some of the hardest hit in terms of restrictions being imposed on not only how we performed, but how rehearsals and performances can / cannot be held,” said Adrian Chiang, president of Band Directors’ Association (Singapore) [BDAS].

Choir activities all over the world have been disrupted as singing has been deemed as a high-risk activity. In Singapore, this is greatly felt especially in our school choirs where we were not able to meet to sing for most part of the two years. Despite all these restrictions, the choral conductors have come up with innovative ways of engaging our choristers through technology and allow our choristers to sing together through virtual means,” Yong Chee Foon, president of Choral Directors’ Association (Singapore) [CDAS] added.

“When BDAS approached CDAS for this project, one important aspect was to show Singapore that we are resilient despite the restrictions we face. We wanted to show our students that even though we are not able to do live performances, we can perform through other means and we should continue performing and not allow the pandemic to silence us,” he continued.

生命火焰, loosely translated as ‘Flames of Life‘ is intended to uplift and inspire. It’s a song written by MICappella’s soprano Tay Kexin, about keeping the spirit and faith strong in face of obstacles and never giving up.

The arrangement of the song for band and choir with original a-cappella parts is put together by Singapore-based composer Ong Jiin Joo.

“It’s incredible! I’ve always imagined it to be an anthemic piece, with the audience singing along, waving along with light sticks in their hands. It’s a song about the human spirit and having the band and choir be part of it really allowed the song to live out its purpose.” Kexin explained.

“I had goosebumps listening to the orchestral arrangement, especially when the choir came in. It gave new life to this piece of anthemic tune I wrote!”

Likewise, the pandemic has also affected MICappella, particularly so when they had to postpone their live concert twice last year before it finally happened in October.

“It has been really challenging for us, but I do feel the pandemic has opened up new opportunities! We have learnt to adapt by doing more online covers & virtual collaborations like this. Hopefully we get to perform LIVE with the band and choir when restrictions ease!”

Despite the disruptions and challenges faced during the pandemic, Adrian is positive that the new year will be better for bands, choirs and other arts groups alike.

“Both the BDAS and CDAS are made up of passionate educators who had to find different ways and means of surviving our art forms while providing our students with a meaningful and holistic education via their CCAs.”

“As we enter the year 2022, many of us continue to remain optimistic that we will walk out of the woods together, rebuilding our scenes to what it was before and hopefully bringing it to greater heights.”