Bryan Ang Yong Da

Librarian and Euphonium Player
Outram Secondary School Band

I am Bryan, a Secondary 3 member from Outram Secondary School Band.

I honestly felt that this SYF performance is the greatest achievement in my life so far, and I definitely want to thank my bandmates and my conductor, Mr Shermann Foo! I had so much fun playing and learning music with my bandmates and Mr Foo. It is my first SYF and it is an amazing and interesting experience for me.

Being the only Euphonist for almost 3 years, it is the greatest motivation for me to continue to strive and never give up whenever I face my own challenges. I wouldn’t say that I’m the best, but I definitely improved a lot ever since 2021. Band has taught me key values such as perseverance, team spirit, responsibility and many more, and it is something that I would like to pass down to my juniors.

Despite being the smallest band to perform for this year’s SYF, we held our heads high and played through confidently. In band, it’s just like a group project to be presented on stage, everyone has different roles and they must have their own responsibility to work on themselves or help one another to create music together. Through the ups and downs in the band for the past 2 years, we had overcome all of that and here we are, already completed SYF 2023. Time flies, and in a blink of an eye, SYF is over.

SYF is not all about the results or how well you played in a performance, but it’s all about having fun and enjoying the music that you have worked hard for! I was scared and nervous before my school’s turn to perform on stage, but then I realised that it’s just a showcase of what we’ve been practising for the past 3 months, and we have to be proud of it. Receiving so many supporters from my friends from many other school bands, I relaxed myself and was ready to perform. Walking up the stage was a stage of nervousness, but walking down the stage is where I knew I had given my all and done myself proud which is the most important thing.

After knowing the achievement level that we have, it wasn’t what we expected it to be, but it’s not the end. We will continue building up a strong band culture within us and keep striving till the next SYF. We have sightread so many pieces in the past 2 years, but we didn’t manage to perform for anyone except for the graduating Secondary 4s in 2022. From playing small pieces like “Romanesque” to playing moderate pieces like “Stars of Tomorrow” by Kah Chun Wong and “To A New Horizon” by Naoya Wada, it was a good experience playing them but I hope we’ll get to perform all these pieces before I graduate. And now, choosing a piece called “Gold Rush!” by Shin’ya Takahashi to play for SYF is really a rewarding learning experience!

If I were to choose a year between 2021-2023 (so far), I would choose 2022, as it was the best year that I’ve spent in band, all the fun playing pieces with the Sec4s, bringing instruments home and practicing through zoom and more. Mr Foo provided us with a lot of care and support, he brought over tutors and conductors to help us individually, and I can really feel the change. As a form of motivation, some of our alumni came back and visited us, and they even talked to us and gave an encouraging speech before SYF. Sometimes during band practices, when it comes to playing my part, I keep messing up which is quite irritating and I can’t seem to get the melody right. But after getting help from my senior and Mr Foo, I slowly improved and got the hang of it and therefore I’ve no issue playing that melody anymore.

While typing this long story, I could feel that all the memories in band were coming back to me, and I really want to take this rest of this year and next year to fully cherish my time in band before I graduate. After performing for SYF, I am ready and have the confidence to perform for my school’s Speech Day and maybe I would like to request if we could perform for National Day in school. SYF is a rare opportunity for me to play out and to be confident and brave in front of the audience. I’m thankful for the tremendous help that has been offered to me by my seniors, juniors and especially Mr Foo, without them, I wouldn’t be who I am today. Everyday after school, I am always looking forward to band. Band is the first ever CCA that has made me really put all my heart and effort into it. And I’m proud of myself and I definitely will continue to do proud not just for myself but for everyone!