For the first time in its history, the Hillgrove Concert Band will be organising its own band concert, on Friday, 17 November 2023, in its school hall.
“Harmony Groove is the inaugural concert for the Hillgrove Concert Band, and it is a significant milestone, symbolizing the collective hard work and dedication of everyone involved,” said Band Major Iffah Nadirah Binte Mohammed Junaid, and Drum Major Summer Soh En Ci.
“We have performed in combined concerts with other performing arts CCAs in our school, but this is our very first concert with the band taking centrestage. The experience will surely be a vivid memory for all of us, be it of the friendships that have been forged or the challenges of trying out a new piece.”
As Hillgrove embarks on their first year as a distinction band, this performance becomes a defining moment, shaping their identity. It serves as a foundation for future performances, with each passing year offering opportunities for growth and learning.
“The concert is also a showcase of our repertoire, a testament to the skills, effort, and versatility of our talented musicians. This experience provides a unique chance for us, as students, to hone our performance skills and create lasting memories that will stay with us throughout our musical journey. In the process of planning and preparing for the concert, we’ve come together as a team, fostering a sense of teamwork and camaraderie among the band members. This collaborative effort not only enhances the concert experience but also strengthens our bonds as a musical community.” they added.
For many of the members, it will be the first time performing for a live audience. While this is often the proudest moment of being a band member, it also brings about a myriad of emotions.
Clarinet Section Leader Cai Shuhui shared that she is scared, but yet excited about the concert as it will be one of her first performances.
“I am worried that I might mess up or squeak very loudly during the performance which might make me even more anxious. Furthermore, my section mates are falling sick and it is making me more scared since I am not the best player in the clarinet section. However, I know that I have put in my best and that is all that matters to me! I am looking forward to the performance and whatever the outcome, I will definitely cherish the moment as I have put in hours of practice together with my friends! I also realised I have actually improved quite a bit since SYF earlier this year so I am also quite proud of myself for that.”
Sharing the joy of being a part of the concert is Euphonium Section Leader Fong Kien Shang as this will also be his first time performing in school.
“To be honest, I initially thought that the concert would not be successful as we have never held a band concert in school before but due to everyone’s hard work, things seem to be working out fine. We had the uphill task of learning new pieces within one month, which was not a very long period of time, but we managed to do so.”
Bass Clarinet player Alisyah Farhana Binte Naharudin added that she is feeling a mixture of excitement and anticipation for this concert.
“As a Secondary three student, I am eager for this concert to happen, knowing it is going to be a special moment in my life. There is a feeling of accomplishment, but at the same time, I feel a bit sad because it marks the end of my time with the band. As I recall the fun moments, the challenges we faced and the friendships we built, I know that these concerts will soon be memories for me as a graduating student soon, making every note I play now even more meaningful and precious.”
Under the direction of its resident conductor Mr Sherman Foo, the Hillgrove Concert Band will present music such as Stars of Tomorrow, Air Force 1 and Disney Medley.
“We are excited to present the Studio Ghibli Tribute Anime March! Our band will be performing excerpts from ‘My Neighbor Totoro’, ‘Laputa: Castle in the Sky’ and ‘Nausicaä of the Valley of the Wind’. These pieces carry the essence of adventure, courage, and that indomitable spirit we all love from these iconic films. We are genuinely thrilled to bring the enchantment of Ghibli to life through our music, and we hope to capture the hearts of everyone joining us at our concert,” Student Conductor and Brass Leader Natalie Goh Pei Yan and Woodwind Leader Nicolas Chua Wei Zhe shared.
“We will also be performing The Witch and The Saint, which delves into the compelling tale of a pair of twins, Helena and Sibylla, from 1588 Germany. These sisters possessed the extraordinary gift of foresight, yet their lives took dramatically different turns – Sibylla, unjustly branded a witch, faced relentless animosity, while Helena, perceived as a saint, was revered by many. When Sibylla was wrongly accused of witchcraft and imprisoned, Helena courageously attempted a rescue. However, their escape was tragically foiled. Fearing the harsh consequences, Helena faced an agonizing decision, ultimately choosing to sacrifice herself by consuming poison, an act born from deep love and desperation to protect her sister,” they added.
With many months of hardwork put in to prepare for this concert, Band secretaries Koh Kai Ting and Leslie Joe Tien Su believe that audience will definitely find Hillgrove Concert Band’s first-ever concert most enjoyable.
“To add, the band has put in substantial effort into preparing for this long awaited concert, from the long hours of practice to the administrative and logistical work behind the concert. You can expect a captivating performance from us, there is no doubt that you will find this performance an unforgettable one!”