In the preparation for Da Capo 2017, we were honoured to have Mr Eiji Suzuki down at our practice room for a masterclass! It was an enriching experience having a well-known conductor from Japan conduct us and give us advice on our performance pieces. He is such an animated conductor, empowering our members with his enthusiasm to pursue greater music excellence. It was really a night to remember!
Here's some pictures of Mr Eiji Suzuki at our practice!
After the practice, our members even queued up to take photos with Mr Eiji Suzuki! Check out our fun-filled photo-taking session with him!
With that, here are the details for our upcoming Da Capo concert! Presenting to you: Miyazaki in the Park! Come join us for an evening of fun as we celebrate our 50th anniversary with soundtracks from Miyazaki’s famed anime works such as My Neighbor Totoro, Princess Mononoke, Nausicaa of the Valley of the Wind, Howl’s Moving Castle, Spirited Away and Ponyo on the Cliff.
Date: 22 October 2017
Time: 5pm (Fringe Activities) | 6pm (Concert)
Venue: Shaw Foundation Symphony Stage, Singapore Botanic Gardens
Bring the whole family along for a picnic and see you there! :)
To kick start this new semester, we were involved in the Student Life Fair 2017, HERE! Arts Carnival and held our Welcome Tea for the freshies!
Here's a recap of what happened so far:
Student Life Fair 2017
For this year, our booth was set up outdoors in UTown. Despite the heat, our members seemed to have had fun giving out fliers and getting freshies to sign-up. Did you also manage to catch us playing our instruments at the booth?
Missed our performance at the Student Life Festival? Check out our video recordings below!
HERE! Arts Carnival
Our performance this year was held at UTown on a Friday night! #TGIF Our members performed Japanese Graffiti XII on the steps outside Auditorium 2, getting audience's attention from the first and even the second floor. Hope you managed to catch us while being at the event for the free cider!
Check out our performance video here:
Welcome Tea 2017
Really the hugest turnout ever! Under the tutelage of our conductors Associate Professor Ho and Mr Francis Tan, our freshies were able to know more about NUSWS, experience how our practices are like and play their instruments again after not having touched them for months! It was an experience for many in playing in such a huge band with about 30 clarinets and 10 horns?! Thank you to those who came down and joined us for a night of fun music-making!
Check out pictures of that night!
It has been exactly 27 days since our Da Capo XI: Spooky Soirée, and just when you thought you've gotten over your withdrawals, we're here to bring back your fondest memories!
For those of you who missed our show, do not despair as our resident videographer Poh Zi Yang has kindly shared these videos on our Youtube channel!
We don't mean to brag, but if you ask anyone who attended our concert on how they felt about the concert, we're quite confident that you're likely to hear positive reviews!
For the first time in our concert series, we finally had the license to go crazy with our costumes and put on some intense make up for our big stage! Just look at our cute costumes!
Even our Associate Conductor, Mr Francis Tan, and our Emcee, Joshua Goh, dressed up for the occasion!
We also want to give due credit to our PRODUCTION/PROPS TEAM led by our valued treasurer, Zu Xuan. They went the extra mile in helping to get our stage set up with hand-made props, and to publicise our concert. Most of them did not have prior experience constructing these sorts of craft, which makes their effort all the more admirable, heartfelt, and demanding of appreciation. Many thanks to Zu Xuan, Kai Ying, Linda, Jiaii Marcus, Jin Xing, Shermeen, Levis, Ryan, Zhi Jie, Phoebe, Tianyu, Claire, Liting, Christabel and Ezbon! Sorry if we've missed anyone :3
We like to think (and are actually pretty proud of the fact) that our band has a strong family culture or spirit. Outsiders can probably observe and tell from our supportive alumni who come back to support us even after they've long graduated from NUS.
You can't deny that everyone has different motivations for wanting to be in or maintain their connection to #teamnusws. Just as with any group or organisation, this is just the way the world works.
Some want to reminisce their old band days, some want to further their passion for music, some come for rehearsals to meet their friends, some want to make WS great again (like yours truly), and some probably aren't even sure why they want to or should come for rehearsals *squints*
BUT regardless of the motivations you might have, what's truly important for us at the end of the day is that everyone actually enjoys the huge amount of time we spend together. Nobody should have to look back after a concert and say, 'hmm that was a waste of time.' And what's really special for us is that across the generations, we have all shared about 11 common experiences as NUSWS members:
If you think about it, these are things that we both enjoy and hate. They truly define our band experience, and while they may seem generic, one can't say that the experiences or cultures in other bands are entirely identical to ours. What defines our culture are the people (you guys) who make up the organisation, and the people who are elected to lead the band year after year. (On that note, do remember that our annual general elections will take place in February 2017!)
Going back to the topic of culture, it is categorically stated here that band people are GENERALLY NICE PEOPLE, and it's probably why we tend to be so agreeable. We become masters of compromise and empathy, as it can be difficult to play good music with people you absolutely want flung off the face of the Earth. Yes we're generally quiet, but when you put a bunch of us together, we're like acoustic shells that bounce creative ideas off each other, and end up with a whole that's greater than the sum of its parts. We tap on this collective strength and voice to communicate our beautiful, imaginative and wild inner mindscapes, especially through the common language of music and (occasionally questionable) choral singing.
Let's pause for a moment of introspection?
To put things into perspective, many of us would not have had this opportunity to perform on stage if it weren't for the rest of the members. To that effect, we realised that we ought to be more appreciative of one another. Band is a communal activity, and it doesn't work if we don't take care of each other. University (and life in general) can be quite fun, but it can also be a rather dark and difficult place to be in. So during the holidays, please try to have outings to catch up and bond more outside of band! Besides, a self-proclaimed wise man once said:
"A band that's united in heart and mind, carries the potential to play better music than a professional band fitted with total strangers" (Cheng, D. 2016).
This takes us back to the starting point - that we say that we have a strong family culture in NUSWS. Our worry is that one day our members may take this culture for granted, and not invest special effort to sustain it as we go from strength to strength. Given that this is our first concert of the Academic Year, we want to encourage everyone to make the effort to get to know one another better, especially across the sections. Doing this will sow the seeds of friendship, that is sure to grow into a very fulfilling NUSWS experience - just ask Lishan who's been in NUSWS since Year 1.
As Year 4 seniors who find themselves going to graduate and handover after InTempo 2016, we leave you with these thoughts as you enter reading week, the December holidays and Semester 2. Especially in light of the upcoming annual general elections next February, do take some time to reflect and think about the direction we're currently headed. Feel free to approach us or our Exco anytime if you want (note: we don't bite!) This band belongs to everyone after all!
Here's a final big THANK YOU to everyone who participated in Da Capo XI: Spooky Soirée, including Prof Ho, Mr Tan, Moh Li, the Exco, Yuting (Stage Manager), Joshua (Emcee), our members, our alumni, our audience members, and everyone else who helped out! It has truly been an exhilarating experience, and we look forward to bringing everyone greater things next year!
With lots of love,
Dexter & Lishan