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
It's only week 3 but is everyone already experiencing a busy semester? We feel ya. Over the last 2 weeks, we performed at the Student Life Fair, HERE Arts Carnival, and had our Welcome Tea! Although we're still recovering from the festivities, the semester only gets better from here! Look forward to our Orientation on 3rd September (talk to our friendly SLs for details :))
Here's a recap of what's happened so far!
Student Life Fair!
Our booth was set up at the Dance Studio, and we even had a selfie taken with Professor Tan Chorh Chuan, President of NUS! Did you manage to catch our flute, clarinet, brass and percussion ensembles at Student Life Fair? Don't worry if you didn't manage to catch us because here are the recordings:
NUSWS Welcome Tea!
We had a huge turnout at our Welcome Tea on 15th August! Our freshies got to experience the joys of being a NUS Wind Symphony member. It was a night of intense music-making under the tutelage of our experienced conductors, Associate Professor Ho, and Mr Francis Tan. It was certainly refreshing for our seniors to be playing with new faces! Thank you to those who came down and we hope everyone had a great time! :)
Picture credits: Phoebe Heng & Poh Zi Yang
Japanese Graffiti XIV at HERE Arts Carnival!
After only three rehearsals and a bump in, we found ourselves at UCC on a Friday night. It was time to showcase our exciting choreography and music at the HERE! Arts Carnival. We got the audience clapping along and laughing at our cute antics. We would like to express our gratitude, especially to our members and alumni who came down to support us, and hope everyone had a great time listening to our music, drinking beer and eating good food.
Picture/Video credits: Muhammad Hafiz Rahman & Poh Zi Yang
So that concludes our coverage of a busy but fulfilling start to the semester! Jiayou for this semester everyone! Stay indoors and remember to drink up cos the annual haze is back!
We are very pleased to announce that we recently clinched third place and a respectable Silver award for the Singapore International Band Festival 1st Division competition. Under the baton of our conductor, Mr Francis Tan, the band performed Movements 2 and 3 from Three Portraits for Symphonic Band by local composer Kelly Tang, as well as selected excerpts from Sidus by Thomas Doss.
Unfazed by the fierce competition from local bands such as Ngee Ann Polytechnic Concert Band and Republic Polytechnic Wind Symphony, as well as international bands from Malaysia, Taiwan and Thailand, we prepared intensely for two months before finally performing in the Yong Siew Toh Conservatory of Music concert hall before a panel of distinguished adjudicators. Our rendition of Sidus was found to be particularly impressive and commendable, earning praises from both professional and amateur audiences alike. We also received a special mention from composer Kelly Tang for a splendid performance of his composition.
We would like to extend our heartfelt appreciation to our conductors and tutors for their boundless patience and dedication, to CFA for its continuous support, and to everyone else who has contributed to our achievement. We hope to build upon this success and continue to soar towards even greater heights by participating in a festival and competition overseas next year to celebrate our 49th year of founding.