Singapore International Band Fest (SIBF 2012) – Guest played

From Yiang Shan’s instagram

About 3 weeks ago, Yiang Shan messaged me to ask if I would be interested to help out in SIBF 2012. For some reason, I thought for about 1 minute, and asked myself “Why not?” and agreed. I were to help out X-Winds (Xinmin Sec alumni band). It was my first time guest playing.

To be honest, I didn’t know where I got that courage from, as I’m usually quite an introvert. But the new me definitely would have agreed.

As I only know Yiang Shan, and for the next 2 immediate practices she wouldn’t be around, I could skip if I want to.

At first, I was a bit worried, as I have never participated in any competitions before, or even guest played. And I don’t think Yiang Shan has ever heard me play so for all that she (and I know), I don’t have any percussion skills at all.

Nevertheless, I went for the final 3 practices.

I would say the practices are all really nice. Everyone treated me well, and the people there are really awesome! Though I have always been in situations where I don’t know anyone, the feeling there was different. In fact, I would say that I felt comfortable being myself and standing at the back of the room with the rest.

The competition happened yesterday, and Daniel (conductor) warned us about the acoustics of RP Cultural Centre, so we played softer and more controlled. A conductor told them that we were the softest amongst all the bands, and we weren’t sure if we were good or bad. Plus the fact that the acoustics made us not able to hear others play properly really gave me an internal sort of panic.

We were able to watch the last band perform, and gosh, the reflections of the sound were just scary. It made everything sound noisy, and I think if I were the adjudicators, I would have a headache.

Anyway, when all was done, and the results came out, X-Winds got Silver! It was a pleasant surprise as Daniel kept saying that they were of SYF Silver standard (which means a Bronze in SIBF).
Well overall, it was a great experience, and it really made me improve as a noob musician. Hanging out with the suspended cymbals also gave me an opportunity to understand it better and the reason of having it around.

It would be a waste if I came out of this with nothing, but yea, glad I did! 🙂

I would like to thank Yiang Shan, Daniel and X-Winds for giving me this opportunity despite my lack of experience, and the so many treats.
Thank you all!!

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HS 10th Anniversary 101010

I performed Takarajima with the HS Band (along with alumni) on the 10th October 2010 (101010). It was quite an experience, and as many of you had read previously, quite a lot of things happened that wasn’t to my liking.

I was really quite stressed on that day owing to my projects in school, Gakkai meetings, and all. Managed to bring some work to do during breaks in between.

I have to say that I have forgotten how noisy secondary school kids are (haha!) In between performances, they were playing games that I haven’t played since primary school (no kidding). I think my secondary school life was pretty serious unlike theirs.

Unfortunately for me, I was unable to meet teachers who’d came back for the dinner. 🙁

The ‘scariest’ part of the day was at the end of the finale when all the secondary school kids started dashing towards the helium balloons and started grabbing them (all the time screaming -.-). Nuts… Haha but I miss seeing such havoc stuff happening around me (they wanted to play with the helium by the way). I think I grew up too early. lol.

Anyway, here’s a picture of the alumni (with Mr Roger Lee) who performed that day!

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Alumni gripes.

This morning I got a shock of my life (ok not so drama) shock when I saw this HS teacher come into the band room to scold and raise her voice at a band alumnus member.

To be fair to her, this guy did make a mistake by playing his instrument in the band store. The band store has open windows and sound will travel out and some students were having exams.

But is it really necessary to raise your voice and say stuff like, “I am going to complain to your teacher-in-charge about this!” or “Who was the one who played their instrument inside!!” ??

And it wasn’t like this person talked back or what. He even apologised. You could have said nicely can’t you? If he was a student at HS and you talked like that, fine by me. But we have graduated. And I honestly believe that this was an innocent, simple mistake made. To be honest, I didn’t even know that we were not supposed to play in the store and that they were having exams (it was elearning day for them by the way). No need for such a hoo-hah right?

It makes me wonder if this teacher talks like that to her friends who are late or something too. “Why are you late?? I don’t want to be your friend anymore!!”

You may say that I am not being fair. But did you know, after some band juniors (sec 1s or 2s – I saw it with my own eyes) forgot to close the band room door, this male teacher came by and said, “hello. I think you’re supposed to close this door yea?” and he even smiled. Totally different attitude from the first teacher.

I’d also heard this evening (I wasn’t there) that a teacher wasn’t too happy with the band alumni performing and said that the way we performed was as though we were reluctant to perform. (I wasn’t there, so I don’t know what the exact words were used, but the meaning that was sent to me was that.)

I don’t really know how to portray non-reluctance. The rest of them are planning to smile when performing. Maybe I should do that too. But I am quite disappointed to hear such comments. We put in time to come for practices, rehearsals, and didn’t complain about the lack of proper instructions or planning.

I was feeling very happy to be back with the band again until such incidents happened today. This has made me ponder if perhaps we should be back. No other performing arts CCA have alumni back with them except for us. Is that what we get?

I am not asking for special treatment or anything. I was even willing to carry the percussion instruments (until some of the band members themselves told me I am not supposed to, so I helped by taking all the smaller auxiliaries). All I ask for is some understanding and acceptance that we are here because once a Hougean, forever a Hougean.

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The sound of music…

Went to NUS high school for Charmelon’s concert – The Sound of Music. Gave Melon a bottle of jelly beans with a flower deco on it. Haha. I didn’t want to get real flowers as they’ll die very quickly so got her that instead.

NUS High Orchestra wasn’t bad for a new orchestra and all. Though the first part of the concert was pretty uncomfortable with the emcees reading poems and all… It was pretty weird =/

Met Charmelon’s Dad and Mum before the concert (my Uncle and Aunt). They fetched me home after that.

Here are 2 pictures:

Charmelon and her family =)

Charmelon and me


Fell sick yesterday and went home early. Wasn’t well today so skipped a lecture in the morning as well =/ Oh well…

My family’s watching this weird Jap show that doesn’t really make sense at some parts. Then the actors and actresses are screaming like nobody’s business. =x

Anyway, I’ve got to start destressing myself… seems like i always fall sick in April and before exams…

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A new era for HS Band is here.


HSSB’s third SYF and they’ve got a GOLD!!!

Congratulations people!!!! 😀

SYF 2005
SYF 2007

Every 2 years I’m at somewhere different. SYF 2005 I haven’t entered poly; SYF 2007 I was about to go to Chengdu; now I’m in Uni… Hm… =)

Oh and look at 2007’s entry hahaha coz there’s a mention on Huzz 😛

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Leonard Tan’s last SG full concert.

Went for Singapore Polytechnic’s Symphonic Band (SPSB) MD 2008 concert yesterday at Victoria Concert Hall (VCH). To be honest, I wanted to go because it was Leonard Tan’s last SG concert. That drive pushed me even though about 1 hour before the concert, Faith told me that she hadn’t reserved my tickets and I had to go down to get them (I was at work then!). Luckily, Joel was able to help me with that. Interesting eh?

Met up with Hasniza and we went together. I had to queue for about 20 minutes before getting my reserved tickets. The counter girls were quite inefficient. They had to look through the pile of reserved tickets for about 4 times before they found mine. =x Which made Hasniza and I miss the first piece. And you know what, the girl even asked me after that, “So your name is Joel right?” -_-”

Sorry when I complain, I complain a lot. When I don’t, I don’t. haha I sound freaking evil.

I had a great time at the concert though. It was excellent! I feel that SPSB’s like the best Poly band right now? NYPSO already lost out. >.< Quite a few people I know were performing. Saw Jun Hong (SWE)! Only managed to say hi to Joel and Faith.

James Barnes’s 3rd Symphony was the best. And the story about it really touched me.

Rushed home after that. I could faint like the Sims and sleep anywhere.

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HS Band camp 08

After my 2nd last paper yesterday was a fun day in the sun at HS with loads of water pouring, screams and lame stuff going on.

I was kind of moody coz I was feeling pretty tired (slept at 1am woke up at 6am) and was in a very much relaxed mood.

Talked to Mr Lim a bit. He was like, “Eh aren’t you having your exams now?” and I told him that my next paper was 7 days later.

Oh yea, Mrs Cheng saw me and she called me “Eve” -_-”

Quite glad to see all the juniors again! Dickson, Samuel, Elijah, Emily, Yin Yin, Hui Yi, SY, YH and all. But I think there’s an age gap between me and them already. It’s just so weird to see that they’re alumni now. But hey, am glad that so many of them are back and helping out in the camp.

Though I thought that the camp was a little messy. =X No offense to anyone. But everything can be improved a little here and there.

And when the Camp Committee were told to “take a picture” right under the area where many had water poured over them, a few of us who knew what was going to happen couldn’t believe that they were so “innocent” (as Mr Lim put it). hahahaha. Oops I’m evil.

Believe it or not, I didn’t stay for long under the sun and got sunburnt. Something is weird with my skin. :S

Back to revision for my last paper!

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To anyone and everyone who’s reading this: If I’m driving you nuts, I’m sorry. 🙁

I’m driving myself nuts too.
If I’m not myself these days, just bear with me until my exams are over.
The real me will be back.

I don’t know if I’m doing enough revision.
How much is enough?
It’s like I’m back to year 1 in poly.

Don’t know what to expect.
Don’t know what to do.

Exams are… argh.

Went for the combined band concert of HS, Shuqun and Regent bands just now. Ignited, it was called. Got free tix. 😛 Sat with Inez, Xin Hong, Jun Rong and Shao Ming. View was the best at the circle. hahahaha. The bands were great, the emcee wasn’t. What’s up with emcees and concerts these days?

Btw, I’m proud of the percussionists. For those who were there, you guys know how well they’ve done!! And I think they haven’t had a tutor in a while or something? No idea. But yea, they were excellent! I’m proud of them. 😀

Anyway, I’m going to NYP to study tomorrow. I must make sure my last day of revision must be well-done. Only did 3 hours of revision today. =/

Like I’d mentioned, I don’t know how to revise much for open book exams except to make notes and make sure that I know the book back to front. =/

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Thursday was an interesting day.

Huzz called me during my lunch break today!! Talked to him, before I bought some beef hor fun (which was super delicious) and sat down at this table facing a wall.

Called Huzz before he had to go for his outfield again. =(

But anyway, I finished my food and was like looking around when I saw something drop from the wall in front and next to this guy sitting at the next table (he had his back to the wall). I thought nothing of it and thought it might be my imagination.

Then he suddenly jumped up and started to swipe his back as though there was something on him.

When he turned, I saw a lizard on him! OMG! Then I noticed a second one on where he was sitting a few seconds ago.

He didn’t really managed to swipe it off and it crawled from his back to his leg and then to the table. I was totally stunned. Even as the lizard crawled to the table, the guy didn’t know what was on his back coz he asked me and I pointed to the table. He was quite disgusted about it. Lol.

Then he said, “Never sit with your back against the wall next time.” Lol.

It was disgusting lah. I think the lizards were probably mating or something and fell off. =/ Yuck.

I went for NUSWS Welcome Tea.

Met Melessa and Mildred! Wow haven’t seen them since sec school.

We were made to play 3 pieces. Quite fun, stressful in a way, but still I enjoyed it.

I think it takes a lot of courage to join something new. The other freshmen were fun as well. Haha. The seniors were also quite alright. Just that it felt weird to be from NYP while everyone was from JCs…

Though I have yet to make the final decision on whether to join or not. NUS is super ulu at night and going home that late is rather tiring after a whole day at school. =/

I don’t know how Huzz did it when he was in NYP. So he’s my idol 😛 hahaha.

Come to think of it, that one regret is seriously making my life horrible right now. That regret that I should have joined NYP Strings back then.

This is seriously weird.

Oh yea I saw Sherilyn back from Chingay in year 2000 but unfortunately she doesn’t recognise me, or my name AT ALL. =( Coz i went up to her and asked.

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Thursday Thoughts (you may ask me for the pword)

I’ve officially received the email that I’ve failed the Math test that I’d taken on Monday.

The next few days are actually going to be quite busy. Weekends are always like that. Darn. Now I wish to slack during weekends and go out on weekdays. I’m just bored.

I want yet don’t want school to start. I want school to start as I really want to get over with orientation and the “What is going to happen in school?” syndrome.

I’m kinda thinking if I should join OBOG Wind Symphony. Coz for one, it’s a band and I’ll be able to really level-up my percussion skills in a band (as compared to an orchestra) and since Mr Lim‘s conducting, and there are so many excellent percussionists in the band, I’ll really be able to learn a lot.

But this means time and more commitment.

No, I’m not going to quit SNCO if I join. I’ve been in SNCO for 5 years now, and I don’t want to leave.

Whenever I go back to HSSB and look at all the juniors in band and what they are doing (ie learning music theory, learning piano, etc), I seriously wished I had done that back when I was in secondary school.

I honestly do not know what I want to focus on at this point of time.

I look back and I saw myself working so hard on my studies, yet I didn’t do well in secondary school.
But I did well in band.

I look back and I saw myself working so hard on my studies, and I did well enough in polytechnic.
But I neglected a lot music-wise.

So what do I want to do in university?
How should I balance both music and studies?

Will I be able to do well in both?

And now Shamin has feedbacked that a few people in the band are pretty disappointed with me because I haven’t been going back to help during weekends/go and support them in concerts/join OBOG. I feel lost. Have I really disappointed a lot of people?

And I need some inspiration.

I really need more wisdom so I guess I’m going to do some chanting right now.

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