by Lou Shan (13So6A)
We bring you exclusive previews of the upcoming edition of Eagle Eye, which will be distributed to all staff and students at the end of the month. Jointly produced by RI’s Corporate Communications Department and Raffles Press (Yr 5 – 6), Eagle Eye is the school’s official magazine.
ROAM: From Respighi to Russia’, was a concert jointly organised by the Year 1–4s of the RI Military Band (RIMB) and RI Strings Ensemble (RISE), and Year 5–6s of the Raffles Symphonic Band (RSB) and RI Chamber Orchestra (RICE).
Preparation for such a large-scale event was certainly no mean feat. When members with differing viewpoints congregate, clashes in opinions—in both the musical and technical aspects—and working habits were bound to happen.
For example, wind players were extremely self-conscious, as this was their first time performing solo and their numbers had been reduced to an average of one per section. The players had to overcome this consciousness, gain self-confidence, and learn to project their music over that of the strings section. On the other hand, the strings players needed to learn to be more empathetic towards their wind and percussion counterparts, as there were ‘players who’d never played in an orchestra before’.
On the day of ROAM, transporting the instruments proved to be a herculean task—there was insufficient space on the vehicles provided by the transport company. Students were seen offering to strap the cymbals onto themselves and take the MRT down to the performing venue. Also, RI had to rent SOTA’s concert hall because RI lacked a proper performing venue, as well as SOTA’s Black Box because the concert hall’s backstage had insufficient space for the 210-odd students involved. Even so, the wide stage was not deep enough to accommodate the entire orchestra.
In the face of such daunting challenges, would ROAM eventually succeed? How did the budding musicians overcome these teething problems? Stay tuned for the print edition of the Eagle Eye to find out more.