This article is part of the CCA Previews for 2016.
By Zhu Minxi (16A01B), Corporate Comms; Wong Jiaru (16A01C), Chairperson; Jeraldine Low (16S06I), Vice-Chairperson
If you had to name one omnipresent and (nearly) omnipotent CCA in Raffles Institution, you probably wouldn’t be able to give an answer. But there is a name you absolutely should be thinking about. Behind the windows of the mysterious control room in every lecture theatre, the sound of every speaker set you hear around school and even the national anthem and announcements in the morning, you will find our shadows fluttering over enigmatic panels with ominous and befuddling faders while we mutter under our breath. Behind every successful concert and every psychedelic light combination you see at the Performing Arts centre, is us in the shadows.
Audio Visual Unit. We are Light. We are Sound.
Glamorous introduction aside, the work scope of the Audio Visual Unit is probably one of the most happening ones in the entire school. Granted, we do have to know our technicalities and have to deal with XLR cables, quarter-inch cables, condensers, various snakes and many speakers that may or may not work. We run with the Arts CCAs’ calendars and their season is our season; we are there at each and every performance made by the performance Arts groups making it happen, and you can be there too. This makes us the only CCA in school that has access and exposure to the preparation and production of every performance; we always enjoy seeing these projects come to fruition, as we are sure you would too.
Our commitment policy to these events is also one of the best that any CCA in school has. As we provide AV support for (name all the previous events from the yearbook), you can choose which event to go for, all based on your interest and schedule. Of course, there is a minimum number of hours members must fulfil every year, but that is not going to be an issue and often you’ll end up crashing more events!
If you’re befuddled by some of the technical things we mention two paragraphs above (sneaky sneaky), don’t worry. Most of us start off without prior experience and were similarly befuddled when we first stepped into a control room. What matters is that you are keen and quick to learn!
Each AVU member starts off with the induction camp where we are introduced to everyone else, and more importantly, to the basics. Training sessions will then supplement each member with skills that can be applied at various events to ensure that the audience enjoys the concert and the performing CCAs will love us like they always do.
The most essential stage of your learning comes in your first event. It is up to you to mess around with the equipment during rehearsals and learn about the characteristics of each microphone, cable, light, etc, under the watchful and competent guidance of your senior batch (i.e us) to learn how to run a concert. Of course, we do our best at the actual performance, filling concert halls with lights and sounds that dancers, bands and even presentations cannot do without.
For the more experienced few who are interested in developing their technical expertise, other than exploring through self-reading and trial-and-error with the equipment, we will also arrange for further sessions to cater to your interest. We enjoy guidance from Mr Hazli of the Music Department, who is a professional sound engineer working with the Esplanade, and the fountain of much of our AV know-how. Do you want to be your own DJ, learn the nitty-gritty of recording or even make your own cable? You name it; we’ll do it (or we’ll ask our dear Mr Hazli how to).
Finally, the people in the CCA are a large part of what makes the CCA great. The nature of our CCA requires you to depend on, trust and work with your CCA mates a lot and while it can get tense, nothing is better for fostering great relationships than carrying off an event successfully together or sitting in a little box with someone for 30 hours. Furthermore, you’ll get to make friends with the cool performing arts groups and at the same time have a free back row seat to the performances of your choice!
Now, are you ready to join us and be the master of lights and sounds?
Please direct any queries to firstname.lastname@example.org :)