By Alyssa Marie Loo (19A13A), Ina Song (19S07C), Rachel Lee (19A01D), Shervon Lee (19S06A), and Mabel Yet (19S03Q)
Photographs courtesy of Raffles Photographic Society and Alyssa Marie Loo (19A13A)
This is Part 2 of our Y5 Orientation 2019 coverage, covering Narrative, Team Raffles Hour, House Hour, Highlights, PLogs and Intra OG time!
Check out Part 1 here!
These segments of Orientation may not seem as significant as activities like Batch Dance and War Games, but they shape the Orientation experience nonetheless, arguably more so than the more prominent, more hyped events. While Orientation was packed with many activities, the lunch breaks left much free time for OGs to play intra-OG games to get to know each other better (and let’s be honest – burning bridges never fails to take friendships to another level). Let’s also not forget those who worked tirelessly behind the scenes to make orientation a smooth ride for us all!
He stepped onto stage wearing a grand foam crown and a satin gold cape: King Capriccio himself graced the stage, much to the awe of his five House Guardians, all of whom equally looked the part with house capes tied vibrantly around their necks. Across the four days of Orientation, these six characters graced the stage at the start and end of each day, leading the Y5 batch through their escapades in the kingdom — especially their plots against the masked, cloaked and mysterious antagonist Sonata himself.
“There was a king called Capriccio and he was in charge of a musical kingdom creatively termed ‘the land of Raffles’. His five protectors, which are the five different houses, would be participating in a competition to create the best song to please the king,” Chew Jay Hong (19A13A), King Capriccio and Student Council President, summed up for us.
While it may sound straightforward, the narrative incorporated purposeful details. For example, the antagonist was named ‘Sonata’ as the sonata is a highly structured music form that has had centuries in practice to codify its rules, directly opposed to ‘Capriccio’ which means lively and free-spirited music. Further expanding the meaning of ‘Capriccio’, the Colosseum stage backdrop is a reference to Italian painter Panini’s ‘architectural capriccios’, where he depicted the Roman Colosseum in a series of imagined landscapes.
Still, most elements of the narrative were indeed light-hearted, especially in how the five House Guardians were scripted into five distinct and humourous caricatures. “There was a very concerted effort to introduce the house captains, so they were representatives people could identify with rather than having to employ actors,” commented Jay Hong; previous years tended to use volunteer OGLs from the respective houses to portray characters.
And indeed, the script did very well to introduce the captains: “All of the characters were greatly exaggerated manifestations of certain key character traits of house captains,” said Li Chu Wei (19S06J), HH house captain who was involved in writing the script. Jing Kai (MT House Captain) was the “sleepy/playful archetype that acts as the comic relief”; Amy (BB House Captain) was the “caring ‘auntie’ […] whose advice sometimes fell on deaf years”; Izaac (MR House Captain) was the one to “always rush to action […] with the observational skills which allowed him to pick out details to figure out the antagonist’s identity”, while both Alexandra (BW House Captain) and Chu Wei “had [their] trait of competitiveness fleshed out the most obviously as [they vied] for the crown without much real consideration about feelings and cooperation.”
Yet, despite the bickering that the characters may have displayed on stage, Chu Wei stresses that “we are a really close group of friends off the stage”, and cooperation has been vital for their journeys has house captains.
The narrative ended in the big finale before O’Nite, where the five houses were called upon to showcase their final music pieces to the King. Strangely enough, the five houses played the same tune, just in rising octaves — to which they defended that ”he (Sonata) stole all the notes!” In response, Sonata put up his own piece for judgment: a performance of baby shark! In the end, the five house guardians won by singing ‘2002’ by Anne-Marie acapella to King Capriccio. It was heartening that the batch of 2020 seemed to enjoy the performance, as they sang along with their house captains lyric-for-lyric (thanks to batch dance tutorials!)
Team Raffles Hour
Welcoming the Y5s in with a dose of school spirit was Team Raffles Hour. The Rafflesian Principle of Honour, which was once said by the boys back in the Y1-4 campus, and the Institution Anthem were taught to the incoming cohort, featuring some beautiful vocals by our very own President and Vice Presidents of the Student Council. What particularly interested the OGLings was the line in the Institution Anthem that has sparked debate. As the line “The Sons of Singapore” was sung, loud murmurs were heard among the OGLings.
Following which, the main star of the hour, CCAD, took the stage, prepared to bring out the Rafflesian Spirit in every student with the iconic cheers. The chitchattering in the hall died down when CCAD began cheer demonstrations. Above the sound of the loud drumming, the OGLings were found clapping along during the demonstrations and cheering enthusiastically. This year, a combination of new cheers (Gryphon’s Call and Strive On) and ‘old’ cheers were taught, with the favourites for most students being Rafblood and Unite. In just a few months, the OGLings can prepare to use these cheers at a match support they would go for, and experience the Rafflesian Spirit for themselves. (A match support is where classes head down for a match, for eg. A Divisions semifinals/finals, and cheer for their fellow Rafflesians and support them!) Ending off each Team Raffles Hour was a cheer-off between the houses, an exciting time for the OGLings to put their shyness away and cheer their hearts out with their peers! Though a short programme, Team Raffles Hour has definitely got the OGLings pumped for their first upcoming match support!
Most agree that the hallmark of Moor Tarbet would be its iconic MT MT MT cheer, in which one can see a sea of MTitans jumping up and down and swinging their bandanas wildly. Despite the slightly lukewarm response on day 1 where the Y5s were still trying to figure out the lyrics, the house spirit definitely strengthened in the upcoming days, evident from how the Y5s cheered their hearts out during War Games and enthusiastically checked off the MTitan Bucketlist to earn House points.
“I wanted to make the cheers as close […] to people’s hearts as possible”, House Captain Lee Jingkai (19S07A) explained, “so they’re cheering from the bottom of their hearts and not just for the sake of doing so.”
Besides learning the cheers and the zany actions that came with, MTitans also cozied up in LT5 with games like Human Bingo and Don’t Forget The Lyrics, which turned into an intense karaoke session. Though these games weren’t directly linked to House, the sense of rootedness and warmth from being part of this huge family definitely came through, and we can safely say that the newly-inducted MTitans would remember this feeling for a long time to come. To keep up with your fellow Titans, follow @mtpredator on Instagram!
The lights in the LT went off, the somewhat scary music in the background intensified and all four doors of the LT opened. House dee members donning the house flags as capes entered the dark room. The house captain greeted the new wolf pups, welcoming them to what would be their home of two years—Morrison-Richardson. A sacrifice is needed and a pre-planned house dee member sitting amongst the audience is carefully selected by the captain. With his wolf claws, a precious supply of blue blood is drawn from the sacrifice and offered to the new pups of the pack. Though the blue blood may have tasted slightly sour, this swear in ceremony was
without a doubt possibly the coolest one out there.
During the next House Hour, rounds of superlatives were played, giving the OGLings a chance to come on stage to win prizes for themselves or their OGs. That very day, MR found and crowned the fastest dabber, lowest splitter and sexiest body wave-r of the blue house! If you are a part of the wolf pack, or wished you were a part of the blue house, you can follow @coolbluewolves on Instagram for updates. And as the wolves and wolf pups always say, wolf pack—one call!
BB House Hour saw their green OGs entering a pitch-black LT2 on Day 1 House Hour, phone flashlights frantically finding the edges of staircase steps, footsteps hurried by the echoing drum music booming from the speakers. “We will now be passing the blood of your ancestors…” a deep voice rumbled throughout the LT, and soon most BB OGLings were marked with the bright green blood of their forefathers, neatly striped across their cheeks. BBians were made to recite an oath–though certainly with varying levels of seriousness. One of the lines that earned a ripple of laughter was that of “I swear never to proliferate outside my house” (because of course, where else could the grass be greener than within BB itself?)
Of course, the cult appearance quickly dissolved into wackiness. The second house hour set the stage with Minute to Win It Intra-OG games, where BB OG representatives performed a strange variety of tasks: keeping 3 balloons simultaneously in the air, building cup towers and calculating trajectories of falling broomsticks and flying erasers. Spirits were high as OGs cheered for the OG representatives against the clock, and the energy only increased as batch dance pairs walked onto stage to contest for the crown of Dance-Off House Representatives (who eventually did our BBeasts proud by crowning champions of the dance off!) If you yourself are a BBeast Dragon, follow @bbeasts to follow BB House D’s ridiculously adorable initiatives (pick-up limes, for example) and continue our long-held bragging right of having the most Instagram followers of all house accounts!
Down at the PAC, much less like a cult, was the Bayley-Waddle tribe! Instead of the solemn and intense vibes that some other houses chose to immerse themselves in, BW took a backseat and opted for a much more light-hearted and informal tone. As OGs filed into the PAC and took their places in the comfortable seats, the house dee members stood on stage, the house flag flying on their shoulders. An introductory video was quickly screened, and OGLings were then introduced to house dee members one at a time, all along with weird quirks of each house dee member! (One of them even had a compilation of photos where she was not wearing the BW shirt!)
Of course, no house hour is complete without some fun and games. Don’t Forget the Lyrics had OGs singing to songs together to compete for some points for their OG, although realistically, we all know only half of the OG was really singing. Superlatives also allowed BWians to discover the OGling who could yeet the longest, quack the loudest, and floss the fastest, amongst other things. Needless to say, it was a funny hour. For more updates from the yellow tribe, @bwornwinners is your way to go. BW, saa!
It definitely seemed like the trend for House Hours to be modelled after some sort of cult rite or initiation, and the HH House Hour was no different. OGLings walked into a darkened LT1 with trepidation, a slow, steady drum beat resounding throughout the auditorium. After they had been seated in their respective OGs, the lights flickered on to their OGLs, lined up and down the auditorium stairs, doing the HH cheer. The ‘initation’ ended off with HH house captain Chu Wei leading the HH oath, and the OGLs ‘marking’ their OGLings with black and purple ‘H’s on the back of their hands. The OGLings spent a few moments marvelling at their newly-claimed marks, but their journey as a HHian had yet to begin.
That being said, the HH cheer, being probably one of the most (if not, the most) reputable amongst the five Houses—you know it’s one of the best cheers when students from other houses know the lyrics and steps to it!—was definitely the highlight of the event.
House Hour was definitely a good opportunity for OGs to get their hype on and bond with their fellow OGmates by being the most kiasu and going all out to become the best HH OG. Throughout the next few House Hours, OGLings competed against other OGs in games and contests requiring them to produce the most black and purple items, the ever-classic Superlatives which saw OGLings scrambling to compete over who had the biggest biceps, and lastly, the internal selection for dance-off pairs! For more highlights of House Hour and orientation in general, @hhusdaboss has many more posts capturing our HH OGLings in action!
Often, the pockets of time in between the ‘hoo-ha’ turn out to be the most precious and memorable. “I actually enjoyed OG time the most, like sitting together, talking and playing games because I could really feel the love from everyone,” Christine Sim (20S07A) enthused.
Though OG dinners aren’t technically in the Orientation programme, they still retain the top spot in the Things OGlings Remember From Orientation. While all the OGs are pretty much doing the same thing in the day, the nightly OG dinners are unique and significant to each individual OG, and are arguably where most of the best Orientation memories are made. As the OGlings slowly unwind after the long day, friendships were forged and strengthened from the shared laughter over preposterous (yet strangely endearing) mind games and embarrassing dares, or from heart-to-hearts and stories told under a blanket of stars. Although both OGLs and OGlings were probably drained by the end each day, energy levels would somehow manage to skyrocket at OG dinners.
As Ang Yu Xuan (20A01E) reminisced: “One of my favourite Orientation memories would be lying on the grass with my OG on the last night!” Indeed, while the details of some of these moments might fog with time, the coziness and warmth would be what sticks with you for a long time.
PLogs + Highlights
Not everyone may know this, but behind every star-studded cast is a dedicated team of stagehands, understudies, technical crew and stage management—these people never see the limelight of the stage but are instrumental to the performance, yet often go unnoticed by the audience. In Capriccio ‘19, this came in the form of none other than the PLogs and Highlights teams. These were some of the most underrated members of Orientation: cogs in the wheels making up the machinery of the successful event that was Capriccio, but without whom it would not have run as smoothly, or even been made possible in the first place.
The functions they perform are vastly different. PLogs work has been referred to as the thankless effort making up the backbone of the entire event. These were the OGLs who spent countless months reformatting proposals for dreary tasks such as temperature-taking, attendance and GIRO forms which any other student would (understandably!) be reluctant to do, who spent shifts in the Hodge Lodge away from their OGs ensuring that OGLings and OGLs who were injured or absent were well-accounted for, whose work did not focus on a specific portion of the whole experience but supported the entire event.
Meanwhile, Highlights’ leading role was cued before Orientation even begun: specifically, in managing and producing hype content for the @ricapriccio2019 Instagram and Youtube page. Armed with a team of cameras during Dry Run, the Highlighters were a common sight roaming the cRIb during banner painting hunting for video participants, as well as assaulting individual committees for committee photos and descriptions for features. If you watched any of the count down videos or read the posts on the Instagram, then you’ve seen the results of the Highlighters’ hard work! During Orientation, you might even have seen Highlighters filming the games with their gimbals and DSLRs, braving the potential of deathly collision during War Games to get up close, immersive and action-packed footage. “I was so sad that I couldn’t dance sun dance for the first two days because I had to film it,” said Alyssa Marie Loo (19A13A), though she did happily add that the footage gained from Sun Dance was well worth the missed two days. Visit their Instagram page @ricapriccio2019 again to relive some Orientation memories!
Four days of sweat, laughter and physical activity had most OGLs and OGLings exhausted. As OGLings start getting into the rigour of JC, they might find themselves missing Orientation more and more, as the OGLs once did. (That’s why most of us are OGLs, after all.) More than anything, Orientation was a chance for one to have fun, explore the school in a fun way, and get to know more people beyond their usual social circles.
Judging by the OG tables that crowd up the canteen every morning, Raffles Press is impressed with how strong some OGs are staying, and hope that they continue to remain so throughout the next two years. (Even if your OG doesn’t have a table, we hope you continue to say hi to your OG mates and OGLs in the corridors! It’s always nice to see familiar faces in the hustle of JC.) With that, Raffles Press hopes you will carry the memories and friendships from Orientation into the next two years of JC, and all the best for the journey ahead!