By Guitar Ensemble
Have you ever wished you could play your favorite pop or classical tunes on a guitar like those guitarists on stage? Then you have made the right choice clicking on this page! The Raffles Institution Guitar Ensemble (RJGE) is a fully fledged Niibori Guitar Ensemble, and we explore many genres of music. Be it emotional classics or rock songs, you name it, we do it. There is so much more to guitar that you can discover, because other than simple finger-plucking exercises, we have a bigger goal of tugging at your heartstrings!
In RJGE, we strongly believe that it is important to have an inclusive and bonded community. To us, CCA is not just a weekly commitment that requires compulsory attendance, but a place where we hope to see our members forge stronger relationships with one another and feel a sense of belonging. We hope that RJGE can be a safe sanctuary for our members, where they can seek comfort and relaxation after a lengthy, gruelling day at school.
As you all know, COVID-19 has unexpectedly changed 2020 for the worse and has affected our Guitar Ensemble experience due to the lack of participatable events. Thankfully, there will be a series of exciting events planned for next year. At the top of the list is the 2021 Singapore Youth Festival Arts Presentation (SYF). With the help of our instructors who helped the ensemble achieve incredible SYF results in both 2017 and 2019, there is no doubt that our current and future Guitar Ensemble members will be in good hands preparing for the upcoming SYF. Do also look forward to multiple concerts and showcases to perform and show off our ever-improving guitar skills.
Practice sessions are usually held twice a week: on Mondays from 4.30pm to 6.30pm and Wednesdays from 2.30pm to 4.30pm. However, this year practice has taken the form of Microsoft Team calls with our instructors, Mr Eugene Lee and Mr Leslie. They have been held every Monday from 5.30pm to 7.00pm. During practice, we split into our respective sections (what we refer to as “sectionals”) for most of the time, before playing together as an ensemble. Sectionals are often used to develop individual playing skills and provide the opportunity for sectionmates to interact with each other and foster camaraderie. On the other hand, ensemble practice is when the various sections—from the small and melodic Alto to the powerful and mighty Guitarron—come together to create harmonious music that makes all those hours of practice worth it.
Outside of the guitar room, you will also have the opportunity to lead and make a positive difference through Values in Action (VIA) projects and performances. Through these projects, we hope to give every member an opportunity to give back to the community.
When we joined RJGE in 2020, we were unfortunately unable to begin our journey with face-to-face CCA sessions due to COVID-19, but our enthusiastic seniors held online sessions to guide us through the basics of guitar. A few months later, we were lucky to get approval for our instructors to conduct eCCA sessions with us. We may have faced difficulties trying to learn through the screen, but we took it step by step. Hopefully, the sun will shine on us again and we will have a chance to come together as one batch and strum melodies to our hearts’ content!
Now, you may have some reservations or concerns about joining the Raffles Guitar family. Perhaps you may be wondering: “I have no musical experience! Would I still be able to join?” Fret not, we gladly welcome whoever wishes to start learning from scratch! Our family, including friendly instructors and teachers, will be more than willing to set you on the road to master playing the guitar. Furthermore, it is not necessary l to purchase a brand new guitar as our in-store guitars can be borrowed for practice outside CCA. While having a musical background may make it easier for you to pick up the instrument, what’s most important to us is the passion and enthusiasm for learning. As long as you have the willpower, we believe that our supportive community will provide you with sufficient assistance to develop your interest into a long-lasting skill set!
We hope that you too could join us on this rewarding journey in RJGE where we make the most out of the fleeting time here in JC life to become the best of ourselves, and let our passion take flight!