By Raffles Symphonic Band EXCO ‘21
Ever wanted to try your hand at creating something truly magical? Ever had the urge to learn something interesting and exciting? Then playing together with the Raffles Symphonic Band (RSB) may just be the thing for you! It may seem quite daunting at first, but RSB is actually a very comfortable place to learn and nurture your skills as a musician, whilst simultaneously meeting new people in our tight-knit community of seniors, alumni, and juniors!
You may feel that the band is quite isolated from the rest of the school. After all, the band room is located all the way in the Year 1-4 campus! Yet, that doesn’t stop our band members from diligently marching to the band room every Wednesday and Friday after school for practice. Sometimes, we even go there on non-rehearsal days just to chill at our beloved cozy corner!
However, there is no doubt that the majority of music-making occurs during proper combined band rehearsal days, under the tutelage of our resident conductor Mr Lim Yean Hwee. Moreover, we have private tutoring sessions with esteemed and well-regarded tutors for each instrument, all of which to ensure that the prestigious and high standards of RSB’s playing is upheld. So, you can be assured that your musical enrichment is in very good hands!
If you were formerly from a band in secondary school, you may not have heard much about us. That’s probably because we don’t take part in the Singapore Youth Festival. Instead, we host a yearly performance, A Tempo! It’s quite a fancy event that is held at the exquisite Victoria Concert Hall, where judges are invited to judge our concert holistically in terms of repertoire.
Alas, we cannot proceed without addressing the COVID-19 situation. After all, which CCA could possibly be more affected than Band, with our mass amounts of “droplet” production? While we sadly couldn’t have A Tempo this year, we had an online video series where we showcased selected recordings of certain band members during the circuit breaker. It’s just like a virtual concert that you can watch—in the comfort of your own home!
Moreover, RSB is an excellent way to make new fun memories! Our bi-annual trip to Osaka, Japan is an event that all band members can’t afford to miss. Having band exchanges with prestigious Japanese bands like Konko Osaka High School and Settsu City Junior High School allow us to learn from dedicated, like-minded musicians. It goes without saying that we also acquire valuable cultural experiences as well.
We also frequently host exchanges locally, such as one recently in February 2020 with Gustavus Adolphus College of Music from America. Unfortunately, because of COVID-19, we could only have performances within individual sections, but it was still an illuminating experience nonetheless!
But Band isn’t only about music-making, it’s also about the people you make it with! As we’ve mentioned before, we’ve got a strong alumni culture who frequently come to support us—either as a member of the audience or, more commonly, as a player. This has resulted in one big RSB family!
And finally, RSB cultivates a strong culture of warmth. You would be hard-pressed to find a single band member who wouldn’t eagerly help you out with tough tutorial questions, or one who is difficult to strike a friendly conversation with. Maybe it’s our universal love for our conductor, Mr Lim, or maybe it’s the multiple band dinners after each band practice at the Junction 8 Sky Garden—either way Band has always been a second home to all band members.
Have we convinced you? Come and join RSB and be a part of this fulfilling music-making experience now!