By Ng Jing Wei (22S03C), Chairperson, Kuah Gene Qhee (22S03C), Vice-Chairperson, Lim Le Kiat Noah (22S07A), Quartermaster, Chan Wee Chia (22S03L), Secretary
Jazz: what is it like?
What is Jazz, you may ask? That’s hard to define. Jazz is music, but with extra seasoning and a whole lot of spice. Who can reject that? Jazz might seem like a foreign, or even intimidating term to some of you, yet it is in fact commonly observable in daily life. From the music playing at MRT stations during your commute to school, to the lofi girl you listen to when you study, jazz is everywhere!
Perhaps at this point in time if you are (understandably) confused as to what Jazz is, you could do a quick search on Google and delve into the different Jazz genres and iconic Jazz pieces like Autumn Leaves, Isn’t She Lovely and Spain. Not only that, Jazz has a vast variation of genres, including bossa nova, funk and even fusion, so do check them out, as they are practically guaranteed to make you move to the groove.
Our batch: what is it like?
Contrary to popular belief, not all of us entered Jazz with the innate ability to improvise crazy scales at 200bpm, or create Jacob Collier-esque chords on the spot. In fact, pretty much all of us were classically trained, so even if you hail from the classical gang and are unfamiliar with improvisation, you are more than welcome to join jazz! What matters most is your passion for music and willingness to explore new ideas.
We, the seniors of Jazz, pledge to guide you, and bestow upon you the ability to play wonderful pieces. That is our solemn vow. We are delightful people (yes, honestly) who you can find making a public spectacle of ourselves by dancing zumba at the J8 rooftop (7pm, every Friday) or scarfing down green curry on our Friday Thai food hunts. To find out more about our lovely members, do check out our Instagram @raffles.jazz or drop us a DM if you have any queries!
In the upcoming auditions, we are looking out for someone with jolliness, aptitude, zeal and zest (J.A.Z.Z.) to select for our next generation of jazzers! (And, of course, musical ability in an instrument—basic recorder/angklung skills learnt in Primary Schools are excluded, please.) All (most) instruments are welcome! (More details will be released in our audition signup information.)
Raffles Jazz: What is it like?
You’ve reached this far and we hopefully intrigued some curious souls, so now we shall get into the more nitty-gritty details.
This year, we have two practice sessions each week, one on Wednesday, 8-11am (Your GAP day!) and another on Friday, 3-6pm. Our current sections are: the vocalists, keyboardists, drums, guitarists, soloists (e.g. brass and woodwind instruments) and bassists. During CCA, we split into our assigned bands to plan or practise our allocated songs (Some which you might be able to choose in the future!)
We primarily play through our pieces together and straighten out the inevitable problems and less savoury bits, slowly but surely sculpting each piece into a wonderful work of art. Kind, productive criticism is always welcome in our Jam Studio, and each member has equal say in how the piece will go!
Should COVID-19 restrictions permit, you might even be able to stand onstage and perform for a starstruck audience, taking a well-deserved opportunity to bask in the limelight. That will certainly be an unforgettable experience!
You may notice we do end pretty close to mealtimes on each day and that is another huge plus in your Raffles Jazz experience, for there is unspeakable joy in being able to lounge languidly with your lovely batch at a restaurant or an ice cream parlour together after a tiring school week!
Conclusion: What is it like?
Despite all the incredibly dubious musings and ramblings above, we sincerely hope you will consider joining Jazz, to partake in our close-knit community of musicians and friends united by a passion for Jazz. We guarantee you will have wonderful fun jazzing and bonding with your fellow Jazz-minded brethren!
*Cover image taken in accordance with SMMs during the prior phase of Covid-19 measures.