By Moey Yik Yang (22S03A), Chairperson, Justin Chua Jun Jie (22S06L), Vice-Chairperson, Cheung Wing Lam Cyan (22S03P), Secretary, Josh Koh Jun Yong (22S06R), Quartermaster
Hey there! We’re Raffles Rock, RI’s very own rock band. To clarify, we have nothing to do with stones or boulders. We don’t do any climbing either. But if you’ve ever dreamt of being a rockstar, you’ve come to the right place!
When climbing your way up to the fourth floor of Block D and walking down the corridor, you might come across a mysterious white door with a red sign above it. This is our home — the Jamming Studio. Equipped with mics, amps, instruments and speakers, it’s the perfect place for us to make sweet, melodious (and extremely loud) noise.
We have CCA sessions twice a week: on Mondays from 4pm-7pm, and Wednesdays from 3pm-6pm. During these sessions, we usually jam to our favourite tunes, or do fun things like learning a song in an hour and performing it on the spot. Each batch forms their own band, and though we do typically play rock, each band defines their own sound and style, which makes every one of them special!
Raffles Rock is mentored by Mr Ian Toh (we call him Ian), founder of Thunder Rock Music School. He’s a big name in the local music scene, and he knows almost everything about the music industry. He is also a Pokemon fanatic, and is adept at roasting certain artists with absolutely no mercy. He gives us constructive criticism, feedback on how we can improve our music, and valuable life lessons. We are also advised by Rock’s dedicated teachers-in-charge Ms Siti Zahidah Binte Fadil (or Ms Z) and Ms Ng Pei San, who look after us and ensure that our chaos is always kept in check.
Before COVID-19, our CCA had two main concerts: Rock-In, held in school, and Rock-Out, held at the SCAPE Ground Theatre. Rock-In is a free concert held in April to introduce the school to the new J1 band. Rock-Out, however, is the main highlight of our CCA — an annual ticketed concert with professional lighting and sound! It’s a wild night of moshing, head-banging, jumping, and scream-singing along to familiar tunes that make for an unforgettable experience. Aside from that, we also play for other school events like National Day and Teachers’ Day. However, due to the ongoing pandemic, most of these events have unfortunately been postponed or switched to online platforms.
That doesn’t mean we’ve been slacking though! The pandemic has taught us to be adaptable, and we have since shifted our focus to songwriting and presenting our work digitally. Whether it be arranging covers or writing our own songs, we have picked up new and useful skills like doing proper recordings, mixing tracks and putting together cohesive music videos. So, although we long to be on-stage again, the pandemic has given us the rare opportunity to have a unique music-making experience.
Still on the fence and want a sneak peek of what our CCA is like during a typical session? Come to our Open Jam, which is held before the CCA trials! Besides hearing us play, you and your friends will also get to jam with us in the studio. It’s open to everyone, so sign up quickly while you can!
If you find yourself eager to be a part of the coolest CCA in RI, do sign up for our auditions! We hold them during the January Induction Programme (JIP) and the JAE Induction Programme (JAEIP). You’ll be playing two songs: one of your choice, and one set piece to be released during JIP. In each batch, we usually look for 2 vocalists, 2 guitarists, 2 drummers, 2 keyboardists and 1 (lonely) bassist, but this is heavily dependent on each batch’s talent pool.
As daunting as it may seem, we aren’t looking for the next Van Halen or Freddie Mercury. Besides skill, what’s equally important to us is a passion for music and an open mind. As a member of Rock, you’ll have many opportunities to improve your chops and further your musical knowledge, so just take it easy and show off your talent!
To us, Raffles Rock is so much more than just a CCA. It’s a refuge from the long days of gruelling lessons, and a place where we are able to share our joy for music-making. Our batch is small but tight-knit, and the memories we made together are ones we’ll never forget. Our CCA is one-of-a-kind, and we guarantee you’ll find yourself with a second family by the end of your journey! So what are you waiting for? See you at Open Jam and Auditions!
*Cover image taken in accordance with SMMs during the prior phase of Covid-19 measures.