By Adele Tey (22S06A), Band Major, Kam Pak Wai (22S07A), Assistant Band Major
Would you like to make grand and majestic music with other like-minded individuals? Or perhaps you like soft and lyrical tunes? Well, if you do, then Raffles Symphonic Band (RSB) provides all that and more! We are a fun and engaging CCA that will help you grow and better yourselves as musicians. Not only that, you will meet new people in our tight-knit community of juniors, seniors and alumni.
We have the most unique practice venue amongst all the other CCAs, with our practices taking place at the Y1-4 campus band room every Wednesday and Friday. Even though we might feel secluded from the rest of the school, we still love coming to the band room as we have a cozy corner, a place to relax and bond.
And don’t you worry about the music-making part. Under the baton of our resident conductor Mr Lim Yean Hwee, we spend our practices fine-tuning our skills. We also have private tutoring sessions with esteemed and highly regarded tutors for each instrument to help us maintain the high standards of RSB.
Mr Lim Yean Hwee, our conductor.
You may not have heard of us if you were previously in a secondary school band as we did not participate in the Singapore Youth Festival (SYF). However, due to the recent COVID situation, we decided to take the chance to do something new and took part in 2021’s SYF. After long hours of practice, even coming back on non-rehearsal days, we are proud to have obtained Distinction, working extremely hard with strict regulations and building strong bonds with each other throughout the whole journey
We also hold a yearly concert, A Tempo! It is quite a magnificent event at Victoria Concert Hall, where friends, family and alumni gather to have a grand night of music. From ensembles to full band performances, nobody is left out. One unique aspect of our concerts is our invitation of judges to attend our concert and assess our performances holistically.
This is not the only concert that we host, as we also have our year end concert Bandemonium where we invite our alumni and Secondary 4 students to join us in performing. This year, our Bandemonium will be held online, but that does not make it any less fun. The theme for this year’s e-Bandemonium is movies, and we’ll be playing themes from Studio Ghibli, La La Land, Mission Impossible, and more!
Besides our concerts, we also have a biennial trip to Osaka, Japan that no member would want to miss. These band exchanges with prestigious Japanese bands like Konko Osaka High School and Settsu City Junior High School allow us to learn from like-minded musicians. We not only share musical experiences, but also learn more about each other’s culture.
In band, we not only gain more musical knowledge but also gain another family. Our dedicated alumni frequently come back to support us, as either a member of the audience or as a player, allowing us to have a strong alumni culture that is extremely hard to find.
The time spent together has allowed us to bond and it is quite common to see us asking each other for help with tutorial questions. You would not find it hard to find someone to talk to as everyone in RSB is very friendly! It could have been because of the weekly band mug calls over discord or the multiple band dinners after practice at Junction 8 Sky Garden, but RSB has definitely become a second home to all of us.
Discord mug calls.
Joining RSB is truly an experience you will never regret. Hope to see you around!
*Cover image taken in accordance with SMMs during the prior phase of Covid-19 measures.