Category: CCA Previews 2013

CCA Preview ’13: Soccer Girls

by Choo Yun Ting and Kimberley Yeo
Do you dream of playing in the largest football stadium in Singapore under the floodlights and an expanse of AstroTurf under your feet? Jalan Besar Stadium has been one of the greatest motivations that Raffles Soccer Girls has drawn on since we’ve come into some prominence – much like an amateur club turning professional. We’re coming off our first National Schools title, and trying to create a legacy (and knocking some stalwarts off in the process).

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Soccer is a game usually associated with our male counterparts, and most of us come into the CCA barely having kicked a ball in our lives outside of PE lessons. But perhaps it is this new environment for all of us that brings us together. That, and having the best CCA teachers-in-charge, who always have food in arms – Mr Leong’s famous tins of biscuits! Raffles Soccer Girls has come a long way from our humble beginnings, from training irregularly in various unlikely areas of the school, to being one of the guardians of the main field.

We train thrice a week, one physical and two ball trainings at the field. As Mr Leong always says, the best bonding is done through PT. Requirements to join Soccer Girls are pretty fair – basic coordination skills, a good attitude towards training and soccer in general, and some sense with the ball. But really, all we are looking for are passionate girls! Many of us started out with zero experience and as one team, we continue to learn new skills.

celeste

Kicking a ball may seem counter-intuitive, but that’s the challenge! Come push yourself & do things you never thought you could. Dribble, trap, shoot – discover your affinity with the soccer ball. And, of course, soccer is the place to do it where we learn, make mistakes and perfect our skills together, all under the patient guidance of our coaches Mr Leong and Mr Man.

Above all, soccer is a team game. Individual skill can only get you so far – it is in the team spirit that brings out the beautiful game. Every ball training ends with a scaled down match where we learn to trust each other. We then progress on to friendlies on the full field which provides invaluable experience for the ultimate test, the National Schools Championships. Though our time together is short, the shared memories will stay in our hearts much longer.

Come join us! As our defender Wan Qi says, “I love soccer because balls are meant to be kicked!”, soccer isn’t all serious trainings and nothing else. As many of our players can vouch for it, soccer will be the best thing that happened to you here in RI.

BELIEVE, HARD WORK, DESIRE.
BELIEVE, HARD WORK, DESIRE.

Read our match report about how Soccer Girls won champions for the first time, at Jalan Besar Stadium last year.

CCA Preview ’13: Raffles Chorale

We would like to invite all readers of this article to first listen to the following video.

http://www.youtube.com/watch?v=RUGhA7zquC0

Moments on the cusp of perfection, where emotions run wild and free, are at the pinnacle of any performance art. Moments where audience and performers alike catch a glimpse of what music ought to be, and truly feel it take on a life of its own. If you live for moments like these, Raffles Chorale is the place for you.

Limelight 2012
Limelight 2012

Raffles Chorale was founded in 1982, and has since grown from strength to strength, consistently being awarded Certificates of Distinction and Gold medals in the biennial Singapore Youth Festival (SYF) Choral Competition, achieving Gold with Honors award in 2011, the most recent SYF. Without a doubt, Chorale’s excellent track record contributed to its selection into the Ministry of Education’s Choral Excellence Program, as a benchmark for the school choral standard in Singapore since 1988 and was also crowned Best Choir of the Year in 1999.

Chorale also regularly participates in prestigious International Choral Festivals and Competitions, having performed in nations such as Italy (2004), Finland (2005), the Czech Republic (2006, 2008), Belgium (2010) and Poland (2008, 2012), while simultaneously achieving stellar results and producing near-magical music. Under the expert guidance of our resident conductor, Mr Toh Ban Sheng (who is himself internationally acclaimed), Chorale has garnered 11 Gold awards and multiple first and special prizes to date, and stands prepared to add to that tally.

International Krakow Choir Festival 2012
International Krakow Choir Festival 2012

 

Naturally, achieving such consistently spectacular results requires plenty of hard work and rehearsal time. Raffles Chorale practices bi-weekly on Wednesdays and Saturdays, from 1430 – 1930 and 0900 – 1630 respectively. Practices comprise sectionals, as well as combined sessions with our conductor. While intensive at times (especially while preparing for competitions), Chorale also puts aside plenty of time for fun, with an annual activity day set aside for choir bonding, as well as numerous choir outings.

Raffles Chorale also features two home-grown a cappella groups, PUNCH and FRINGE, which dabble in contemporary singles, as well as Broadway musicals. Our a cappella groups are sure to broaden your horizons to the full extent of the human voice!

PUNCH vocal delights
PUNCH at Vocal Delights

With 60 fellow friendly choristers, life in Raffles Chorale is bound to be fun-filled and a truly enriching experience for anyone with a passion for singing. Remember when we talked about those magical moments that make performance art worthwhile? Raffles Chorale promises to deliver those moments of magic. After all, it is what all choristers strive and live for. Before we end off, here a few words from our former chairperson of the batch of 2012, Joseph.

“Chorale has been the most life-changing experience in my schooling years. When you give your all to the pursuit of choral excellence,, you grow in character, in musicianship and you find yourself part of a family that supports you and journeys with you through your JC years and beyond.”

 

CCA Preview ’13: Youth Flying Club

by Tommy Koh (13AO1B) and Quek Zhi Hao (13S03K)

‘I have slipped the surly bonds of the Earth

And danced the skies on laughter silvered wings’

–          An Airman’s Ecstasy

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Advancements in science leading to the development of modern day aircraft have redefined our ability to fly. Being up in the sky above the clouds is now an experience that millions of people enjoy daily around the world.

Flight entails freedom, liberation and adventure. For many of us, flight means departing for a different land or returning from one- It means being a passenger in the safe hands of a professional who says ‘welcome aboard, this is your captain speaking’. But what do we really know about how to fly a plane?

If flying has mesmerized you from young or if you simply find the idea of being up in the skies novel and interesting, the Singapore Youth Flying Club (SYFC) offers students above the age of 16 a unique opportunity to experience flight for themselves and learn how to operate an aircraft.

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Involvement in SYFC can be easily understood in phases:

In Phase 1, all members will be paired with an instructor given the opportunity to fly 6 introductory flights. During these 6 flights, members will appreciate the basic controls of an aircraft and experience how to fly a plane. Those who demonstrate good aircraft handling ability will be promoted to Phase 2.

In Phase 2, members are allowed 10 flights in preparation for the First Solo Flight. During these preparatory flights, members will learn how to safety operate an aircraft from take-off to landing. Those who demonstrate an ability to safely complete an entire flight will be allowed to fly their first Solo flight.

Those who have successfully completed their First-Solo flight may be considered for the Private Pilot’s License (Or PPL) course which is approximately 6 month long course culminating in the Private Pilot’s License.

There is no fixed training time for SYFC though most members fly once to twice a week either on a weekday after school or on weekends. New members will also have to attend 2 months of Ground school lectures held on Saturdays in order to understand the principles of flight and prepare them for their upcoming flights.

Interested applicants will have to register directly with SYFC and go through an interview and medical examination to confirm their suitability for flight training.

As one of the external organizations recognized by the school, interested students participating in an SYFC course will have their participation reflected in their CCA records if they are in the Private Pilot’s License course. SYFC also increases for the prospects of those interested in a military flying career with the Republic of Singapore Air Force (RSAF) and offers an accelerated path should members sign on with the RSAF in the future.

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If you’re interested in pursuing an aviation career or simply want to experience what it’s like to be at the controls of a plane, do give some thought to joining SYFC. To be able to actually touch the clouds, to have a bird’s eye view of the entire island and to be alone in the sky in full control of your destiny – all these experiences provide a radically different perspective on life. Being a part of this exclusive community of student-pilots is a chance which is hard to come by and shouldn’t be missed.

CCA Preview ’13: Students’ Council

By Ashlynna Ng (13A01B)

Picture yourself at the end of your JC life. What will you want to have gained after these two short years? Will JC be merely a recollection of times spent a-mugging? Or will you take the path less travelled – be a little bit busier, but receive much more fulfilment? Do you want to learn to lead, organize events and have the time of your life with a spontaneous and awesome bunch of like-minded individuals? If the answer is yes, then you’ve got yourself a plan for the next two years – run for the Students’ Council!

The Students' Council leading school cheers during council investiture
The Students’ Council leading school cheers during council investiture

There are many differing views as to what Student Council actually does. Some say that it is the CCA which spends the most time doing “manual labour”. Others believe that Council is the top leadership body amongst student groups. Yet, while it is true that councillors do spend time on things such as painting banners, a greater portion of time is dedicated to leadership and serving the school population. Given a great degree of autonomy (unlike most secondary school organizations), Council is more able to lead by analysing the needs of the school. They can then introduce new initiatives accordingly or modify existing projects for the needs of the students. While time is spent on manual labour, It can actually be seen as a “real chance to be with people; to have more than one pair of hands moulding the same claypiece to create an amazing masterpiece”, in the words of Celeste Tan, who was in charge of IHC Sports 2012.

Students enjoying themselves during IHC Sports, an event organized by the Students' Council
Students enjoying themselves during IHC Sports, an event organized by the Students’ Council

So how does it all begin? The Council journey begins right now, with you. All of the events and functions organized by council – from Orientation to Take 5 to the Inter-House Competitions, will involve and impact you in some way or another – be it to introduce you to the school, or brighten up your JC life. If you would like to be someone who is responsible for making the magic happen, there will be opportunities for you to sign-up, or receive nominations from your peers to run for Student Council in late February. As the responsibilities of being a councillor are rather high, there is a stringent selection process – after nominations, there will be interviews and campaigning. While undeniably tiring, the process will definitely develop your resilience and help you discover your true reason for becoming a councillor.

The Council after a fun day at inter-batch games
The Council after a fun day at inter-batch games

So how do you know if you’re truly fit to be part of the Students’ Council? If you’re passionate about Team Raffles and dedicated to improving the experience of your friends and schoolmates – that should carry you through. In the words of Attiya Ashraf, a member of the Communications Department, “It’s when you really make the effort that you can truly start to enjoy the process of serving the school. Council is a part of me now and the feeling is great.”

BB House D playing paintball at Council Retreat
BB House D playing paintball at Council Retreat

The Students’ Council strives to be one that connects. Its key thrust of connection is complemented with three key pillars: engage, create, and sincerity. They endeavour to engage the school population, creating something beautiful for the school with sincerity and their best interests at heart. “It’s an ideal we strive towards, and even if we don’t score 10/10 eventually at the end of our term, we will still have had a fulfilling journey,” said Ashlynna Ng, 32nd Council President. “Being a part of the Students’ Council means you leave with a great network of friends, many leadership and life lessons, and knowing that you’ve impacted the school and the lives of your fellow schoolmates.”

CCA Preview ’13: Raffles Rock

By Jonathan Lee (13A01A), Chia Yaim Chong (13A01E), and Stephanie Yeap (13S03R)

And the music was good

And the music was loud

And the singer turned and he said to the crowd

Let there be rock!

— Let There Be Rock; AC/DC

Are you ready to rock? If it’s something you’ve been waiting to do all your life, now’s the best time to unleash your inner rock star and gain experience jamming to your favourite tunes!

Raffles Rock particularly focuses on our namesake genre of music, with plenty of opportunities to branch out into other subgenres such as pop and indie. From Mumford & Sons to Nirvana to Led Zeppelin, our members are encouraged to play freely and pick whatever they want to play. There is plenty of room to experiment and cultivate a musical style which is unique and yet remains within the overall ethos of Raffles Rock. Each batch of our CCA consists of roughly 12 members, who are then split into 2 to 3 bands depending on the intake.

Rock usually meets twice a week at the Jamming Studios, with Tuesday being our designated CCA day and an extra day for bands to jam when their schedules permit. We typically jam either as individual bands or as a whole CCA, with critique and comments being shared after the session. Although we are separated into bands, inter-band collaboration is extremely common and continually encouraged.

from top left, clockwise: Molo attempts to play blind; Yaim Chong conducts open heart surgery on the amp; BJ tries his best to look vacant; and Yaim Chong congratulates the microphone on a job well done.
from top left, clockwise: Molo attempts to play blind; Yaim Chong conducts open heart surgery on the amp; BJ tries his best to look vacant; and Yaim Chong congratulates the microphone on a job well done.

As a CCA, we hold our very own annual rock concert, which literally sees hundreds moshing beneath the stage. This involves hours of practising for the sheer adrenaline of a 20 minute set. We also perform for school events, such as Take 5 and National Day, and even events such as New Years’ Countdowns or charity gigs from external organizations. Joining Rock provides an opportunity to perform on a big stage several times a year, and also to gain performing experience in front of a variety of crowds.

After Indigo performing at Let There Be Rock 2012
After Indigo performing at Let There Be Rock 2012

In order to get into Rock, students will first have to audition in front of a panel consisting of Rock members. Students are recommended to have had an adequate background playing the instrument of their choice, such that they may be better able to demonstrate their abilities during the audition round. Should there be any other selection rounds, students will be notified during the CCA selection season.

While all this may sound like hard work, joining Rock also means joining a family. Our members don’t just make music together: we have meals, play ball, go for gigs and share experiences that go far beyond CCA hours. Rock is a closely-knit bunch of people passionate not just about music, but also about life. As chairman Chia Yaim Chong (13A01E) puts it, “To me, Rock has been more than a CCA. It’s just amazing to be in a group where everyone shares your passion, and I feel right at home here.”

CCA outing to Carnivore: or, what happens if you write dumb things on WhatsApp
CCA outing to Carnivore: or, what happens if you write dumb things on WhatsApp

Here is some of the madness you can expect to hear in Rock:

“We do Stairway to Heaven… THEN WE DO HIGHWAY TO HELL!!!” – Zikai

“Guys… we broke everything. EVERYTHING.” – Darren

Links to our performances:

Eclectic Theatrics

After Indigo

The Fifth Degree