CHIJ St. Joseph’s Convent (Singapore)’s Concert Band Visit to St. Teresa

On the 15th and 16th of November, the band was visited by Singapore’s CHIJ St. Joseph’s Convent’s concert band. The visit was part of their cultural exchange trip to Sarawak, and we were more than happy to welcome them.

The first day started at 3:30 pm. Activities were kept to a minimum in consideration for our visitors who were exhausted from their afternoon flight.

We started with a short welcome speech from our Band Major. We then had a simple introduction of each member where one had to state her name, age, and the instrument she plays. Our members did well to ensure that the atmosphere was far from awkward as they cheerfully stood up and introduced themselves. The Singaporeans were no less enthusiastic, and the ice-breaking went smoothly.

After that the members were sent for sectionals with their added family members. The objective of the sectionals was to allow members of each section to bond among themselves and perhaps learn a few things. At 4:30 pm, the program’s participants were given light refreshments. Members then kept their instruments and ended the day’s program at 5:00 pm.

Briefing

Our members (to the left of the photo), our visitors (to the right of the photo) and their teachers (at the back) listening intently as the Band Major gave her speech.

sectionals - flute

The flutes doing their warm-ups together.

sectionals - basses

Our visitors playing a song for the Basses.

The program continued the next day and this time our visitors arrived at 2:30 pm. It was finally time for some real action!

We started the day off as a full band. It was a combined band made up of two schools – definitely something new for our members! After the warm-ups, we played two simple pieces. CHIJ’s coach – Madam Tham Siew Haw – tried her hand at conducting “Hey Baby!”, and Mr Brian conducted “A Whole New World”. Both pieces were played beautifully.

After that, each school performed two pieces for each other. It was a refreshing experience as we had the opportunity to listen to and observe them from up close. Light refreshments were given after the performances.

Madam Tham conducts her band as our members spectate from the side.

Madam Tham conducting her band as our members spectate from the side.

After the light refreshments, everyone returned to the room for a workshop from Mr Brian, who played his trombone to demonstrate some of his points. The workshop was helpful as it also introduced ways to improve one’s musical performance.

Alas, all good things must come to an end. After a heartfelt gift exchange between the schools, everyone packed up. The program ended at 5:00 pm. Before our visitors departed, there was the expected group photo session at the school field (along with a couple of wefies). The sun shone beautifully that evening. Almost as though it was for the photo.

It was a wonderful program altogether and we will definitely miss our friends.

It was a beautiful evening. Almost as though it was made for this group photo.

Everyone looking absolutely photogenic.

-Mildred

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