Light the Way: Symphony of Sound

Written by: Aloysius Tng (19-U4), Lee Keng Yan (19-U1), Clarence Sim (19-A6)

Designed by: Athena Lim (19-A4)

Photograph Taken By: Yau Yu Hao (18-I6)

In this piece, we will be showcasing our very own Eunoia Symphonic Band, a CCA that has been with us from the very start. Snagging a distinction in their very first Singapore Youth Festival (SYF) in 2017, Band has been one of Eunoia’s core aesthetic CCAs with many successful performances under their belt. With over 50 veteran members and instruments ranging from the triangle to the double bass, Eunoians are in for a treat, as they will get to see all of these in action at the University Cultural Centre on 11th May when they perform for our Eunoia College Day concert! Today, we will be interviewing the Symphonic Band President Chang Aik Chuan from 18-U1 and a dedicated J1, Zhang Runze, from 19-U4.

Party in Space, composed by Lee Jinjun is the set piece for the SYF 2019 Arts Presentations for Concert Bands. Clocking in at just over three and a half minutes, it’s not a stereotypical work of classical music that one might expect a band piece to be, with its off kilter rhythms and varying melodic contours. The piece begins with a short  but strong introduction, before rapidly transitioning into a softer passage showcasing the various brass instruments. The piece goes through several builds and climaxes; none of these are as great as the ending, when the drum set ushers in the trombone glissando and the entire band bursts into rapture, playing their own little piece of the melody.

Sea of Wisdom, composed by Daisuke Shimizu is a stunning piece that takes the listener on a sonic journey through various soundscapes. The beginning of the piece depicts an image of a  serene and tranquil ocean, with seagulls (clarinets in disguise) in one’s mind, providing an even more surreal effect. As the song progresses, the clear skies turn into a ferocious thunderstorm, as the piece gains a newfound sense of urgency and tension. After this thunderstorm, grey clouds give way to rays of sunshine as the band slowly but surely grows louder as one, finishing the piece with a majestic and triumphant series of crescendos. The most prominent part about this piece is probably the saxophone solo which is played twice as it represents a solitary voice of strength and hope; it is assuring, resolute and melodically beautiful.

The pieces are certainly fitting for the occasion, and for Symphonic Band. When asked about the significance of their participation in the College Day Concert, the response was that of hope. For Symphonic Band, the College Day concert is an opportunity to showcase their hours of sweat and work. It’s proof of their identity as a band, a harmonic cohesive that plays with one sound. Symphonic Band has been hard at work for the past few months, with our interviewees feeling that band has worked its hardest, and can say with utmost confidence that they are ready to put up a good show. This year’s College Day is going to be an almost-surreal, almost-unreal one, and Symphonic Band is determined to seize this opportunity to showcase their talents.

As we interviewed them, their excitement and determination was palpable. Aik Chuan felt that it would be a very surreal experience, as they would be transitioning from a small school stage to a prominent concert hall while Runze was evidently hyped for this performance and for everyone’s efforts to pay off.

As College Day approaches, some pieces come to their end. As the seniors prepare to hand over the baton, their wish is this: for the J1 musicians to, of course, practise hard together, but also to cherish their time together. Runze expressed deep appreciation for their seniors’ guidance and acceptance, which has eased them into the various expectations demanded of a high-level performance. Their gratitude shines through in their wish to carry on their seniors’ legacy, continuing to create Eunoia’s sound with the incoming J1s as one Band.

Gruelling months of training will culminate into one stunning performance on the 11th of May, so don’t miss the chance to witness them in action! Come down to the University Cultural Centre on that day to see all five of our Performing Arts CCAs come together to create a stellar performance for everyone!

Addendum:

Just in: SYF Results Release – a hearty congratulations to Symphonic Band for obtaining the Certificate of Distinction!

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