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Hwa Chongians Exhibiting Grit at Virtual Singapore Youth Festival (SYF) 2021

Written by: Caroline Ong Wan Ting (21A10), Ryan Tan Zhen Xuan (21S73)

Pictures by: Mandy Koh (21S6Q)

First Still from MAD's Scintillating Performance

Since the COVID-19 pandemic struck Singapore, we all had to adapt to the new normal. No longer able to meet in large social gatherings, CCAs have had to adapt to the new normal. Furthermore, since physical competitions and performances were suspended in early 2020, as with other events, the SYF performances naturally also had to be presented differently.

Unlike previous years, Choir’s (rioHC) SYF had to be conducted virtually, through recorded performances, so viewers could not experience it at a live setting. With limited practice sessions adding to the uncertainty faced by members, Jolene Goh (21S64) shared that “recording in sections and then putting the audio together afterwards was very challenging as it was hard to keep everyone on the same rhythm due to the nature of the piece”. Fortunately, the choir members aptly embraced the 自强不息 spirit, and were able to solve their SYF preparation problems by synchronizing better through recorded audio as background music.

Second Still from MAD's Scintillating Performance

Similarly, MAD Modern also experienced changes in performance guidelines. Dancers had to distance themselves while dancing and at the same time, physical contact with each other was disallowed. Nevertheless, Gwendelyn Lee (21A10) remained optimistic and felt that “it was fortunate that we were able to continue SYF despite COVID-19 restrictions”. She feels that the most memorable times were during physical practices and meals, albeit the safe-distancing measures.

“We must accept finite disappointment, but we must never lose infinite hope,” said Martin Luther King, Jr. Jolene reflected that her biggest takeaways from this experience would be that “adaptability and team spirit [are] crucial” when facing fast-changing situations to effectively mitigate them and Gwendelyn believes that this teamwork built will “benefit [them] in future performances”. Understandably, individuals may view this pandemic negatively, but it is certainly reassuring to witness such positive mindsets and growth during these turbulent times.

Good job to all performing arts CCAs for staying motivated and passionate during this tumultuous period!

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