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Success Served with a Side of Strumming: Guitar Ensemble

Written by: Chua Zea Ra (23A11)

Hwa Chong’s very own Guitar Ensemble clinched distinction in the SYF Arts Presentation for Instrumental Ensemble (Guitar) held on 6 April at the School of the Arts, a triumphant achievement for the CCA. To those who are less acquainted, Guitar Ensemble is composed of various sections such as Alto, Prime, Bass, Contrabass and Guitarron, with combined sessions led by their conductor, Mr Ow.

The batch’s journey of preparing for the SYF was indubitably filled with obstacles. Ying Xuan (22S6G), the President, shared how the pieces chosen to perform for SYF, which were Masquerade Waltz and Metal Vivaldi, reflected a high level of difficulty. Much time had to be put into practice, and morale was relatively low at the start. Having to balance both their studies and the gruelling CCA training sessions proved to be a challenge. Nevertheless, the CCA conquered it by remaining devoted towards the process, citing that their CCA mates acted as their greatest pillars of support. Xuan En (22S69), the Quartermaster, further expressed how they hoped to continue their seniors’ legacy of obtaining a distinction at SYF.

Of course, even with all the stress and tension that SYF came with, there was much laughter as well. Combined sessions to rehearse for SYF turned into a space where their conductor lifted spirits with his humorous charm. There were unforeseen circumstances that the CCA had to overcome. Their guitar store was once flooded due to heavy rain, which left it in shambles, and another unfortunate incident of a member breaking the guitar after accidentally falling over. Fortunately, Lady Luck was on their side as there were replacements who helped them to ride out the anxiety-inducing events.

Xin Yi (22S72), the Vice-President, shared how being part of the Exco augmented their worries about plenty of considerations, but she believed that the misfortune was simply a precursor for the good things ahead. Nonetheless, the batchmates affectionately conveyed their unwavering appreciation for their batchmates' much-needed cooperation and support during a race against time and strength.

The experience fostered closer connections between the considerably large batch, sewing the fabric of their friendships closer. They persevered despite the challenges, and even more so due to them. Ying Xuan further adds how they had all strived towards a collective goal and the process sparked much excitement even in seemingly minor moments such as bus trips to and fro SYF, to rehearsing at the concert hall. They shared their exhilaration and apprehension with one another, watching one another grow as musicians and people.

Moreover, SYF taught them a great deal, and not just musically.

The first point was to be open to new experiences and refrain from letting your judgement cloud whatever is in front of you. Since many of them were initially novices in playing the guitar, stepping out of their comfort zone always does wonders, as it allowed them to reap the full experience in the Guitar Ensemble.

The second point was to enjoy and treasure every moment. The process of preparing for SYF ended in the blink of an eye, especially since everyone was plagued with worries and countless practice sessions. However, their worries were temporary, while their memories were preserved as perennial shades of their colourful journey.

On a more personal level, the Exco discovered how to shape themselves into better leaders. From detailed preparation to ensuring the welfare of their fellow members, it was inspiring to hear them transform an opportunity into a memory for not only themselves, but also their batch.

In the end, the batch had walked away with more than a distinction. It was evident that their time in Guitar Ensemble would remain an essential part of their JC life, pursuing friendships and interests beyond their studies. Through performing, they became a family which had an illuminating passion and love for Guitar Ensemble.

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