Posted on 10-Jul-2013
The First-Ever BB Concert Band Festival: A Journey to Remember
Written by Lance Corporal Shane Teh of 1st Kuala Lumpur Company
First off, we would like to thank God for His provision and encouragement in helping 1st Kuala Lumpur Boys’ Brigade to organise the first-ever indoor concert band festival, sponsored by the Kuala Lumpur State Council. It was a rewarding experience for Boys and Officers alike as it has taught us not only unity but also endurance through the difficult tasks. Here is an account of the event by LCPL Shane Teh in a chronological narrative.
Saturday, July 6, 2013
(On the stage.) “Blow air into your instrument,” said Mr. Wan, 1st KL’s Band Instructor. It was our cue to perform as the third band during the evening of band festival and we marched up the stairs. I saw the crowd from up front but I tried to keep calm. Though, as I lifted my flute, I could feel my heart beating very quickly. My warm up notes felt a little shaky. Then, the instructor turned around and gave a bow as the audience applauded...
Friday, July 5, 2013
Right after school, 1st KL Boys gathered to prepare the auditorium for the band festival. At parade, Mr. Jonathan Chan gave pieces of paper to us with specific instructions of what to do and said that he had faith in us to bring every piece to the right place in the right order. I could see other NCOs leading their own groups in finishing their tasks of shifting platforms onto the stage, arranging chairs for other companies, setting up the timpanis and so on.
Despite the havoc, we managed to complete each task and together it was a job well done due to teamwork. We then gathered and prayed for a smooth running for the actual day and reminded ourselves that no matter what the results are, everything is upon God’s mercy. After the preparation, everyone was dismissed and we spent the night at church.
Saturday, July 6, 2013
I was woken by voices and noisy footsteps at 6.15am. Although Reveille was set to be at 6.30am, I looked out the door and saw some of our members walking around, some already in their school uniform. It was Academic Day at Methodist Boys’ School, where report cards are given, and teachers meeting with parents. With the consent from school administrators, BB members were allowed to leave after collecting their report cards. We did another round of rehearsal at the auditorium with the Band Instructor.
Going into three hours before the event officially begins, everyone was munching on their afternoon meal, including members of other companies that came for their session of rehearsal. By 2.30pm, we were to gather in the same room to get the ribbons tied on our necks. Kudos to the band officer, Mr. Tai, for making everyone looked absolutely handsome! I was a little embarrassed to have people seeing me in purple with a ribbon on my neck.
By the time I gathered myself, it was time for the festival to officiate. It was so cool looking at the countdown on screen as the emcee, our own Mr. Wong Giok Leigh, spoke. As time passed, 1st Klang Company went on stage to perform as the first band. The band was small but I felt the brave hearts of its members. Then, it was another enjoyable performance by the second band, 1st Kajang Company.
During the intermission, the 1st Kuala Lumpur Girls’ Brigade Company performed a hand bell choir. Soon, it was the cue for 1st KL to gather outside and prepare ourselves for the time of competition. For months we practiced, and I am thankful for the effort of the Instructor and Officers, and for the time everyone sacrificed. The cheers from the audience warmed up my heart but it was still beating at
Left: 1st KL Company in their colourful costumes. Center: 1st KL Company performing "Where Eagles Soar". Right: 1st KL Company performing "Party Rock Anthem".
Morning arose, sun shone, and I woke up at 7.30am by the call of the buglers. I polished my uniform parts, got changed and went for b
reakfast. After breakfast, we went for church service and it was a rather interesting sermon for me about the names of God and what meanings they bring. By the time I realized, I was already taking my instrument and getting ourselves ready for the showcase. Four bands performed at church and it satisfied me to see people enjoying the music from us.
After that, we were given time to rest and enjoy the fellowship with one another. It was quite a fun time chit-chatting with my Brothers. Lunchtime came and went by quickly and when we knew that it was time for the results to be announced! We were so confident that our beloved LCpl. Lee Yew Ten was going bald (he promised that if we did win the competition he would shave his head)! Sitting in the hall, 1st KL cheered “Botak! Botak! Botak!” and was so happy winning a gold medal. LCpl. Lee kept his promise and is now bald.
Left: Saying "Goodbye" to LCpl. Lee's hair. Center: Band Officer, Mr. Tai and LCpl. Lee. Right: 1st KL Company celebrating birthday with Pte. Tun Mun Chung.
Finally, we ended the day with a final workshop about the importance of intonation, dynamics and also posture.There was a breaktime between 3pm-3.30pm and 1st KL celebrated the birthday of our dear brother – Pte. Tun Mun Chung. As an NCO, I must say I was touched by the laughter and brotherhood shared among us. We continued our workshop with great smiles on our faces. At the end of the day, everyone began packing up and we thanked those who helped out in cleaning the venues we’ve used together.
Overall, it was an awesome experience and an honour performing together with everyone.
The happiest day in my life is when I don’t have friends but brothers and sisters instead, fighting along by my side in this journey called life - Shane Teh
July 6-7th, 2013
WESLEY LEGACY CENTRE, KUALA LUMPUR – It’s here! What all the BB Boys and Girls have been waiting for - The Boys’ Brigade Concert Band Festival 2013. Companies not just from Kuala Lumpur were here, but also from Kajang and another from Klang, took part in the Festival, to showcase what they've been practicing all this time. The 4th Kuala Lumpur Company, was also a participant in the Band Festival, not just to perform, but to learn something more from other bands and to seek guidance from experienced trainers.
We departed St. Gabriel’s Church at 9am, with personnel and equipments loaded onto vehicles, nothing or nobody left behind. We arrived at Wesley Legacy Centre at about 11am (Editor: A Two-Hour ride for a 5km stretch? Wow!). We gathered our things and immediately headed into the main hall for rehearsal. By that time, the chilly air from the air-conditioners and lighting gave us a real feel of how the concert is going to be. We were each given a goodie bag with some food - bread from Massimo, drinks from Drinkho, the event magazine and t-shirt.
The time approached 4.00pm – the time the concert is scheduled to start, all of us got prepared. More and more guest started pouring in, each were given a souvenir magazine and ushered to their seats. We went up to the seats on the upper levels of the main hall and settled ourselves in, waiting for our turn to perform. The VIP of the event was Ms May, the LCEC Chairperson of Wesley Methodist Church KL. Speeches were also given by Mr Tony Chow who is the KL State Commissioner and Mr Yee Mun Theam, 1st KL's captain and the concert's organising chairman.
There were a total of 6 participating bands, 1st KL, 3rd KL, 4th KL, 1st Klang, 1st Kajang and 3rd Kajang. 4th KL was the fifth band to perform and played 2 songs - Clark County Celebration and Joshua.
The festival ended at 7.00pm, with official results to be announced the next day. Everyone went down to the canteen and have dinner, sponsored by the Chicken Rice Shop. After that, we changed into our casual attire and attended the band workshop. The workshop was very helpful, giving much insight to our band and giving awareness to address certain errors, helping us improve not only just the band, also in terms of commitments and attitudes.
All of us spent the night sleeping in the Methodist Boys’ School. It’s corridors were actually quite scary without the lights turned on.
The next day, 4th KL Boys had to depart early and went back to St. Gabriel’s Church for a special program organized by the church’s Youth Group, Ignite. As we all reached church, we settled down and proceeded with the youth program. Apparently it’s a launching a new Program for the church youth called Alpha Youth.
IMBI, KUALA LUMPUR – The wait is over! After a suspense of many months the motion picture Despicable Me 2 was finally out! We (exclusive to first year privates) were asked to gather at Berjaya Times Square’s main entrance at 11am, though personally arrived early around 10.30am.
We waited and waited.. finally we managed to gather everyone and proceeded to the cinema for the long awaited movie!
4th KL Form 1's watching Despicable Me 2 at Berjaya Times Square GSC
The show was awesome and it’s definitely worth waiting for. We broke into 2 groups and had lunch after the movie. After our lunch, we make our way to Wesley Methodist Church KL for the Band Festival Concert.
I was impressed by a junior who is the youngest band member in one of the performing bands and also the youngest in the whole Band Festival. It was truly an eye opener for me as a new Brigade member as well as a new band member, seeing bands with people singing, dancing and also acting or doing a short skit.
Left: Great performances by the 6 participating bands. Center: Judges of the competition. Right: View of the auditorium from above.
Last but not least, I’m very happy and proud of my seniors, NCOs and officer who once again performed in front of a large crowd, not long after our recent Band Concert. I’m really happy that we managed to win the Silver Medal after checking the result on FB page.
There were various sizes of bands performing that day and I learnt that it doesn’t matter if a band is large or small as long as we have the heart to learn and perform, we can make it. If there is a will, there is a way. I hope that one day, I can perform on stage with my seniors in front of the crowd.
1st Kuala Lumpur