A Memorable Band Exchange

Posted on 18-May-2014

Report by Sergeant Lydia Barker of 10th Kuala Lumpur Company
March 27-29, 2014
“Is this everyone who signed up?” asked Staff Sergeant Benjamin, the camp commandant, as he saw the forms I gave him. “Almost. Only a few left,” I replied. You may ask what were those forms for? Well, these were registration forms for Band Camp 2014, which was held at 10th Kuala Lumpur Company home grounds at Sri Sempurna International School. Every alternate year, we will have a band camp in order to enhance band members’ skills and also to add new experiences for the recruits in order to learn more about band. Given a chance, we would have also invited foreign music instructors or even other bands from different schools to join us. Hence this year, the St. Mary’s Girls’ School band joined us for this fun and musical camp.

 On 27th March, the first day of camp, the atmosphere around the BB members and the St. Mary’s girls were a bit hectic and awkward as for the first time in our band camp’s history, there were more girls than boys involved. Furthermore, the external members were from a girl school. Each of the campers were then separated into 6 groups and given a roll of toilet paper. The game master (who was me – the author), instructed them to take the amount of tissues they would have needed for toilet. After that, I told them that the amount of tissue that they took was actually the amount of things that they will need to describe about themselves. Everyone

gave out a loud “What!”. Despite the exclamation, they willingly proceeded on with the task.

Everyone had fun and most of them did remember their new friends’ name, or did they? After giving them time to socialise, it was time to test their memory. The game went on till around 10.30am. There were 2 campers that could not remember their friends names, so they were “punished”. One of them was this member (right pic), which shows that he was posing as a pretty girl!
All the fun was put aside, as next in our schedule was music practice. All the campers were separated into their own respective sections made out of percussion, trumpet, horn, trombone, euphonium, tuba, flute, saxophone, and clarinet. For 3 hours, we practiced the songs that we have learnt before and shared techniques with each other in the handling of the instruments. As for me, I joined the percussion section, and both bands really enjoyed playing different beats with each other. Perhaps we are different in having our own techniques playing ours instruments, but such differences have allowed us to learn new rhythms from each other. The camp commandant surprised us that the next day by breaking the news that we were to perform to several VIPs in a mini concert night. The announcement made us both excited and somewhat nervous as we did not know who the VIPs were. But all of us knew, that we would need to put in all our might to practice the pieces given by our conductor. This made me realise that even though we were so different in backgrounds, once there is a common objective and goal, none of us felt any differences between one another.
Besides realising music could really bond strangers together, I have also learnt that being able to play an instrument is not enough. Being in a band means that every single player needs to be in unity and be extra focused in order to mimic and tell stories from the works of a music composer. If one player decided to play a bit louder than the rest, then the piece would not be in perfect harmony anymore. Therefore, being outstanding as one person is not a good thing when the work requires a team of people to fulfill it. I have learnt this lesson the hard way, as a bass drum player, you are easily heard when you are too loud. That was what happened to me when we played an upbeat song, then to get carried away a little and banged the drum louder than I should. At the end, I was corrected in front of 60 other band members. Even though it was only a practice, but I found out I have to keep everything under control.

Sometimes, people may need to relax and chill a little while, but at the wrong place and time, consequences await! The next day begun with a morning exercise. It all went well until someone decided to play catch while everyone was jogging on the field. At first, we thought there was nothing wrong until one of our officers stopped the whole jog and gathered us in our groups. We were then questioned of our lack of discipline in front of new campers. It was a shameful experience, though I am positive that every member would carved it deeply in their minds that being mischievous is not going to help anyone, but will only bring trouble.

Being a part of band camp also taught me a few new tips in communication. Usually, being in a Boy's Brigade camp meant being active and fun, but band camp with other friends from a totally different background changes the whole way we interact. Sometimes, others could not find ways to blend into the group. This is due to the fact that we are too engrossed getting into our own “clicks” of friends and do not even try to mix with a different bunch. I notice this in camp and did my best, taking the first step in joining our guest during meal times and to my surprise, they are not so different after all. They are like us, a bunch of crazy friends hanging out with each other while having the same types of conversation that we have usually. Therefore, the saying goes, do not judge a book by its cover is very true as God made each one of us special in our own way, though we may not notice it on the external, but slowly and gradually, you will find that we all have something in common.


Basically, this three days and two nights of band camp made me reflect and realise a multiple of things. Although there are ups and downs, but I believe each of the campers did enjoy themselves. This picture would show how all of us did during the concert.

Page Created: 18th May 2014
Last Updated: 18th May 2014