Sunday, June 28, 2009 Y 11:13 PM

Hey folks!

I decided to wait a couple of days before writing this so I can talk about Friday night in a level-headed way, uncorrupted by any lingering emotions. This is my humble analysis of the concert so I hope you spare 2 minutes of your time to read it. Yes, pause the Boys Before Flowers video now thanks.

Firstly thanks everyone for being a part of it, it truly was very wonderful working and singing with everyone again and I’m not lying when I say I enjoyed it. I’ll break it down into the good the bad and the ugly.

The Good

The biggest good, undoubtedly, is how much we’ve improved as performers. I don’t mean just music or sound but the complete package. Whatever people say about AJ students, how boring we are, how we only know how to follow the textbook, etc., you guys have proved to be complete rubbish. I really enjoyed how everyone contributed such crazy ideas on how to make the items funnier or more entertaining.
Terrence Toh says he liked some of the new ideas we had and how we were very engaging; coming from a Victorian and someone I respect a lot, that’s good we’ve got to keep at it. Who would’ve thought boring AJ might produce crazy idiots like you lot.

The sound was described by Nelson Kwei and Terrence to be very natural. In comparison with some other choirs, especially the tenor sections, this is very true. We must always stick to the philosophy of producing the sound that we are born with and not try to create a forced ‘I’ve-got-a-mosquito-in-my-voice-box’ sound. Great that we are true to our natural voices.
In particular, very proud of the sops especially the higher ones. When we first started practice I remember that I had to keep forcing you to sing on the high notes instead of cheating and ‘aah-ing’ your way through. Friday, you guys sounded great and maybe a couple of times it sounded like we were reaching for it a little too much, on the whole, very much improved. Bravo!

The concert proved that our current system of a tutorial-styled rehearsal where everyone pops in with ideas is more effective than a dictatorship by the conductor. None of us is qualified to lead a choir all by yourselves and though I have the honour of waving my hands in front, in truth I couldn’t have even thought of some of the wonderful ideas that were contributed. Just to name a few (I might miss out some, I apologize), Ryan’s decision to sing in Spanish was amazing, Bel on Blue Moon’s last chord, Cicilia for some points on Double Double, the whole Girl Chorus I’m sure many ideas were exchanged there and really too many other examples I’m sorry I can’t name.

The control in the sound was very good, very pleasing. Unlike many local choirs, there was no shouting or screaming or brashness. Mostly it was controlled, subtle and very classy. While collectively our sound maybe is not mature enough to support some of the things we wanted, nevertheless it was still cultured and very classy. There is no better way to see this than in the way we did No Importa. I know this song means a lot to a lot of us, but I feel that the school choir always screams it and the beauty of the song is neglected. We did an incredible job on it, much better than anything I’ve heard from AJChoir. I don’t mean this as disrespect, but that’s how good a job I think you guys did. No screaming, just great controlled singing.

Our solos, everyone of them, excellent. Ryan, Loh Wei, Whee Geok, Seng Hong, Joel, Zheng Kai, Jie Chao, excellent.

This a bit late, had to edit it in. But Long Teng is gifted. There aren't many good accompanists with good brains around. He's one of them.

And great job for the excellent recoveries on Pasigin and Double Double!

The Bad

Although we were entertaining by AJ standards, we still got a long way to go in terms of getting audiences to go crazy over us. Yes we were shameless, by Terrence pointed out too that if we really let ourselves go, we could be really, really entertaining. So if we want to do something do it all the way. Just youtube the King Singers or the Ten Tenors and you can see how far we still have to go. A good start, yes, but many more mountains to climb.

Sound wise we can only get better. There were a couple of places where there were dodgy notes and I get the feeling still that the sops are scared of higher notes. There is no reason to be and I’m sure we will soon overcome this. Tenors and basses: we have many wonderful singers you only need to hear our solos to know this. But sometimes as a group this individuality shows. We must sing more together and think more as a group and understand together what kind of sound we want to produce.
Altos: I think we have one of the most steady alto sections island wide. But to put in some constructive comments, I want to say that you guys sound a lot better in an SSAA setting. I know a lot of you come from really solid girl choirs and you are solid. But maybe we can improve in terms of understanding our role as a middle part rather than the bass part? I don't mean this that you are bad, you are good but we must strive to be even better.

One last thing, if we are to survive as a choir, we must listen to choral music. At the moment, i think we are still not exposed enough to the wonderful world of choral music. So hopefully we can attend more concerts together or go for workshops or just discuss music casually. Start listening folks!

The Ugly

My lack of hair, pictorially enshrined.

In 2005 I felt that the AJChoir I sang in was nearing excellence. Unfortunately we had to graduate. We don’t have to stop now. Stay together, I promise more daring performances, more explosive songs and more beautiful music.

We’ve worked very hard for this concert and there were many times when many people doubted if we could ever do it in time. I said trust me, trust them. Thanks for not making me look like a complete ass for my belief in you guys. We did it and we did well, but we have the potential to do so much more. Victoria Chorale might be the best in Singapore today but they have had a 17 year headstart. I know you love singing, you wouldn’t be back otherwise. Wanna find out where we’ll be in 17 years? Buckle your seatbelts cos we’re in for a ride!

Cross my fingers, but maybe, just maybe, we’re onto something special.

Dare to dream.


Monday, June 22, 2009 Y 10:28 PM

hi everyone!

Please note that the practice on wednesday starts at 5.45pm. pls dont be late okie.. and i will be sending u all a menu for wed's dinner.. so pls check ur email.

Girls, pls meet at 4pm to settle the girls chorus.. those who cannot make it at 4pm, pls let me know!

jia you ppl!! :) see ya on wed!

Sunday, June 21, 2009 Y 10:32 PM

hello all!!

there will be practice tmr at 6pm for the girls and 7pm for the full choir. pls bring the costumes for first and second half okie.. and pls memorize all the scores! ahha.. see u all tmr!!

Friday, June 19, 2009 Y 4:41 PM

Hello all!!

pls remember to bring the costumes tmr for costume check okie.. I believed that all of you have received the email from guowei. If you all have any queries with regards to this, pls approach guowei okie? Just bring whatever costume you have tmr for choir, even if you do not have the complete set of costume for 1st and 2nd half.

Choir prac's starts at 9am, choir room.. pls be punctual and our tickets sales is really good! It's almost full house already! so those who still havent pay for the tickets, pls do so okie! thanks!!

see ya tmr! :)

Tuesday, June 09, 2009 Y 8:21 PM

hello everyone!

pls note that u all will have to take your temperature at the guard house when entering aj, pls note down your temperature.. so that i can record it down as we have to start a log of all alumni members going back to college for every prac.. so yup! pls remember to take ur temp okie! if not.. u can bring ur own thermometer to take ur temp!

Also, pls memorise ur scores okie! see u all tmr!!

Monday, June 01, 2009 Y 11:19 PM

Hello everyone!

Please note that blue moon's midis are up in gmail.. so pls download from gmail okie!! see u all on wed!