Saturday, March 12

Synergy Nite II - Out In Full Force!

The Symphonic Band during their own concert, Impressions 7 (2004)

St. Hilda's Secondary School presented its second Synergy Nite on 10 March 2005 at Victoria Concert Hall, fuelled by the ensuing success of the first Music Synergy held at CHIJMES in 2003. The long-awaited evening featured performances by the school's Choir (Hildan Chorale), Handbell Ensemble, Symphonic Band, Guitar Club and Dance Club. These aesthetics groups came together in a showcase of their talents, spurred on by the eager support of the students who were part of the audience.

The night kicked off with two enchanting pieces by the Handbell Ensemble. No matter how beautiful the twinkling melodies of the handbells were, what the audience was apparently more interested in was the dazzling silvery dress worn by the handbell instructor. As some aptly put it, she was dressed in "aluminium foil".

Next, the Dance Club debuted with "Passages", their first public performance since their inception in early 2005. The modern, thought-invoking dance portrayed the transition of day to night and the contrast of being by oneself to being in a group. A great display on their first try.

Guitar Club, which followed, expectedly but honestly bored most of the crowd out. With two foreign pieces with tunes that not many knew, it was easy to lose the audience's attention. Even so, it was a rather fair performance for a musical group that only started out in 1999. Maybe choosing more popular pieces would do fine, even if this idea itself might sound clichéd.

The Hildan Chorale, its history going way back in the school's history, was probably the group which fought for the second loudest applause. Having obtained a Silver Award at the 2003 Singapore Youth Festival Central Judging (Choir), its high standard was expected.

The Symphonic Band appeared last and, without argue, earned the loudest applause with the fast rhythm of "Yiddish Dances" and the ever-popular "Phantom of the Opera".

The finale was an informal version of "Joyful, Joyful" - a combined item by all the performers. Led by a Band Ensemble and the Hildan Chorale, it was inadvertently a flop. Yes - a FLOP. It all started out alright, with the piano maintaining tempo and the voices of the performers ringing out clearly. All too suddenly, the tempo escalated and before the audience knew it, they were snafued into a garbled cacophony of mixed-up lyrics. The grand piano couldn't be heard at all (they should have "miked" it up), the occasional brassy interference of the Band Ensemble and the cushy voices of the Choir contributed to the amalgamation of noise. Please - get a lead singer or two next time to make the lyrics more pronounced (even if it's not the same song). And don't forget to inject emotion into the finale to liven up the mood.

Oh yes, before I forget - the school song came last of all as a tradition to close the concert. What happened at the back of the hall? Students were already trying to leave before the song began because they were not interested in it (how did you think the parents and other guests there felt). Not to mention that the concert started at least ten minutes later than scheduled because there were not enough seats (or was it because the students did not settle down quickly?). Whatever the case, I'm pretty sure the parents and guests will consider twice for any future concert because of their negative impression of the students.


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