Guitar Ensemble- Where Friendship Takes On A New Meaning.

Written by Loh Pei Ying (08A05).

When I think about Guitar Ensemble, I tend to smile to myself. I know it sounds a little crazy, but it’s the truth. The thought of Guitar Ensemble brings back great memories to my mind. In 2008, I joined Guitar Ensemble because I had a great love for music. I thought the CCA would have been a great choice for me because the guitar is an extremely versatile instrument. Moreover, I already had prior guitar playing experience. So I thought “Why not?”

My decision to join Guitar Ensemble has changed my perspective on many things. At first, practices were boring. I knew no one else and was on my own. To make matters worse, ice-breaking games made me feel awkward. However, I made a new friend. Her name is Heather. She is currently the President of the Guitar Ensemble. We stuck together and became CCA buddies. From there, I made more friends. Soon, I became increasingly attached to the CCA.

During our June Camp, we had the usual round of interview to select the new executive committee for the CCA. I did not have any real intention of being part of it. To me, it did not matter. I had fun in the CCA, and that was most important at that point of time. In my interview, I had said, “I would do anything that the CCA require of me.” My instructor questioned me as to exactly how much I would actually contribute to the CCA. I only remembered giving a vague answer.

When the results came out, I was pretty surprised by the leadership position that I was assigned to. I was chosen to be the “Publicity Officer”. Later on I thought, “This shouldn't be too bad. Doesn’t seem like a tough job.”

I was wrong.

My leadership is now an inside joke in Guitar Ensemble. I had one of the most tedious jobs in the team. My job covered handling CCA shirts, to CCA files, to drafting proposals, to creating logos, posters, getting a tailor for our costumes, creating a newsletter and so on. As long as it did not involve music or admin matters, I had to do it.

It was tiring. There are days when I stayed up till unearthly hours to complete my work. I used to joke about how I’ve become the “ambassador for Guitar Ensemble” because I have to pick up calls and reply emails to external organizations for the CCA pretty often.

Nonetheless, the experience has been fulfilling. And it is so because I have my team members supporting me. When I need help, my executive committee is there to pick me up and put me back in place. We do camp-material shopping together. I drag them to Jurong East and Chinese Garden with me just to find a tailor.

We are a group, an ensemble. We stick together through thick and thin. It is not the outcome that matters, but the process of working together and learning something. Although my work is tough, I have now developed life skills that many others may have missed out on. “One Band, One Sound.” That was the motto of the Military Band in the movie Drumline. We have adopted our own version of “One Ensemble, One Sound.” It does not sound as nice, but it does not matter because it is the meaning that counts.

Commitment is important, but friendship is far more crucial than that. In Guitar, we do crazy things together; we can have fun that is completely out of this world. We are like a family and this is what Guitar Ensemble offers to all the new JC1s coming in to TPJC.

This CCA has a long history in TPJC. We have an internal rock band and our ensemble has held its own concert last December. We achieved Gold with Honours for SYF in 2007. Plus, we practice music from almost all genres.

Guitar practices are on Wednesdays and Fridays. We start at 2.30pm and practice should end around 4.30pm for the JC1s. You don’t need to have any music experience to join as Guitar Ensemble is open to everyone. Music is only one of the major things we do. As long as you have the heart and the interest, we will accept you.

For more information you can contact me, Loh Pei Ying (08A05) on tpjc.net. More information is also available at http://tpjcguitarensemble.blogspot.com. Have a great orientation and see you around ; )


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