|Costume was on members own initiative, which made |
them looked good on stage.
In 2008, out of sheer interest, considering the students' potential, after 4 years of missing from any choir competitions (was confined in a religious school as PK Hem), I took the initiative to form the first choir group of the school ever, with little expectation that we would end up champion of a state level competition. The advantage then was, as the PK Kokurikulum, I was in control of everything. Preparing the melodies for the 2nd, 3rd and 4th voices for the school song and IMPIANKU, then the state theme song, all by myself, training the Form 6 and Form 5 boys and girls was like peanuts, as they were a bunch of talented singers. As a hostel warden then, I made use one of the rooms there as the training studio, shying away from everybody else, keeping the group in low profile, until we won the district level competition. When we won the state championship, it was like an eye-opener for the school, that, choir, an activity under the co-academic category, would create the character of the school, besides our fame for the girls softball team.
Things did not work out as expected the following year, and the year after that, when I had to let go off the PK Kokurikulum post for the higher-grade post of Form Six Academic teacher. Having prepared a new team, disappointment took over as there was no instruction from the school management to take part in any competition. Instead, I took the offer from a school in the Northern KT district to train its choir team, and they emerged district champion in 2009 and 2010, in the competition in conjunction with the state cleanliness campaign. 2011 however was a surprise, because as late as August, in the fasting Ramadhan, the choir team was asked to take part in the competition. So, reluctantly I formed the team, trained them once, before deciding to proceed after Hari Raya.
|A pose with the coaches before the competition.|
Two weeks of training, this time with a talented buddy, Cikgu Man, who composed both songs for the competition, resulted in a, well, I would say, strong choir. This time the boys and girls are not as talented as those in 2008, in fact, I dare say that 30% are tone-deaf! Well, you want good singers, you will end up with only 15-member choir, which is inappropriate. So we drilled them, I trained the bass and altos, talented Form 4 lass Syamin helped with the Sopranos, Cikgu Man on the tenors, conductor Mat Amirul helping here and there, together we surprised 6 other schools in the district with a harmonious choir. Much to my disappointment, or perhaps delight, as most of them were trained by full time music teachers, unlike me and Cikgu Man who only treat music as a hobby, the opponents did not stress on the harmony aspect of choir. Deep down in my heart I knew that we were going to win, as there were too much focus on dancing and style. Cikgu Man however was scared as he knows one of the judges who is a dance coach, who would put us only as runners-up for not focusing on style and dancing. But the other judges are musicians.
Well, RM3000 is already in hand, and another RM7000 will come, if we win the state championship, and that needs more training and some adjustment to the composition of the songs. But, guess what, the winning team will not be allowed to take part for the next three years! So this is about RM7000 + pride of the school, against the chance to win second place RM5000, and come back n xt year with another RM3000 from the district, and possible RM7000 from the state. That would total up to RM18000 in two years, compared to only RM10000 if we win. This is tough to decide.
Meantime, training goes on. Only this time, Cikgu Man will be on his own, as I have to be somewhere else officially, on the 20th of October, the day of the state-level competition.The team looks a bit demotivated though, but things have to go on. The altos need to work harder, the sopranos need more confidence, and be less dependent on Syamin. To my 2011 choir team, prove yourselves as good as those in 2008, most of whom are now in universities. Shafiq, Ady, Fahmi, Siti Nabilah, Nur Nabilah, Intan, Fatimah, Arissa, Pikah, Naim, Lokman, Ghani, the list goes on, how I wish you are around to watch the tradition goes on. Personally for me, this could be my last choir, as I feel odd, being the oldest during the competition. Besides, Cikgu Man will do fine.