Thailand Trip Reflections
The Symphonic Band participated in the Musical and Cultural Exchange in Chiang Mai, Thailand, from 8 - 13 December, as part of the band’s ongoing efforts to improve members’ musical skills and to bond as a band. We had a fruitful musical exchange with two local school bands, Yupparaj Wittayalai School and The Prince Royal’s College. The exchange was an eye-opener as band members were exposed to the different ways in which band practices were conducted in the two schools. They also had the privilege to get a school tour of The Prince Royal’s College. The short but invaluable interactions during the exchange allowed members to adapt to challenging situations such as language barriers, and to share their school and band life with the Thai students.
Besides the two days of musical exchange, the band members were immersed in the culture of Thailand. They visited the Maetang Elephant Camp, the Karen Long Neck Village, Inthanon National Park and Chedi Luong Temple. On one night, they had an unforgettable cultural dinner at Kantoke Restaurant; they enjoyed a unique and sumptuous traditional Northern Thai dinner while watching Traditional Thai dance shows that included sword dancing and drum performances. Through these shared experiences, the members became more close-knit.
I feel that what we have gained from this trip is not only greater musicality, but also new friendships forged, both within the band and with the Thai students. I like that I got to know many more of our band members through this trip and became closer to those I already knew. We do not often get opportunities like this to learn outside of the school environment with our friends and thus this is a trip I am grateful for, and will always remember!
Saw Sze Jie, 1721
The band exchange in Thailand was a really fruitful one! The trip brought us closer together as a band, as we spent six days looking out for one another and enjoying ourselves in Thailand. I met our very cheerful and friendly Thailand friends from Yupparaj Wittayalai School and The Prince Royal's College who welcomed us with great hospitality. Through my interaction with them, I understood better how different bands and schools work in Thailand. When many of them offered to help to carry our heavier instruments, it was really heart-warming although it was a very simple offer! The tour in Chiang Mai brought us to different iconic spots such as the 3 Kings Monument, which was dedicated to the founders of Chiang Mai, and the Long Neck Village, where some members of the Karen tribe live. I learnt about the rich history and culture of Chiang Mai through the visits to these places. The trip was definitely an unforgettable one!
Toh Jie Ying, 1711
Through this trip, I was introduced to the different practice methods used by other bands in making music and have learnt useful techniques to make my practice more effective. The trip also provided me with many opportunities to interact with other band members, enabling all of us to have a greater understanding of one another, and in the process forge much stronger bonds. This translated into a more keen awareness of others when making music, enabling the band to sound stronger and more harmonious.
Loh Ken Ming, 1720