University Band Festival 2010

It has been a long while since I attended a band concert, not to mention it being held at Esplanade. So, I decided to pop by the University Band Festival 2010 yesterday together with two friends. It’s a concert hosted by the Nanyang Technological University Symphonic Band, National Institute of Education Symphonic Band, and the National University of Singapore Wind Symphony.

It is really a trip down memory lane – reminiscing about the times we spent back in RV Band preparing for every concert and performance, the trouble and effort we put in and endure – to ensure a resounding success at the very actual day. Yesterday’s concert, I must say, was indeed a splendid one – though accompanied by a few hiccups – but then again, there’s no such thing as a perfect concert.

Music wise, I’m really getting old – such a long period of time not being involved in any band makes me less sensitive to the various parts and portions of the music, although I did notice that cymbals have the tendency to clash at the wrong timing. It is indeed true that different conductors will have different styles of bringing out the music, and it was clearly exemplified by the two different conductors yesterday – Takehiro Oura from NTUSB and A/P Ho Hwee Long from NIESB. While Takehiro’s style was much more aggressive and included much more impact, the band clearly toned down when Ho Hwee Long took the podium. His (Hwee Long) songs lack the general punch and impact that makes any grand song grand, that makes any loud impact resounding through the concert hall – it seemed as though the band was dying down everytime he stood up there – not good.

Oh, did I mention I loved “GR Selections” (Masamiez Amano) performed by Brio band? :)

Encore was a disaster I felt. I may not be in the best position to criticize this, but man, only one word could describe the encore piece – FAIL! Once again, this has to be the hundredth concert I attended that played “Can’t Take My Eyes Off You” as the encore piece LOL. While they managed to get the audience clapping together, the percussion and especially the drum set, screwed up big time – and clearly HHL was furious, waving his baton frantically to get him back to the correct beat. Oh wells, I guess what’s done has been done.

Oh! There’s one more part I HAVE to pen down – I must say organizers nowadays pay lesser and lesser attention to capturing special moments during their events. While one might expect a professional photographer or at least a freelance and decent photographer at these kind of concerts, guess what they brought out? A photographer with a Canon 1000D and 18-55 kit lens (if I did not spot wrongly). It was clearly a kit lens, and an entry-level camera, not even a prosumer level. No initiative whatsoever to prompt the GOH to look in the direction of the camera even when he was being presented the token of appreciation by the NTU staff. Another FAIL moment. I’d like to see how his pictures turn out. In the words of Judge Joe Brown, “Where’s your 24-70 and where’s your 70-200? Where’s you 1D series or 5D series?”

Enough bitching. Pieces were good, bands were good, less the few hiccups. Thanks for the concert ticket :)

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