Friday, August 25, 2006
I was hugged by teacher Anne after 2 years when we met yesterday... Felt very warm as i was a student of hers for 7 years...She played a big role in shaping me for who I am today..... she taught me creative thinking,the courage to speak up in front of people and to be different from everyone else.
At the gathering, I met my old tuition mates and we chatted about fun stuff we did together in English class.It felt as though I was projected back in time sitting in a classroom having classes with teacher Anne. All of my tuition mates share the same respect and gratitude towards teacher Anne as all of us has morphed into unique individuals because of her...
Yesterday,only 4 girls from my class came...One is doing Actuary Science,the other is doing Medical soon and one is doing Advertising and Marketing right now. All of us are doing okay, striving for the future. Teacher Anne also talked about her future plans for her tuition centre, as she was planning to open up classes for school subjects according to international school syllabus. I really admire her zest to work for passion but not money alone as she loves to teach. Although she is in her 40's , but she is doing her best everday....
Well, my friends complimented me for my new hairstyle...hehe...
have to thank the hairstylist ler...and to them, I didn't change a bit. I am still me from the way I speak...I don't know about that until yesterday...hehe
I had a meaningful evening, a skip from my choir practice was worth it though.
27th of July
The day appeared to be gloomy with rain drizzling softly. Reached KLIA by and boarded the airplane by 2.40pm.Well, it was my first experience to board the China Airlines. The air stewardesses were quite pretty too. I did felt butterflies in my stomach when the airplane started to mount. However, it was quite smooth with some shakes in the mid-journey. Just hope that I would not get a headache later. I didn’t really know what is expected of me at the choral festival, but it would sure be a worthwhile experience.
After checking-in, my choir teacher brought us to nearby stalls to try out some local food. We tasted pig skin, seaweed (very thick one), noodle soup, some pork and vegetable. I liked the seaweed very much though and it was Taiwanese’s favourite dish. After that, we went back to the hostel to rest. That’s for the day.
28th of July
Woke up early today at . It seems that my biological clock was set. But, I
couldn’t sleep well the other night, kept turning left and right with my nose blocked. At , we were ready to have a stroll around the city of
Our next stop was the CD store, again there were a variety of reasonably priced CD’s which couldn’t be found in
Then, we went for a stroll in the
After some rest, we continued our journey to the
Couldn’t sleep last night, so I woke up feeling lethargic. After breakfast, we proceeded to the Chiang Kai Shek Memorial Hall. The sun was shining brighter than ever. I was astonished to find out that many participants were youths like me when we were lining up for registration. It seems that the culture of choir singing is much appreciated by teenagers in
After that, it started with a quick run through the piece by Mozart <>. It is a famous choral piece about Christianity which consisted of 12 songs. In a short time, we managed to learn 3 songs without the lyrics. For the moment, it was Mr Wu who would be conducting this song by teaching us for three days. After that, it would be continued by Mr Gabór Hollerung , who is a famous conductor from
At , our classes finished. I was feeling a bit dizzy, ready to fall any time. However, a visit to Soka Gakkai International –
30th July 2006
The practice started with a vibrant session in the morning as Professor Yu-Wen Pan, taught us some singing skills. For example, method of utilizing breathing skills to sing, some counting exercise, voice harmonizing exercise and some body movement with steps and etcetra. It was something new and I enjoyed it very much.
After that, we continued with the practice of the song, Requiem. It was terrible as we barely know the progression of the notes. The conductor even had us going through all the songs. I am quite worried that I couldn’t sing this piece well. In the evening, we attended a talk by Cantus, a choir from
At , we rushed to
31th July 2006
It was really scorching hot in
Later on, we continued with our practice of the song Requiem. Finally, I had a sense of direction of where I am heading with the lyrics. Although the pronunciations of Latin words were difficult, still I managed to sing the whole song with a sense of accomplishment. As Mr Gabór was coming tomorrow, the practice was some sort of rush today. Mr Wu, the conductor, was pushing us by correcting and reminding us about our mistakes. It seemed that there was a lot of polishing to be done before our actual performance.
This was followed by a talk given by the Ensemble Pleiade,
After that, we met up with a member of SGI-Taiwan, Chung Sun. He took us to do some shopping and had dinner as well. We had a good time chatting and talking about the conditions of SGI –
At night, we enjoyed another concert in the National Musical Hall by Cantus from
1st of August
The morning started with our usual walk to the memorial Hall. It was windy and the sun was smiling as always.Our practice session began with Mr Gabór. Finally, we met him. He is a beefy guy with a pot-belly, roughly in his fifties. He knew this piece so well for he had conducted this
Later, we had a class with this pretty young lady, Shih-Fen Wei. She introduced us Jazz music, famous musicals along with other artists like Edith Piaff, Riza Minnelli, Ute Lemper who were well-known in singing Jazz music. She also taught us singing skills using the microphone via demonstration by two professional singers. It was really an eye opener to other kinds of music rather than pop music. It was great to be able to gain knowledge in appreciating this genre of music.
At night, we enjoyed the performance by the Ensemble Pleiade, Japan.Their voices were beautiful by singing mostly Japanese folk tunes and songs composed by Ko Matsushita. By the way, there is only one member in the group who is pursuing music. The rest had no musical background and had their own profession such as accountant, fish monger and etcetra. It was amazing to see them being invited to sing in an international event. One unforgettable sight was when they sang the ‘Cockroach Song’. Very funny though….
2nd of August
Today the practice went on as usual. Mr Gabór stressed more on the consonants of the lyrics, and he asked us to repeat again and again when our voices were flat. If we breathed at the wrong time, he would say: “It’s better to die than to breath at the wrong part!” I was getting familiarized with the piece by now, feeling fulfilled.
In the evening, we attended a talk again. When a frail 80 year old man was on stage, I couldn’t believe that he is the famous conductor, Liang Kun-Yan. One of his masterpieces was the ‘
The night concert was very special today. It all started with a famous A-Capella ensemble in
3rd of August
The usual schedule had a little change with Gustaf Sjokvist Chamber Choir from
Later, we continued practicing the song
At night, we had our first rehearsal on stage in the National Musical Hall of Taiwan. I felt so small engaging myself in such a grand setting with 300 people surrounding me, combined with the Taipei Philharmonic Orchestra. Mr Gabór was quite picky with the orchestra and asked them to repeat when they didn’t get the beat or the feel right. We were quite exhausted and had a little supper before returning to the hostel.
4th of August
I was feeling a little heavy today, thinking that we would be leaving soon. Anyway, this morning we were refreshed with Mr Gabór’s talk on the history of
Later, Mr Dirk DuHei who is the artistic director of this camp introduced us to various international choral competitions around the world. There were the Germany Marktoberdorf (http://www.modmusik.de) The World Choir Games (www.choirolympics.com), and Japan International Choir Competition. He also explained the different categories and marking scheme in international choral competitions. It was a real eye opener that choir singing was promoted world wide. In
Then we continued with the practice on stage. This time we were able to sing 12 songs in one shot without much difficulty combining with the four solos as well. We sounded like professional choir heard in the CD, which made us felt proud of our voices. Mr. Gabór was quite happy by now with little reminders on how to express the song.
At night Chung Han and I were late for the concert because he accompanied me to buy some praying gadgets. The venue was hard to be found, luckily Chung Han knew the way and with the help of a SGI-Taiwan member, we managed to purchase them and rushed back. Tonight was the Gustaf Sjokvist chamber choir’s performance and the hall was filled with audience. By the way, I dozed off after listening to two songs. Oh man, I was too exhausted and I found it quite boring. But I came to know from Chung Sun that those choral pieces need 3 years professional training in order to perform them. So, they were excellent but I just didn’t have the taste to enjoy their music. However, I found that they were singing monotonously without much expression.
When the show ended, we were surprise to meet some members from Pacific Ocean Choir. We snapped some photos, and our previous tourist guide, Chung Sun was also there. He brought us to a famous seaside in
5th of August
My heart thumped with adrenaline, our day has arrived to perform on stage in the National Musical Hall in
At , we gathered at the basement with Mr Wu giving us instructions on how to go on stage. Our performance started at . In front of us were 2500 spectators looking at us, waiting to listen to our voices. All ladies were in high heels, we had to keep our body perfectly still holding our music score. We couldn’t flip it until the conductor signaled us so. Undoubtedly, I was struggling with my numb feet by standing like a statue waiting for the conductor to arrive.
Finally, the ‘man of the night’ paced on stage with his tuxedos followed by a generous applause from the crowd. As a first time performer in such a grand finale, I felt overwhelmed with excitement.
Our voices hit the ceiling with the wave of Mr Gabór’s hand, mesmerizing the audience. It was the first time in my life that I poured my voice from my heart. It was such an amazing experience with 300 different individuals singing in unison on stage. That is why I love choir so much with diversity of voices united as one.When our performance of 12 songs ended, the crowd gave us standing ovation expressing their love for our voices. Later on, we had a small party and we took the opportunity to snap photos and get signatures from Mr. Gabór. Tonight was the happiest moment in my life.
At night, we went back to do some packing as we need to board the flight at tomorrow.
6th of August
Today is the end of my trip and I have to continue with my studies tomorrow. Has lots of catching up to do but I have confidence that I can manage it. Don’t feel like leaving
One valuable lesson I learned was, despite of important things that needed to be accomplished for example success in studies, it was also crucial to explore oneself in different areas. What I learned was that there are many professionals such as doctors or psychologists who joined choir in
Photo with cantus choir from Norway...
Photo with cute guys from Sweden's choir...i am so short meh?
Taiwan National Musical Hall...
Place where we headed to classes everyday...
Taiwan tomato noodles...
Dinner at a restaurant in National Musical Hall....
Photo with Mr Du Hei-Dirk....
Cultural exchage with POC.
Our dear friend, Chung Sun-member of POC in SGI-Taiwan.
In Xi Men Ding.
Group photo with POC members.
On the way to 'Dan Shui'-aiya, he was the tourist guide lo...
Eating supper in Dan Shui.
Night scene of Chiang Kai Shek memorial hall.
Photo with this cute guy also from POC.
Group photo with cute guys and gals.
Rehearsal on stage.
Photo with crew members of the camp.
Practice...the one in green is Mr Wu, the one in the middle is Mr Gabor.
Brief ceremony after the performance.