‘We couldn’t hold any concerts for four years’: Dunman High School senior choir’s last performance to be held on May 31

The concert will feature 12 songs, including a Beatles medley.

Chloe Tham

Chooses to watch the same three movies in rotation instead of catching a new one.

Published: 17 May 2023, 10:45 AM

The common Singaporean school experience includes devoting one’s time to a Co-Curricular Activity (CCA) for a few hours, multiple days in the week. When so much time and effort is spent cultivating their interests, it is without a doubt that students would develop a sense of attachment to the CCAs.

This is why 17-year-old Darius Ng was taken aback by the devastating news of his CCA shutting down.

Darius, who is part of Dunman High School’s (DHS) senior high choir, had pursued choir since he was in Primary Two. He is now one of only seven members in the senior high choir.

This is in stark contrast to the junior high choir which has approximately 60 members.

DHS is a school which offers the Integrated Programme (IP). Students in the junior high choir comprise Secondary One to Four students, while the senior high choir is made up of first and second year Junior College students.

“Around late last year in December (the school) told us that they wouldn’t be continuing the senior high choir because the rate of sign-ups for CCA was abysmal,” shared Darius.

He attributes the low sign-up rate to the CCAs offered in senior high that are seemingly more interesting.

“In senior high, there’s a lot more variety – it’s mostly student managed, so there’s a lot more interesting stuff like Media Comms Society, which is very popular, and Model United Nations,” he said.

The COVID-19 pandemic didn’t help with the situation as it had a huge impact on daily school operations, including CCAs.

As typical rehearsals would require members to sing and enunciate without masks on, the choir could not practise together for an extended period. Hence, the last time the choir performed together was four years ago.

“I think that my school was particularly strict about restrictions, even now. This year, my school’s open house was still digital… so we couldn’t hold any concerts for four years,” said Darius.

Earlier this year, it was revealed that the senior high choir would finally be able to hold a concert in May. This was met with excitement, but also dismay, as this would be their last performance before the choir’s closure.

The concert, titled Colours, will see both junior and senior high teams performing a variety of songs, some of which are composed by DHS’ conductor, Albert Tay.

Other than Albert’s composed pieces, the hour-long showcase will feature a medley of songs by The Beatles, accompanied with choreography.

They will also be joined by Schola Cantorum Singapore (SCS), a non-profit choir collective, and several members from the DHS’ choir alumni.

Having gone through weekly practices until 10pm, Darius hopes that the public will recognise the choir’s final efforts in showcasing its legacy.

The Colours concert will be held on May 31 in the Performing Arts Centre at Dunman High School.

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