Perak Inter-High school Band Competition 2009

Written by Shuyi aka Lavender at 5:43 pm

I went back to Ipoh again last weekend, on Friday 24th of July 09 to be exact,  with my brother. Rushed back, actually, to watch the band competition in which my youngest brother participated. Both of my brothers are/were band members and I have attended this competition since my brother took part in it when he was in Form 1. My youngest brother join too when he entered secondary school.

Although I have both brothers on the same team at that time, I still supported my school band, and then support my brother individually. Hehe… Unfortunately, AMC did not participate in the competition this year so I cheered for my brothers’ school, Sam Tet Ipoh.

all band member on the field

I think my brother is as excited about it as my youngest brother although he is has left the team when he graduated because a lot of his band-friends in his year or previous years came back from all parts of Malaysia to show their patronage. Together they formed the Ex-team of Sam Tet Brass Band. You can see them walking or gathering in big groups proudly wearing their bright red, Ex-team T-shirt.

The competition was suppose to start at 7.30pm. My parents and I rushed through our dinner because we were already late. My brother left way before us to join his fellow patrons in the stadium. As for me and my parents, we arrived slightly pass 8pm. We found it strange when we noticed the lack of strong, powerful, majestic music as we walked towards the entrance. It turns out that it was not we who were late but some minister or datuk, I think. The competition has not started and we had to wait some more after we have arrived late! I assumed they were waiting for the VIPs since they’ were late too.

crowds and my dad

See my dad standing in front eagerly waiting for the competition to start?? He has his video cam ready in his hands already!

The stadium was packed with parents and student and also ex-students.  The side of the stadium are quite empty because no one wants to see the side or the back of the band while they are performing. But the front side of the stadium are packed like a can of sardines, a lot of people who could not get a seat sat on the stairways like me and my mom. My mom was smart, she brought big pieces of unwanted paper for us to sit on. Hehe… She learnt from an aunty who sat beside us last year.

SMJK Nan Hwa

After a long wait, specially for those who arrived on time, it finally started with SMJK Nan Hwa Manjung, Perak. They used to be very good, grabbing the first place every time they participated. They were loud and neat and once impressed us by having members of the same height!

However, this year, they come short of our expectations. They weren’t as loud as they usually were and all together did not quite ‘wow-ed’ us. This year, Ipoh Bands started using colour guards in their competition. It is not something new in Malaysia bacuase I have first seen it in the National band Competition 2007 in Bukit Jalil. Sam Tet won that year and so they proceed to the National Competition and that was why I was there. I think it was Victoria Institute who first used them or at least they were the first ones I saw.

SMJK Nan Hwa

The ones in fornt, wearing black and blue uniform with the flags are Nan Hwa’s very own colour guards. There were a few other band with colour guards too but I did not like them. I think they spoil the whole thing.

Firstly, their movements were not at all sharp and strong. Not to mention the synchronization of their dance steps. A 45-degree hand lift for example, a sad few maybe right on the spot, but the others are completely out of proportion!

Secondly, they do not look part of the team. Bands are supposed to be disciplined, neat and well synchronized. The colour guards totally spoilt this image by pulling their shirts, touching their hair, meddling with their props when they are OBVIOUSLY NOT SUPPOSED TOO!

Thirdly, colour guards overshadow the drum major. If I wanted to see people dancing, I would rather go see a dance competition or a show or something of the kind. NOT THIS! If I wanted to see people do some flag trick, I might as well go to the circus. NOT THIS! When I go to a band competition, I want to see the drum major do his thing with his stick! I want to be amazed when he smartly throws his stick high up in the air then catch it. But all the attention seemed to be sucked up dry by the colour guards and the drum major seems to throw less when there are colour guards.

see what I mean??

All in all they are not well trained and I may be bias but I don’t like them. I prefer the traditional kind which does not involve all this fanciful colour guards and focus on the solid performance of a well disciplined band.

However among all the bands the best colour guards, in my opinion, would be from St Michael Institute Ipoh despite not winning the title. To me, I felt that they have over did their routine but the biggest minus would be the fact that they did not leave the field clean, ie leave their props behind when marching off with the band. Although it look good to have them carrying a tall red flag behind the band as they march but a messy field after the performance is still a big no-no.

St Michael Institute Band with their colour gruards

I am so relieve to hear that Sam Tet band do not have colour guards incorporated into their formation. My youngest brother told me that they have initially planned to have them but their coach decide to take them out because they weren’t good enough. I totally agree with their coach’s wise decision.

During competitions, you should hide your flaws and show your plus side. Showing something that your not good at for the sake of points not only might cause you to have deductions, it also cost you your over-all performance, If you are lucky, you might get 1 or 2 miserable marks for adding that in but it does not impress anyone at all.

Sam Tet is the fifth to perform. Below is a series of photos of Sam Tet Brass Band:–

This is them, standing all so neatly, ready to make their grand entrance–

Walking into the field–

Drum major signaling to halt–

Marching in with instruments up–

Acting macho while performing–

macho or not??

Marching out after the performance–

marching out

Love this part–

marching out

That my youngest brother! If I’m not mistaken… =P

spotted him!

I went to look my youngest brother up after they have performed. He is so hard to find because they all looked so identical with their uniforms on. With the help of his friends, I finally found him–

my youngest bro and I

OMG~ He looks even taller with his hat on!! Lucky me, I’m a girl…

There someone else I met in the stadium–

Baby Hui Siong and I

My long lost baby, Hui Siong!! Not the baby that I gave birth to but my baby from NS! She calls me mummy. kakaka… I think we were the start of our NS family.

This meeting was way to short because she came with her friends and had to leave. =( It has been such a long time since I have last seen her. She had someone important before and it has been so so long since I have seen her, I, as her mummy have not seen that person before!!! That is just way too long and simply outrageous!!!

Bad baby, not letting mummy see the person first! Ok, might be my fault too…

After this came the time we were all waiting for… Every participants was out on the field waiting anxiously for the results.

Best Colour Guard – slipped my mind. =P

Best Preparations – SMJK Nan Hwa

Best Drum Major – SMJK Sam Tet

Best Conductor – forgot…

Second Runner Up – SMJK Nan Hwa

First Runner Up – St Michael Institute

The Winner —–

Band competition 2009 050

SMJK Sam Tet Ipoh!

The drum major and conductor were actually posing to ready themselves for the prizes right after the announcement for first runner up was made. Haha… So so confident but they have indeed improved a lot. The sound was booming loud, formation was nice and neat. I know that they have trained hard judging from my youngest brother charcoal skin-colour and they really deserve it.

Now that they have won, they will be proceeding to the National Band Competition in JB. Although my parents are quite worried about my youngest brother juggling his upcoming SPM trials and the actual SPM and band practices but from the photo below you can see that they are still a pair of happy and proud parents. My brother on the very left also proudly wearing his Ex-team T-shirt.

happy brothers and parents

I joined in the picture. We all wore red to show our support for my brothers team. =)

Us, being a proud family

My youngest brother… I think he is very proud that they’ve won and he must be very happy because this is his last year on the team. What a wonderful memory of his last effort in the participation of this competition! But I doubt that it would be his last last to the team because I have a feeling that he will be helping out even after he has graduated.

my youngest brother

Anyway, I am so so proud just as when they have won in 2007. The difference being at that time both of my brothers were on the team which just gave me reasons to be extra proud. =P

I think Sam Tet Brass Band are busy practicing again, grilling my youngest brother under the scotching hot sun turning him into a super over roast pig! Told him to apply sun block but dun wan la! Haihz…

Men Are From Mars, Women Are From Venus.

Written by Shuyi aka Lavender at 7:31 pm

Sounds familiar?? Yup, I am talking about the book ‘Men Are From Mars, Women Are From Venus’ by John Gray. On the cover of the book, underneath the title, it says ‘a practical guide for improving communication and getting what you want in your relationships’ and I agree. This book is a very good guide to relationships.

I am not really into self-help and self-improvements books because I think that they are dull and colourless. When you get 10 books about how to improve your studies you will find that more often than not they all end up saying the same thing! Talk about being creative…

My dear on the other hand has plenty of these books and I guess he finds them useful. I might have a prejudice against books of these kind since I have disliked them since secondary school. I picked up this book at my dear’s place when I was bored. While flipping through the book I find it very interesting since I could identify some of the situations said in the book.

I am a firm believer of the saying communication is the key to a successful relationship. Both parties has to be able to communicate well in order to have a happy relationship if not they will end up screaming and yelling at each other half of the time they are together. I am so so glad that my dear and I had never fought with each other. We talk through our disagreements and negative feelings we have due to certain words or actions by the other. *smiles*

This book tells us about the differences between men and women,  going into the details of the thoughts and feelings of both sexes. For example, how some words and acts, be it of innocence or good intentions, turns out to be provoking in the ears of another.

It is certainly an eye opener into the world of the other gender and also myself. Some of the things mentioned the book made me go: ‘Oh… That so true! That is exactly I felt and now it is being put into words!’ The book also illustrates situations which couple usually go through and I learn that a lot of times one single act makes a whole lot difference.

In my personal experience, there are times where I am upset about something but instinctively I would use other ways to express it instead of being upright and honest about. Like it said in the book, women think that guys should know what we want without having to tell them which is proven in many arguments difference couples has to be far from true.  And sometimes something I that I have said innocently, maybe expressing my thoughts or feelings, upsets my dear. It is just like the story the author shared about him and his wife going on a holiday where if he had took the things his wife said personally, they would have had a row and would not have happily gone for the holiday.

In the book, it is also recognised how easy it is for children to express themselves and how this ability is gradually forgotten as we grow up. This rings forever so true. Remember how easy it is for us to say ‘I don’t friend you ah’ when we fought with our friends in kindergarten? And how we could show dislike to our archrival in class while in primary school?

I specifically recall a memory of me and my dad. When I was still very young, my dad used to take us to Ipoh railway station for a walk after dinner. It was quite a hot spot for families and couples then. The little park in front of the railway station used to have a small Malay band playing by the fountain which made it quite happening.

I think at that time it was after Chinese New Year and my mum let us keep the coins we’ve gotten from our Ang Pows. My aunt was also with us at the time and as usual my dad took us to the railway station after dinner. My aunt took my brothers and I to the canned drinks vending machine and we were thrilled. My parents were quite strict with us when it comes to sweets and soft drinks and so we were seldom allowed to have them. As my first time purchasing drinks from the vending machine by myself, I wanted to get a drink for my dad. Keeping in mind that my dad dislike food that are too sweet, I chose a soya bean drink for him. Happily hold the can of drink in my hands I walked towards my dad who was standing my the railway tracks. Before I was even near enough to give him the drink, he scolded me at the sight of the canned drink, if I remember correctly, for not asking for permission. I sad on a chair nearby, hid the can behind my back and cried…

I think my aunt must have told him about my intentions because I then recall my dad carrying me in his arms while I was crying. While he walked towards the park with me in his arms, I was still crying and kind of ‘scolded’ my dad. I remember very clearly that I said: ‘It hurts.’ while pressing a hand onto my heart.

Thinking of this amazed me… See how greatly we are changed by time?

I strongly recommend that each an every couple read this book. Although I am not suggest that it should be treated by the bible but I really think that it helps a lot. Giving you insight on what is on your partner’s mind can really improve the way you deal with your relationship.

old vs new

See my NEW book and my dear’s OLD one?? Hehe… I am a proud owner of this NEW book. =D

I bought this book although I have finish reading the content because I felt the this is a book which you can read over and over again. Human beings are forgetful creatures and so we need to be reminded again and again. We repeat our mistakes even when we have banged our head on the wall the first time we made them.  Having that knowledge in mind  I bought myself a copy to reread it sometime in future or just to flip through every now and then.

I like to read and so I love books, especially buying them. I love the sight of my shelf filled up with my books, read or waiting to be read. Textbooks are exceptional…

I have just finished this one yesterday–

Miss Bangkok by Bua Boonmee with Nicola Pierce.

This is an autobiography of a Thai prostitute which is a heart breaking story. With the simplicity of the language used in this book, it is an ideal choice for light reading but it might leave you with a heavy heart.

I have always liked autobiographies. With the knowing that the stories are true helped me to immerse myself in the story so that I can understand better. They also serves as a reminder as to how lucky I am.

It has been some time now since I have the privilege to read so wholeheartedly and I am not stopping now. Up next will be a fight between this–

Once In A Lifetime by Cathy Kelly, and–

Why Mars and Venus Collide by John Gray.

I got this along with Men are from Mars and Women are from Venus. 2 for Rm55.90 at Popular bookstore. =)

Hmm… Which next? *scratching head*

Bora Bora Island

Written by Shuyi aka Lavender at 7:32 pm

Everyone has places that (s)he must go at least once in (s)he life time. As for me, I had three places in my must-go list and now, after seeing pictures in an email from my dad, I have decided that there will be a new addition in my list – Bora Bora Island!

I vaguely remember hearing about this island before but never had I thought it would be so so beautiful! The pictures in the email are so captivating that it made me daydream about a holiday there, or honeymoon… =P

In deciding whether or not to add it into my list, I had to do some research on it and so I googled it.  I totally fell for it when I read the official Bora Bora tourism website that said it is ‘the most romantic island in the world’! Perfect for honeymoons! =D

I know it is probably saying that to con simple minded people like me who believes whatever she read but who could doubt it after seeing pictures like these:

Lazing around enjoying a beautiful sunny day with your beloved and a view like that, ain’t romantic? I don’t know what is then…

A dinner here would do couples good… Just imagine the breeze, the view, the atmosphere We could fall for each other all over again over dinner! Food would be secondary in a setting like this.

I wish I were the couple in the picture.

Ok, I found a better one to dream about.

Get this, rotate anti clock wise starting from the top left picture–

(1)Your honeymoon in a magnificent place like this, take in the scenery and be overwhelmed.

(2)Your sweet little love hut specially for you and your darling. You have all the privacy and setting perfect for some romantic ‘us’ time right after your busy and hectic big day.

(3) Romantic dinner for two facing a beautiful sunset.

(4) Just before the sun sets the both of take a after-dinner walk. At the last minute, just before the last sun ray disappear into the dark, a loving kiss to end a loving evening…

Hmm… *smiling dreamily*  perfect!

This place could also be a pre-marriage trip. A holiday where your guy plans to propose to you.

Imagine him kayaking to your hut and you standing there (where the girl is) happily greeting him. When he arrives, he pulls out a ring and says the magic words…

A girl would be crazy to turn him down! But your man has to be buff to look good in the sarong-like thingy the man in the picture  is wearing. Haha~

Anyway never mind the purpose of the trip. Of course it would be great if the holiday is like what I imagined but it does not really matter when you have the chance to wake up to a view like this!

And maybe just before you leave this magical place, relax in a hammock by the beach with a fruit punch or a book.

Relax + unwind + recharge = the perfect holiday

I did not do a research on the price in fear that it would spoil my dream but ,even if it is expensive, a place like this is still worth it, isn’t it?

Ok, if it is too extravagant then I might not earn enough cash to go… *cry*

But a girl can still dream, can’t she?

Clear waters anyone?

Ok, let’s hit the pool!

Hopefully, for now… ^.^


Just a brief mention about the other three places in my must-go list:

(1) Venice, Italy


(3)Lavender farm. Any one is good, I just want to go a lavender farm!

Initially it was Switzerland on the top of the list but since Venice bears a higher chance of disappearing from the face of the earth due to global warming I exchanged its placing.

These three will remain as my top priority and Bora Bora Island comes in forth as those three must-go places has been listed since I was in my early years of secondary school.

P/S: I am merely imagining a holiday on Bora Bora Island. No plans for marriage as of this moment.