I was there at the AHS Guitar Ensemble concert "La Guitarra Nostalgia" at Tampines East CC Auditorium. Though it's been more than a decade, things haven't changed that much; the curved staircase leading to the entrance, the preparation room plastered with mirrors, and of course our evergreen instructor Mr Shi and teacher-in-charge Mrs Koh. The auditorium was a tad smaller than what I remember though.
It was heartwarming when the ensemble played the trademark song "Besame Mucho", one of my favorite pieces as a student. I remember liking the song so much that I learnt all the three parts (which I ashamedly can no longer play). Gone are the amplifier-supported acoustic and bass guitars, replaced by more rhythm guitarists and the double bass; the changes producing a more natural and harmonious adaptation.
After a slightly shaky opening, the ensemble gained confidence and showed their "SYF gold" mettle with endearing performances of pieces such as Mulata, Lover's theme and It's a Small World. Also worthy of mention is the solo performance of Taylor Swift - Back To December by Andrea. I was so captivated by her soulful and emotive rendition. Keep singing girl!
Reading the foreword in programme booklet, I am filled with respect for Mr Shi and Mrs Koh who been with the ensemble since its formation in 1984. It’s been an amazing 28 years. In this day and age, it’s rare for a teacher to stay in the same school for that long, let alone take charge of the same CCA.
I’m really grateful and proud to have once been part of the ensemble.