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DMAT Alumni Get Together 6 Feb 2010

The DMAT Alumni Get Together was held on Saturday the 6th February 2010 at 'The Hall', which is located above 'The Gym' at the Staff Centre in SP. This was the 2nd Get Together, the first having taken place in March 2009. The day started with the set-up crew arriving at 1pm to get the equipment - the amplifiers, keyboards, microphone stands, music stands and other 'heavy' gear from our DMIT studios to the 'Hall'.

The set-up went well and we were ready for rehearsals to begin at 3.30pm . All the groups performing had a scheduled rehearsal slot. As the stage area would be shared by all the performing groups, it was vital that each group had enough rehearsal time, as the 'Sound Crew' needed to adjust the inputs to the audio mixer and ensure that all the instruments and vocals would be heard during the actual performances. The 'Sound Crew' consisted of students from our graduating class of 2010. The team was led by Reuben Shaun Raman and the others making-up the team were, Desmond Neo, Anders Teo, Henry Hoe and Muhammad Zakaria. The crew did a great job in coping with 6 seperate groups and set-ups, and the rehearsals went forward smoothly.

Rehearsals finished at 6pm and everything was readeied for the arrival of guests and alumni at 6.30pm. Guests for the event included Mr. Jonathan Goh, Recuirtment and Marketing Executive frim the Personnel Division of the Ministry of Education and Mr. Gao Yang, Producer, engineer and Director of Pavane Recording Studios. As the alumni began to arrive, many met fellow classmates and Lecturers that they haven't seen for awhile. Laughter and squels of delight could be heard as acuaintences wer renewed. Everyone wanted to know what everyone else was doing and the sense of belonging to DMAT and to SP was very eveident.

The Get-Together began with a welcome address by the Director of DMIT, Dr.Timothy Chan. In his address, Dr. Chan noted the DMAT course had come a long way since its inseption in 2005. With 2 batches of graduates and a third on the way, he said that it was important for the alumni to keep-in-touch with both the school and with each other, especially at events such as this, where updates on the industry, employment an educational opportunities can be shared with all. This will give future batches valuable information which theycan leverage upon in planning the path ahead after graduation.

After Directors welcome address, Mr. Jonathan Goh from the MOE shared with the alumni, the rich and rewarding career prospects they can have if they chose teaching as their profession. Jonathan noted that music was improtant part of the cirriculm in both Primary and Secondary schools.

Jonathan Goh receiving a token of appreciation from Dr. Timothy Chan

Jonathan presented photos and videos of the creative teaching methods used in the teaching of music at some schools, as well messages from those in the teaching profession on what inspired them to teach and what keeps them motivated as they strive to imporve both their own teaching and their students learning.

One of our alumni, Mr. Ian Lau, has chosen teaching as his profession. He begins his journey as a teacher later this year, after his full time National Service.

Dinner was served after the MOE talk and ques formed at the buffet tables. There was plenty of food to be had and feedback from everyone was that it was good. Everyone mingled around and all were happy to sit down and share a meal with classmates and Lecturers that thay had not seen in sometime.

Dinner was followed by a Skype session with 2 of our alumni. First up was Jemie Soh, who graduated in 2008 and is currently pursuing a BSc Arts in Music and Music Technology at Keele University in the UK. Jemie was granted a scholarship with Keele. Our DMAT grandaunts get an Advanced Standing of 1 year exemption of the 3 year course, when they are accepted into the Music/Music Technology degrees at Keele.

Skype conference with Jemie Soh

Jemie shared that she found the modules she took at DMAT relevant to what she is studying now at Keele. She was glad to be there but missed home as well. She found it cold in the UK but said that it was getting warmer now. She became emotional when she spoke with her previous DMAT classmates, saying that she missed everyone and was glad to be able to participate in the Get Together via Skype. Many of her ex-classmates took the opportunity of connecting again with Jemie after the Skype session was over, and we panned the laptop around the room for her to see what was going on, and she eventually did catch the performance of Michael Spicer and his 'Sonic Escapades' group, of which Jemie is still a member, practising and performing when she's back in Singapore during term or semester breaks.

The second Skype hhok-up was with Candice Yong, who also graduated in 2008. Candice is currently pursuing a Bachelor of Arts in Music degree at the University of Queensland in Australia. She's at the St.Lucia campus and when we hhoked-up with her, it was 9.40pm at her place, which is an hour ahead of us. DMAT graduants get a 1year exemption of a 3 year programme . Cnadice also shared that what she learnt in DMAT was useful to her at UQ. She told the alumni that they have to become independant learners, because this is what is expected of them at a degree level. She shared that her Lecturers expected a polished piece in one of her arranging assignments, even though nothing much was taught in class. She was greateful that she had learnet arranging at DMAT and because of this, she completed the assignment successfully. Candice was very happy to be with us via skype, even though she was about to return home on the coming Friday to spend Chinese New Year with her family. She also urged current DMAT students to treasure their time at SP, saying that she really misses her time with us in DMAT and in SP.

Finally we got to the perfirmances. First-up was Shaddy Tonic, a group of 4 guys form the current graduating class of 2010. Their number was 'Felis Margarita', an original composition by Xanthus. This was an instrumental piece which showed of their musicianship. It featured Xanthus on Bass, Jet on Drums, Arvin on Electric Guitar and Vincent on Tenor Sax.

Rain with Sonic Escapade

This performance was followed by Michael Spicer's group ' Sonic Escapades'. Sonic Escapades was started by Michael in 2006 and the group performs mostly instrumental improvisational pieces in the Electro Acoustic mode. This time around however, they performed a composition by one of our alumni - 'Rain' or Deborah Tan. 'Rain' as she is better known to us at DMAT, is still an active member of Sonic Escapade. She performs and rehearses with them as often as she can. She loves being in this performing group and gladly puts-in the effort to remain a part of the group, despite her busy working schedule. Rain's song was called 'Frozen Doll' Rain sang the lead vocals and performed on the guzheng.

This was followed by a perfromanceby Namira and Wira, who are also from the current graduating class of 2010. Their stage name is 'Mie & Wari' They performed a number composed by the both of them called 'Opposite Reality '. It featured Wira on Acoustic Guitar and Namira on vocals.

Hazel Lua on the guitar

Finally it was the alumni's turn, starting with Hazel Lua, who perfromed her own composition called 'This I Promise You, I'll Always Be True'. Hazel sang and accompanied herself on the Acoustic Guitar. Next up was Boo Honk. 'Bonk' as he's affectionally called by his former classmates and Lecturers perfromed on of his own compositions, ' Ill Intense '. This featured him on vocals and Acoustic Guitar and he also used a MacBook to generate a rhythm loop.

The last performance of the day was, 'CREM', which stands for Clef, Royston, Edwin and Melody. They are all from our first batch of DMAT graduates. They perfromed the famous Rihana number ' Umberella'. This featured Royston on vocals, Edwin on Keyboards, Clef on Acoustic Guitar and Melody on backing vocals on a hollow box - on which she sat and used like a percussion instrument to add rhythm to the piece.

Finally, it was time to say goodbye. All had a great time catching up with former classmates and Lecturers. And some including James Lye and Melissa Poon, as well as Joyce Poh and Jeremy Wong, actually rushed down after performances elsewhere to be with us for this Get Together.

Till we meet again at the next DMAT Get Together, 'Keep Safe and Enjoy Life to the Fullest'.


February 6th 2010




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