I Was In A Marching Band

I Was In A Marching Band

Michaelian Military Band it was, or also abbreviated as MMB.

Music wasn’t really a passion when I was young. I dislike notes, music theories and going to Yamaha School for classes. Mum sent me to organ lessons when I was 5 but the interest wasn’t there. Eventually, I stopped.

Now I’m regretting because I can’t even play a song properly on the boards with white and black keys! *smacks myself on the forehead*

So I regained my music touch when I was in high school – St. Michael’s Instution, Ipoh.

michaelian military band

It was hard at the beginning, with all the marching drills and stamina trainings. The band was a pride to the school. Discipline was a strict requirement. Seniors were fierce like lions and I don’t even dare to talk to them. They will scold kau kau if we commit a mistake.

Even though I disliked the intensiveness of the trainings, my passion for the band didn’t end because of it. I committed myself – hoping to achieve success in the band.

I started off with the flute. Dad bought me one after 2 months of joining the band. I practiced a lot at home and managed to improve rapidly. However, I got bored of it and gotten myself another instrument in 2004. Again, dad bought me a Soprano Saxophone! So I kinda abandoned my old darling for a brand new darling!

yamaha soprano saxophone

She’s so shiny and smooth in her golden dress. I love blowing her the most.

Anyway, during my 5 years in the school band, we had 3 concerts. The 1st one was in 2001 – Michealian Musical Extravaganza. I wasn’t in because I was still new. Second concert, Friendship Through Music in 2003. It was a combined concert with Kuen Cheng Girls’ High School from KL. This time I was one of the musicians.

combined concert

My last and final indoor performance in 2005 – Faith, Fraternity and Service.

concert saxophone line

En route to the concerts, members are required to get money – lots and lots. The objective of raising cash is no other than to purchase new instruments. I’ve this bad experience back in 2003. This crazy alumni was so angry because we didn’t get enough money. Everyone had to run around the field several times while carrying a table.

Every year MMB is involved in the Perak State-Level Marching Competition. School bands are required to perform a 10~12 minutes formation for the competition.

marching competition

We’ve never achieved 1st in Perak before because there’s always Nan Hwa or AMC. So our best achievement, so far, is 2nd placing.

winning marching competition

Participating in the marching competition is highly regarded by the school. Each year the members will practice regularly under the hot sun, get sun burns and exhaust ourselves. I was like charcoal during high school, seriously!

band practice

band rehearsal practice

We also skipped classes frequently for practices and parents will say the usual you-should-be-studying phrases. Thankfully my parents were a great support.

band rehearsal

Being in the band took up most of my time. I always stayed back in school and go to school during holidays. All mainly because of the band.

I still remember my first Leadership Training Camp when I was in Form 1. The marching drills and stamina trainings were killing me. Marching sessions during the morning, afternoon and night – so frigging tiring! On the 2nd day, my dad brought me water bottles. Once I saw him, I broke down in tears; I couldn’t stand it anymore. Dad took me home and it was such a relief.

Well, we had trips too. The most memorable one was the Genting Performance Trip in November 2003. It was 3 days 2 nights free stay. I repeat: Free Accommodation and Food! All we had to do was just to perform at various places around First World Plaza. It was so fun!

performance at genting highlands

Another one was also in 2003. A training camp at Penang.

penang band camp

Besides that, we’re involved in the State-Level National Day celebration too. Marching during Merdeka is tiring because we’ve to march for 1 hour plus, but it’s fun.

merdeka marching parade

Also, performances during the school’s Sport’s Day. It’s very tiring too, especially during the class march pass. Imagine 60 classes and we have have to stand in the middle of the field and blow our instruments.

school sports day formation

school sports day saxophone line

Oh yeah, regarding the uniform. When I joined the band, the uniform was a light beige formal attire – shown in the Sport’s Day 2003 picture. In 2004, we changed the uniform to a fancier style – in black and green. Some say we look like Power Rangers in the new outfit. Probably due to the star on the chest area.

Next, the Young Band Festival, an indoor competition, in 2003 at the Ipoh City Hall. We performed Alvamar Overture and Crouching Tiger, Hidden Dragon. Managed to achieve Gold Medal and I was so happy with that.

yamaha young band festival

I was the librarian, the one who’s in-charge of music scores and stands, in 2002 and 2003 and then I was elected as the Treasurer in 2004. Yes, I’m a trustworthy person; that’s why I always get the money-related job. =P

And yeah, I became the Woodwind Section Leader in 2005.

michaelian military band woodwind section

Time passes by so fast and it all came to an end. My final term ended in July 2005. More than 3 years ago.

band committee

saxophone soprano alto tenor baritone

All the memories and experiences being together with the band. All the songs that I’ve played during performances, competitions and concerts. All the wonderful friendships that I’ve made. All the fun that I’ve enjoyed throughout my 5 years in the Michealian Military Band. All the pain and sufferings I’ve endured during trainings and practices.

They’ll always be remembered.

michaelian military band

With Pride Shall We March.

I miss my school band.

24 thoughts on “I Was In A Marching Band

  1. Hmm….SMI….I am from somewhere way different than SMI…but still i am from ipoh..
    Do u have any nice blogs where writers are from ipoh??

  2. i miss formation. Night practices…. too bad the feel not there for now. Totally a young band. Regretted and i should appreciate the time we had, especially 2005

  3. I feel you man! Last time my band was smaller than yours and no competitions. (haiz brunei >.<) but still. memories forever! *drum solo* XD

  4. hey, i duno what ppl thinks nowadays… so diff. Woodwind family 2005 gt 24 members in the pic if not mistaken. Now 15 like that oni and less than 10 really semangat. I wonder what can i actually do… This is hard. Totally 2 diff groups of ppl. Wei Ken u’re a great SL

  5. hey man… those were the days… I’m glad to be in the band too if not, I’m not the even half the person I am today..haha

  6. I was a band member before but not marching band. Yea, it is true that school band gave us alot of wonderful experiences and confidence as well. Cheers

  7. Hey Wei Ken. You’re making me thinking back of the crazy days I went through in the Michaelian Chinese Orchestra (MCO). I may not have gone through the stamina drilling like you did, but we had to deal with lots of politicking and commitment issues, enough to drain your mental power after hours of school.

    But looking back to those days, I didn’t regret joining the Chinese Orchestra. At least what I’d learnt in SMI is now useful for me as the Chairman of the Chinese Orchestra in my university, newly founded two years ago. We’re aiming for 80 performers next semester. Currently, we have 40.

    What about you? Still in touch with music?


  8. My school band is mostly free hardly attend 7 or 8 functions a year. If i would have joined my school band i would have got 90% fees concession but i didnt join because of tutions :(

  9. i believe being part of MMB will be one of the most meaningful thing that we have ever done in our life.. despite the regrets for me not being active in the band during my form 5 life.. i nvr regret joining the band… in fact i gained a lot from the band =)

  10. hehe… gud to noe another ‘ex’ senior.. haha.. ‘ni hao’ … im flutist… tis yr f3 ^^ feeling got to me.. make me feel wan to join the 2004-2006 compt ^^

  11. I just read this! Lol… from ur link in recent “Leaving Inti” blog.

    No doubt, I believe every single MMB member will have loads of memories to share…good and bad.. it’s been really a wonderful journey for u with lotsa success and fun huh ;)

    Anyway, ur blog motivated (and reminded) me to write abt my band journey to the MMB blog, which I promised u :P Haha…

  12. hey hey…
    i’m a clarinetist from nan hwa band, graduated in 2005..
    really love the time spent with the band, right? really really memorable…
    if i had the chance, i’d go through everything all over again…


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