St Joseph’s School Band to test their mettle against US competition
By Jude Toyat
St Joseph’s Secondary School Band (SJSB) proudly announced that they would be participating in the US Bands Yamaha Cup competition to be held at MetLife Stadium, New Jersey in the US on September 26.
SJSB will be heading to the US from September 16 to October 1 for the competition and according to its director June Ling, SJSB is the only band outside of the USA to be invited to take part in the platinum premium event to compete against 54 other high school bands from the USA.
“This is the first time a school outside of the USA has participated in this annual national high school band competition organised by the US Bands organisation.
“It is of great honour for the band to be given this golden opportunity to compete in such grand event and I am sure it will be a very exciting experience for us all,” she said during the handover of jackets from Brooke Dockyard to SJSB at SMK St Joseph on September 13.
A total of 73 SJSB members will be taking part in the competition and they will be accompanied by 20 teachers, parents and school instructors.
They will perform a show entitled ‘Rach 2’, short for Rachamaninov’s second piano concerto.
Kennesaw Mountain High School Band in Atlanta, Georgia will be hosting SJSB by providing a venue for a four-day band camp and homestay with their band member’s families, while top Drum Corp International instructors from The Cadets and Carolina Crown will conduct the four-day band camp in Atlanta to further refine the drill show.
Meanwhile, Brooke Dockyard chairman Datuk Abang Abdul Karim Tun Openg said that they were honoured to be able to be a part of the programme.
“We are very happy for the band’s achievement and we wish they will be successful in the US as well as other endeavours in the future. We also hope that they will bring glory to the school and the State,” he said when met after the event.
As for SJSB advisor and Old Josephians Association chairman Senator Datuk Dr Sim Kui Hian, the association was extremely grateful to the parents and state government.
“The parents have worked hard to raise money and the state government has also helped in giving us a grant for this, and without them, this would not have been made possible.
“We are extremely grateful for the opportunity as it is important to be good locally and internationally,” he said.
He also pointed out that the competition goes beyond being merely a competition.
“It is also a cultural exchange, and I hope this will be an experience that will enrich the lives of all 73 members of the band and become something for them to remember forever,” he added.
Also present at the event were SJSB Parents’ president Zuraimi Sabki.