131 years of excellence – Concert hails achievements of St Joseph`s School throughout the century

KUCHING: In keeping with their alma mater`s tradition of excellence and teamwork, St Joseph`s School Band put on a concert to remember as it celebrated the school`s 131st anniversary.

Playing to a packed house at Trinity Methodist Church here last Sunday, the band performed in collaboration with guest artistes and instructors to showcase their progress and innovation.

It was also an occasion to give back to the community and acknowledge the support they have received over the years.

Programme coordinator Jonathan Fox said the theme of “131 Years of SJS: A Celebration in Concert” applied not only to the band programme but to the greater St Joseph`s School community.

“There is much reason to celebrate at this proud school and the Josephian spirit of cooperation truly epitomises working in concert with one another,” he said.

Fox, who has been working with the band since 2008, said he was thrilled to see how the staff and students had been raising the bar of excellence every year.

He also said the core of the programme was community-based service in line with the Josephian spirit of giving back.

“So many things would not be possible without generous spiritual and financial support from the public, including participation in domestic and international events, opportunities to innovate and entertain and the ability to provide a sustain-able co-curricular activity for the students.

“The concert is one of the many ways we share our joy and success with the community,” he said, adding that the band spent time with children from the Salvation Army Boys` Home and members of several Brigade Bands as part of giving back to the community.

SMK St Joseph principal Thomas Lau said the band exemplified the school`s culture of excellence built on values inherited from the La Salle Brothers.

“We are immensely proud of our school band, whose achievements, be it competitive success or well-acclaimed stage performances, continue to fill illustrious chapters of the school`s history,” he said.

The concert featured the BAM! Percussion Trio, comprising international musicians from China, Singapore and Vietnam, who performed a mixture of solo and ensemble pieces on marimba, vibraphone and multiple percussion.

Staff members also played together with the band, including Fox on timpani, music director Anthony Wong on saxophone and wind coach Yap Thien Soo on trumpet.

But the stars of the show were the young band members, with an average age of 14, who performed with poise and professionalism beyond their years.

Besides the full band playing a number of classical and modern pieces, there were performances by the percussion and pit ensembles with the guest artistes. There was also a fun performance of Me Tarzan by the percussionists, which involved clapping and tapping in rhythm, as well as a graceful display by the colour guard to a contemporary arrangement of Beethoven`s Five Secrets.

In addition, the band paid a moving tribute to the school`s La Salle Brothers with Amazing Grace.
Fittingly, the concert ended with an entertaining rendition of Kool and The Gang`s Celebration by the full cast.

(Taken from The Star)

Sharing the joy: Fox playing the timpani with the band’s percussionists.

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