Thursday, August 21, 2008

The Chinese Orchestra room

Climb up the stairs, up four levels, unlock the metal and wooden door, and presto, it was the Chinese Orchestra room. This room now only exists in the memory. The school building where it used to be located in had been demolished years ago.

This Chinese Orchestra room was the storage room for the Chinese Orchestra. When I was a Secondary School student many years ago, it was one of the place in school that I would frequently visit. Firstly, I did not have my own double bass back then. As such, if I had wanted to be hardworking in practising the double bass, I had to find my way to the Chinese Orchestra room to get the double bass out to practise. Frankly speaking, the room was just a storage room, so there was minimal space to practise.

I had probably started visiting this room even more often after I had became one of the committee members of the Chinese Orchestra when I was in Secondary Two. At least once in a year, there would be spring cleaning to be done for the Chinese Orchestra room. Frankly speaking, I did not quite like spring cleaning, because I did not like the dust. Nevertheless, I joined in, because back then, I enjoyed the sense of comradeship. I remember that I had a handy skill of being able to fit as much items/ instruments in the limited space after spring cleaning. Organisational skill was something that I could contribute.

The Chinese Orchestra room did not have air-conditioning. It did not have nice cushioned seats either. However, there was a part of it that just felt so cosy. There were times when I would just visit it after school hours simply to practise on the double bass or to meet with friends who needed help from a committee member (that was me) to get an instrument to practise on.

To some extent, I could say that being a member of the Chinese Orchestra back then had helped provided the opportunity for me to hone leadership and organisational skills. Looking back, those opportunities I was transformed me from a very quiet person (I was very quiet in Primary school years) to a more approachable and slightly more outspoken person. I am thankful for the fruitful experiences and the friendship forged.

Maybe I should have taken a photo of the Chinese Orchestra room. I don't think I had taken such a photo. However, the memory stays.


Doreen said...

Your memory is the best photo! Another question about this Chinese Orchestra. They're playing with mix of Chinese and western instruments (e.g. double bass)?

oceanskies79 said...

Doreen, yes, the memory contains some of the best images.

This Chinese Orchestra that I used to play in when I was young (when I was 13-16 years old) generally plays Chinese music. However, the double bass and the cello are often used in many modern Chinese orchestras to replace the Chinese instrument gehu because of their acoustic properties etc.