|8 Sep 2020|
ISKL alumni Rebecca Chan ('20), Ezra Mavani ('20), April Ong ('20), Evelyn Ramli ('20), and Clarissa Sofian ('20) found a new way to show that no matter where you are, your passion can reach new places!
Internationally renowned professional violinist Ray Chen recently launched a contest to his viewers to keep up their musical spirits during the COVID-19 global pandemic.
The contest was open to all instruments, and the only requirement was that participants had to play a specific piece, Kreisler's Liebesleid.
The group of newly-graduated alumni - self-named "Mayo-noise" had the opportunity to submit a video to the online music contest entitled 'Play With Ray: Home Edition' and were selected as one of the twenty winners.
Mayo-noise's submission was featured together with the twenty other winners in a video and uploaded to Ray Chen's YouTube channel, which has over 100,000 subscribers. Additionally, the group had the opportunity to have a Zoom call with Ray Chen himself and receive a 500 dollar prize!
The group's efforts culminated in a final video submission featuring April on percussion (using COVID-19 essentials, such as a hand sanitizer!), Clarissa and Evelyn on the violin, Rebecca as vocalist, and Ezra on the cello. Additionally, the alumni included their former Music teachers, Mr. Vincent Cee, on the double bass, and Mr. Jonathan Baird on the trumpet.
Evelyn added, "It was an amazing chance to use our creativity once again after being cooped up at home for so long. On the day we started recording in real life, it made our hopes so high. We went all out!"
The initial idea to enter the contest came from Clarissa. Having the contest open to all instruments and improvisation struck inspiration within her. Clarissa succinctly summarized the experience. "Overall, we just wanted to have fun and make music together, even during a pandemic."
"This is why Clarissa had the idea to include our group members, who mostly all played different instruments," said April. "Therefore, we would be a unique submission and could potentially become one of the winners."
For April, not only was it an excellent opportunity for alumni, but a way to build skills before transitioning to university.
"As a soon-to-be percussion major in college, I enjoy working on music projects. This seemed like a good opportunity for me to experiment with different ways to play music, and to collaborate with my friends in a unique and fun way," said April.
Once the video's concept was chosen, a competition between the instruments themselves, there was some difficulty getting the video together with the restrictions caused by COVID-19.
Clarissa spoke about using another way to prepare, "We had meetings on Zoom to decide what our video would look like, throwing out ideas, writing a rough script, and combining all our ideas into the eventual final product.”
'Most of our communication and planning were done online. Rehearsing was done at home by ourselves, so we came together all prepared," added Evelyn.
However, the circumstances of the quarantine proved to be quite challenging.
April continued, "Many aspects of the original plan had to be changed due to the location's limitations, and we ended up having to record separately due to the lack of time. However, in the end, it all came together. Most of what made it into the final video was purely improvisational, and we came up with ideas on the go. I guess it was good that our team is so adaptable that we managed to finish the submission even with all these uncertainties."
Check out their winning submission on the ISKL HS Music Instagram page here, and Ray Chen's video featuring Mayo-noise here.