This post will share my time in GENUS for the last 2 years!
Back in July 2009, I went for the NUS Matriculation Fair, saw GENUS booth there. It was interesting for me because I play guitar and I had never been in any form of ensemble before, so I just signed up for the audition. During the audition I played the White Christmas song with some nice jazz chords which I was taught to play by a friend of mine (he is really good at it). Then they (interviewers who were the committees) asked me to sightread some notes, wow, here came the problem. I wasn’t very good at sightreading so it took me some time to figure out how to play the notes before playing it (with some mistakes of course). But yeah, finally I got accepted and I was put in Prime 2 section! After a while, I figured out that there are actually several sections in GENUS: Alto 1, Alto 2, Prime 1, Prime 2, Bass, Contrabass, and Guitarron. Primes are just normal guitars which you see everyday everywhere. The alto guitars are smaller guitars with higher notes, but no worry because it’s not that different from the normal guitar. The zeroth fret of the alto guitars is the same as the 7th fret of the primes. Yep that’s about altos and now we’ll talk a bit about basses. Bass guitars tuning is exactly the same as altos, it’s just that it is an octave lower in pitch and the bass guitars are bigger in size compared to normal guitar! Now the contrabass guitars, they are even bigger than the bass guitars in size and lower in pitch as well. The contrabass guitars are an octave lower than the primes. And finally, the guitarron, you all must be wondering what guitarron is, I did also at the first time. The guitarron is actually a very big guitar with the exact tuning as the contrabass and yet it is fretless. The strings are noticeably very think as well. It sounds very nice and is like covering the whole room with foundations if being played properly. 🙂
Fast forward, finally my first concert with GENUS was in the following September if I remember correctly. Performing in a concert really needs a bit of sacrifice because at that time I needed to skip one or two of my lessons because of the rehearsals beforehand. Nonetheless, it felt good to perform and deliver good music to the audience! Days by days gone and GENUS finally organized this music camp in the December holiday. Heck, I got to stay back for another week in Singapore that means. And my friends in GENUS also didn’t showing interest to come to this camp, so I just didn’t register for it. (sorry previous comm >,<) Oh by the way, for some reasons, they moved me into Alto 2 section after the first concert.
January 2010. I came back to Singapore from one month holiday in Indonesia and started to practise the ensemble songs. Darn, the songs were difficult! The alto guitar made it even more difficult for me: the fretboard is smaller than the guitar I had used to play before and the 4th string of the alto guitar is a nylon string! Why the nylon string a problem? Because I didn’t really see my left hand fingers while playing and usually it just went on using the feeling of my fingers; I used to feel 4th string as a steel coated string, but then it was a nylon string that time, so I need some time to adapt. Finally the concert time came, it was in March 2 months after, and I still couldn’t really play smoothly the difficult running notes, but never mind, the concert was over and yet it felt good though we were exhausted!
A couple of weeks after, the AGM day came and I applied for a committee position. I gave my speech (was not very good I guess, it was the first time I spoke in English in front of many people) and I got to leave early while my fellows were still giving their speech because of the PINUS Dinner and Dance event. I was performing there also so I needed to come early there and did all the sound check and stuffs. In the evening the president of GENUS who is Tina smsed me and said congratulations that I had been accepted as a committee in the librarian position. Wow librarian!? Yeah he is the one to organize the club’s scores, I personally think the title Score Master will suit better to that position but never mind. Yep so in my 2nd year in NUS I was one of the GENUS committee. But this post won’t talk much about the committees and the committee work. Generally speaking, being committee in GENUS was actually a good experience. I was exposed to meet more people, knew more of other people’s working style, made more friends, etc.
Finally my 3rd concert came and it was in September 2010 if I remember correctly. If I remember wrongly, that means the concert was in October then. 🙂 Another feeling-good moment went by and you know what, now by the time this post is being typed, GENUS is preparing for its annual concert! Next concert will be on 3rd of April and this time I can’t remember wrongly. 🙂 It is a concert celebrating the 30th Anniversary of GENUS. Thanks for Mr Alex Abisheganaden for his initiative to found this club back in 1981. The atmosphere here in GENUS is high now I suppose to welcome the biggest concert in GENUS i’ll ever have. We know we have prepared and practised hard for it, now our fingers are all crossed for the actual day performance which is already less than 5 x 24 hours.
What’s next? Will I stay in GENUS for my fifth concert? Well, I don’t really think so because I have got another thing to do such as to come to my youth fellowship at church biweekly on Saturday at 4PM and to focus more on my study and doing my tutorials. But actually now is not that easy to leave this club after 2 years. And the newly elected president is a good friend of mine also. So, yeah, all the best for the new committee in the future but I am sorry if I can’t continue staying in GENUS. 🙂 But I will come to the concerts! haha 🙂
More about GENUS: http://www.guitar-ensemble-nus.com/