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Wong Yih-Chyn, violin - My life in AYO (Part III - Rehearsal Camp)

Our 3-week rehearsal camp in 1992 was in the United World College dormitory at Dover Road, 6 people in a room. I got to know 5 other friends who shared the same room with me, they were from Japan and Taiwan. During the gruelling rehearsal camp, we practised 8 to 10 hours a day. There were sectionals and full orchestra rehearsals. The pieces were as follows:

Program A:

Lukas Foss, Conductor

Elly Ameling, Soprano Soloist

Akiko Suwanai, Violin Soloist

Takemitsu: A Flock Descends into the Pentagonal Garden

Bach: Violin Concerto No. 2, BWV1042

Mahler: Symphony No. 4 in G Major

Program B

David Alan Miller, Conductor

Young Uck Kim, Violin Soloist

Dvorak: Carnival Overture

Sibelius: Concerto for Violin and Orchestra in D minor, Op 47

Tchaikovsky: Symphony No. 6 in B minor, Pathetique, Op 75

I still remember vividly the opening ceremony of the rehearsal camp, when the whole orchestra played "Nimrod". It was so magical, the very first time we sat together, the very first piece, before we got to know one another, for the opening ceremony. There were many memorable first times, one of which was when Mr Young Uck Kim finally came to rehearse with us. I was totally mesmerised by his playing of the solo opening of the Sibelius violin concerto. And there was the mysterious piece by Mr Takemitsu. We were also arranged into different chamber groups, such as the string quartet that I was grouped together to play Schubert, so that we had a chance to practise with orchestra members and perform in chamber concerts besides the usual AYO concerts. After rehearsals, when we still had some energy, the Singapore members would bring the overseas members out to favourite Singapore places such as the lau pa sat for a taste of local food. Many deep friendships were forged, because of our common language and love for music.

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