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Who is Symphonia? Introducing our senior orchestra for 2022!

Jennifer Zeng (Year 12)

Symphonia 2022 is well underway – it is a passionate orchestra of 25 SMC students who practice and master their given instruments, led by none other than Mr Gibbs, Head of the Music Department, who works tirelessly to provide music opportunities for the SMC community. You can find his interview and feature article here.

Symphonia regularly meet and actively participate in organised events (when COVID-19 restrictions allow) throughout the year.

In the past, the Symphonia have participated in many notable competitions and music events such as the KBB Festival, an annual Classics at 12 at the Uxbridge Centre and even combined music concerts with other schools! For the upcoming year, the Symphonia has plans to get even more competitive and in the words of Mr Gibbs: “Push as if nothing is going to be cancelled.”

Due to COVID-19 restrictions, our senior orchestra currently consists of strings and strings only! The orchestra is sectioned off into First Violins, Second Violins, Violas, Cellos, and Double Bass – each with a student section leader.

This year has seen new students stepping up to guide their peers as section leaders and the Symphonia aims to grow leaders for the next generation. As time goes on, we also look forward to the continual stream of talented students joining the orchestra.

This year, we’ve welcomed many new students into their respective sections. If you play an instrument and are interested in joining the Orchestra, please have a chat with one of our members (list below).

Although adapting to an orchestra without woodwind and brass sections has reduced the quantity of the orchestra size, it has developed a different sound quality. Smaller sections have allowed us to focus, more in-depth, on the technique and cohesiveness of the orchestra. Our sense of community still continues though, as members interact and make connections with one another.

As Mr Gibbs commented: “The judges at Stand Up Stand Out once told me that they can always tell when SMC are there, because of the family atmosphere that we bring to the competition.”

In addition to change in size, Symphonia’s planned repertoire has also been altered to fit the instruments present. With a mix of more traditional as well as modern pieces, the Symphonia plans to bring you the following:

· Oblivion – Astor Piazzolla – (ft. Sandra Heruela on violin)

· Les Larmes de Jacqueline – Jacques Offenbach (ft. Ryan Butcher on cello)

· Zelda’s Lullably – Koji Kondo

· One Summer’s Day (from Spirited Away) – Joe Hisaishi

Recently, the Symphonia has been rehearsing every Wednesday afterschool from 3.30 – 5pm.

On one occasion, the team made their way down to the amphitheatre in C block for an outdoor practice under the bright sun and blue skies. The battle of music sheets against the wind was valiant, and carrying our instruments as well as equipment across the school was certainly a good workout!

Cello player Camilla Isip commented, “It was very refreshing and a good change in atmosphere!”

With hopes for the future and competition just around the corner, Symphonia is working hard to give a great performance.

We hope you look forward to more articles on our fantastic music programmes!

Symphonia’s full line up:

1st Violin

Sandra Heruela (concertmaster)

Megan Bottom

Aaron Santoso

Yena Wang

Serena Locke

Ava Clifford

Nathania Rubiales

2nd Violin

Cady Lim (section leader)

Anika Bautista

Isabela Dela Cruz

Kleon Ninofranco

Jarra Piatos


Alanna Santoso (section leader)

Mikaela Lai

Kristine Guerrero

Joshua De Guzman

Vincent Isip


Jennifer Zeng (section leader)

Ryan Butcher

Camilla Isip

Raine Montecillo

Maia Tay-Morrison

Alexandria Lazatin

Double Bass

Andrew Botting (section leader)

Daniel Pereira

James Karl


Photos by Mary Aguirre (Year 12)