After 2 years of having the Singapore Youth Festival (SYF) held online due to the Covid-19 pandemic, performing arts CCAs can finally perform together on stage instead of virtually. Will you be participating in the SYF Arts Presentation this year?

The SYF Arts Presentation is a great platform for CCAs to work together and showcase their talents in front of the audience. Students will also get to learn from professionals in their respective industries and improve their skills. Schools will send their performing arts CCAs as representatives for the Arts Presentation where they will be assessed by a panel of judges and be graded with a Distinction, Accomplishment or Commendation. The performances are also open to the public this year through live streams as compared to in real life before the pandemic. Performance categories include Band, Chinese Orchestra, Choir, Drama, Dance, Ensembles like Guitar Ensemble, Handbell, Gamelan, and more.

Did you know that the Arts Presentation is not the only segment of the Singapore Youth Festival (SYF)? 

Due to the pandemic, a new segment called SYFgoesOnline!, which is a virtual arts festival has been created. Students in Singapore schools can showcase their creativity and resilience through online mini-projects, like ‘The Youth Station Project’ and ‘Let’s Jam Together’ as our country overcomes the present obstacles as one. There are also free lesson materials, for example, layering and recording backing vocals, that you can watch on the website in your free time. If you are interested in participating, click here for more!

There is also the SYF Art Exhibition which features artworks from secondary school, JC and MI students. This year’s theme is on Artist and Sustainability and students can submit original artworks that explore how individual and collective efforts can create a better world and future for our future generations. All artworks will be showcased online and a selected collection of artworks will be featured at National Museum Singapore! If you are a budding artist and would love to have your artworks showcased for everyone’s viewing, sign up for the Arts Exhibition on the SYF website

The SYFs will always be an integral part of every performing art CCA student’s memory!  Having participated in 2 SYFs under the Choir category during my secondary school and JC days, I can still recall our intense practices leading up to the Arts Presentation, the butterflies in my stomach right before our turn, the joy after completing our performance and attaining our distinctions, and the ‘post-SYF depression’ that could last for days after the end of our performance. During the lead up to the competition day, we had to keep drilling the parts that we were weak at, make sure the choir blends well and ensure that everyone is in tip-top condition. The most memorable experience would be the 2019 SYF when I had to do a solo narration to earn more points for the choir for creativity. It was quite nerve-wracking because I was a junior then and the narration was a crucial part of the performance – which meant if I messed up, it would be a rather serious mistake. Thankfully, the presentation went really well and we were all very pleased with our performance. 

How was the online SYF Arts Presentation different from the pre-Covid 19 SYF?

The SYF was resumed in 2021. In alignment with the safe management measures, choirs had to submit their recorded performances since in-person singing was not allowed. Concert bands, ensembles, dance and drama CCAs could still perform in-person but their sizes had to be reduced. For more information about this year’s SYF and how you can support your peers this year, check out the official website here for more information!

*This article is written by Gabrielle Lee of GapYearSG, who interned for Learners’ Lodge, MOE Special Education Division and Duke-NUS Medical School.