KLWMBC 2007 - Part 1  

Posted by Nigel J. W. Ong

Being involved with the 2007 Kuala Lumpur World Marching Band competition is an unforgetable experience for me. its wonderful, beautiful, exciting, exhilarating (im out of adjectives to describe it)...i will put try to put the experience into words, beggining with this post...

i was assigned to be the Liaison officer for the Bodindecha Marching band from Thailand.

this band took part in the World Championship of marching bands in Japan and korea. they are also the current Thai champion. They took part in KLWMBC expecting to win.

the first day:

they arrived 40 minutes late than scheduled 8pm, which is ok since bands from south africa and germany arrived 10 hours late. put them in the bus and we departed to their lodgings, Wisma Belia.
after assigning them rooms, its time to talk to the coach. the band director brought along his whole coaching team, from music director to the tutors (memang world class punya band). the Band director is Mr. Supoch Jennasombut (or 'a chan tui' meaning teacher Tui in Thai). the assistants- music director Mr. Kitti Kureemanee (or Amy - he is a guy with big heart and big appetite!). tutors, i dun really remember the name, but i sure remember the faces. Bon, Dano
the first thing they ask, training. (patutla they keep on winning). he requested to have practice from 8 am to pm everyday until the competition. walao! arranged for them, and discussed some other stuffs, then retire to bed.

second day:
brought them to Victoria institution school or sekolah menengah victoria or VI to unpack their instruments and practice. it took them 1 hour to unpack their stuffs - 124 boxes in total! crazy ("Bak" in thai). its a full ensemble, from marching percussion to brass instruments all the way to pit percussion and guard flags. will upload the video soon.

not enough water for practice, one of them collapsed due to dehydration. have to send him to hospital, and bring the aunties to buy water for them. after that, its sitting down and watch them training. the best thing is to hear them warming up. the harmony, the volume, are all superb. the waves are consistent, and they play with dynamic controls. (when listening to how good a band sounds, ask them to play a particular note together, and listen to the waves. if the frequency is consistent, they are good cos not change of pitch. if change, not good). the colour guards are also comel and sweet, haha!

but the best its the drumline! being a drummer myself, i pay lots of attention into the drums. sticking technique, dynamic control, rhythm all mantap. much better then i myself!

biggest problems is communication. if u say english in its complete form, they wont understand. have to brake the sentences into pieces, any say only the important words. "5pm, bus come, quick". "band wait here, i go find marshall". "marshal cancel practice, ngo! (stupid in thai)". need to try very hard to communicate with them. so my dreams to kenal kenal with these colour guard girls becomes sangat susah. haiz...

the parade competition commences on the night,here is the video

and guess what, they won!

to be continued...