Every year, the Victorian Affair (VA) never fails to stand as one of the most highly anticipated events of the year for Victorians. An event that has evolved from a weekend funfair to its present cohort wide event much like the JC1 Orientation, for most Victorians, it may be considered the defining experience of our journey here.
For starters, “canVAs” was chosen by the ad hoc team with the idea in mind to meaningfully represent the batch of 2016’s 2 year journey in VJ quite literally, as a blank canvas. An idea similar to the concept of tabula rasa in Aristotle’s writings of “unscribed tablet”, where the ad hoc team truly hoped that colours can be added unto our blank canvases, in the form of great memories made together as a cohort in VJ together. Janis Lim of 16S39, a member of the Outdoor Affair Committee for VA, personally associates “canvas with a tightly-knitted structure because of the threads that a canvas is made of”, says that the theme also “represents the very strong bond that we share as a cohort and how we hope to make the cohort even closer through this event”.
Therefore, in true red and yellow Victorian spirit, VA 2016 took place on Thursday, the 24th of November where the series of activities lined up were met with much fanfare by Victorians scrambling around the central areas of Singapore, before they proceeded to *SCAPE in the evening for Concert Night.
With that, The Victorian Press is here to break down the day’s activities.
Outdoor Affair: Amazing Race — The Victorian Rush
At 8.45am, right after the morning rush hour had begun to died down, Victorians could be seen assembling at their various locations, all ready to kick start the games ahead. The table below shows a brief overview of the respective house route allocations:
|Avocado Green||Phoenix & Ursa||Orchard|
|Banana Yellow||Draco & Pegasus||Dhoby Ghaut|
|Coconut White||Lynx & Aquila||Esplanade/CBD|
Classes were given different complexity missions to complete in order for them to advance to the next station. These missions included filming of a scene from famous movies, filming the chorus of the mass dance — “Whiney Whiney”, finding certain monuments to take class photos with etc. Not forgetting doing the mannequin challenge as a class, of which most classes notably had the most fun filming. This could be seen by the amount of the mannequin challenge videos featured by classes on their instagram pages, as well as the amount of hilarity captured in filming them.
After successfully completing the complexity missions, classes could then move on to the stations. Each station featured a unique game on its own, ranging from friendly competition between classes in shoe tossing, “minute-to-win-it!” tasks, running man-inspired charade games, and other multiple games involving ping-pong balls. Even though many of us could not help but complain about our sore feets and sweaty selves from walking under the sweltering heat, it is undeniable that we too had our fair share of fun as each game/mission continually surprised us at every turn.
After a lunch break, the day’s events took a turn from the exuberant to the reflective with VAppreciate; a set of afternoon activities for students to reflect on family values and filial piety. The time set aside was also meant for students to show their appreciation for their civics tutors and all the good work they have done in the year.
The first item on the list was an activity that was similar to a video a lot of us are familiar with; the privilege walk we watched during the ‘dining in the dark’ activity at Community Affair. However, there was a twist to the activity at Appreciation Hour. Instead of reflecting on the privileges we were granted in our daily lives, the questions asked got students thinking about how much they appreciated their parents, as well as what they had done to show their parents their gratitude. This activity served as an appropriate bridge to the next, where students wrote a personal pledge of filial piety. This gave students the opportunity to show their active appreciation for their parents.
This was followed by a letter-writing session, where students got to pen down their thoughts on a postcard that was meant to be mailed to their parents. Whether it be reaffirming their gratitude to their parents or opening up about something more personal, this was an opportunity for students to be more open about their lives with their parents and to strengthen familial ties.
After spending sometime on personal reflection, Victorians took to the streets of Orchard to get members of the public to reflect about how appreciative they have been of their parents. In collaboration with the Ministry of Social and Family Development, Victorians asked around for members of the public to make pledges of their own to be more grateful. Members of the public were also encouraged to post pictures of themselves and their pledges on instagram and hashtag it #myfilialpiety.
To end it off, Victorians were given some time to show their appreciation for their Civics Tutors. This was really an opportunity for Victorians to work their creative juices and to come up with crazy and or heartwarming shows of appreciation for our tutors. Some classes presented their tutors handwritten cards, some gave them handmade gifts.
VJC has always strongly emphasised on the importance of giving back to the community and being appreciative for those around us. Victorian Affair is not just an event for us to look back on the school year and celebrate the end of it as a cohort, but to also strengthen our bonds with those around us. The morning activities facilitated class bonding, but the afternoon activities made us think about how we can better appreciate the constants in our lives.
Lasting Affair — The Highlight
At roughly 5pm, Victorians donning the Fired Up tee were seen flocking to the venue of the Lasting Affair Concert, *SCAPE. The pre-concert started with an opening act by the band K4 performing ‘Give Love’ and ‘Cresendo’. The next pre-concert item was the band Amanda’s Song, named after the lead singer Amanda Song, awed the crowd with their amazing performance of ‘Sky Full Of Stars’.
The last act for the pre-concert was our own alumni DJ Brandon Sim, a crowd-pleaser who successfully got them pumped up by blasting popular dubstep songs like Closer with dubstep twists, effectively hyping up the crowd. The Dance Crew also came on stage to dance face-to-face with the audience, with the audience excitedly mirroring their dance moves.
Afterwards, the stage was graced by the emcees of the night, Yi Hui and Joel, who first engaged in hilarious banter (which was to be a theme throughout the night), and then introduced the first act of the concert — a performance by the Dance Crew, set to the tune of Black Pink’s “Whistle”, as the girls and boys danced separately. Next came the duo, Bridget and Queenie. With their honey-like vocals, they belted out notes after notes of songs like ‘Sugar’ and ‘Alone Together’.
Following Bridget and Queenie’s performance, another dynamic duo, Supersonic Baes comprising Xinbei of 16S47 and Shichao of 16S55, took centre stage with songs ‘No’ and ‘Cheap Thrills’, really impressing us with their strong vocals. Fun fact: Xinbei and Shichao met while taking part in the auditions for The Voice Of China. Can you imagine how good they are?
VJC Dance then took over to wow the crowd with amazingly choreographed dance moves. Unlike the first performance, however, this had the boys and girls facing off and ultimately dancing together — meant to represent our transition as a batch from gender segregation to integration. When the beat of the background song slowed to an end, the crowd was already taken by the amazing performance. After that, the entire school gathered for a cohort-wide Mannequin Challenge, as the entire *SCAPE stood still to the tune of “Black Beatles”!
With the crowd still on their feet and excited by the high energy the dancers exuberated, the next band Iridescent, with members from VJ Guitar, made their way on stage to perform the song ‘Jetlag’. The harmonious meld of instruments and the enthusiasm of lead vocalists David and Megan saw the crowd raving wildly to the beat, and with good timing, Iridescent ended their performance with a joke “Enjoy the rest of the morning. I mean night. Sorry, must be the JETLAG!”.
Alumni singers Vanessa and Marcus from VJ Choir then took over with “Hold Back The River” and “Wake Me Up”, before coming together with Burmese Bombshells to perform a duet between Vanessa and Meg-Mel for “Rolling in the Deep”.
Following closely after, VJ Dance Alumni, or the ‘Very Jovial Dab Association’ showcased their skills in an astoundingly beautiful choreography. The spotlight then went back onto the J1 Victorians. The Passionate Continent, from the Symphonic Band, graced the stage with their presence and shiny instruments. This band comprises of people of diverse origins who have come together to put up a mindblowing performance that included not only music but also easy dance moves that got everyone following along and dancing to the lively beat of ‘Funky Town’ and ‘I Feel Good’.
Now, let us go back a few weeks to the Farewell Assembly for our dearest J2s. Remember Alyssia and Nicole of 16A11, who led the entire J1 cohort in presenting the farewell song, ‘Flashlight’, for the J2s? Yes, they too joined in the fun and put up another amazing performance for the concert. The mood of the concert took an unexpected turn, but not in a bad way, during Alyssia and Nicole’s turn where the crowd was requested to take a seat and enjoy the performance. With songs like ‘Secret Love Song’ and ‘Mercy’, Alyssia blessed our ears with her melodious voice, not forgetting Nicole on the keyboard. The keyboard notes accompanied with Alyssia’s voice was definitely something to remember. Especially when Alyssia hit that high note — we heard she had been practising that for a long time, so it was amazing to hear that come to fruition.
Next came the highly anticipated Burmese Bombshells. With many concerts and performances under their belt, they too put up an excellent performance with songs that got the crowd back on their feet and jumping to the beat of songs like ‘You Belong With Me’ and ‘Raise Your Glass’. They even have their own original rap, ‘Bombshells’ that introduced the various members of the band which was performed flawlessly by the keyboard player, Ethan Chan of 16S43. This was a hit with the crowd as they cheered the most during this song and even sang along to the chorus!
Riding on the fact that the Victorians present were already very hyped up, bands Caloric Paradox and Iggy & Co performed their pieces. The performance by Iggy and Co ended on a high note with the song ‘Escape (The Pina Colada Song)’ despite minor technical difficulties along the way.
Next in line was the “most popular duo” in Singapore, ShiLi and Adi, who were also once Victorians. No stranger to the big stage, they have sung for Presidents, performed at the F1 Grand Prix alongside famous bands like Maroon 5, Bon Jovi and Pharrell Williams and have even taken part in foreign performances in Bali and Malaysia. We were honoured to have them perform for us on this very special night, with ShiLi and Adi as the closing act. Singing soundtracks from popular Disney movies like ‘Mulan’, ‘Beauty and the Beast’ and ‘Pocahontas’, as well as chart-topping pop songs like ‘Counting Stars’ and ‘Firework’, they truly left us in awe. (Check out our VPress exclusive interview with them here!)
As the night drew to an end, it was a given that the night would end on a high note, with the Victorian Anthem. As the Anthem was played over the speakers, Victorians, with arms over each other’s shoulders, began to sing the anthem proudly and shouted the cheer as loud as they could. The end of the Anthem truly signifies the end of yet another event we have attend as Victorians but before the crowd began to disperse, the familiar music of ‘The Nights’ began to play over the speakers. “Mass dance!!” someone shouted and Victorians began to dance to the song they know all so well. As the last bars of the song played, Victorians were spent, tired after jumping to the beat of the songs and cheering loudly. Despite the fatigue, the Victorian spirit was still evident as many of us stayed behind and cleared up the rubbish in the vicinity. Our actions had not gone unnoticed as our dear Mr Seet had acknowledged our efforts and expressed his pride in our quick cleaning of the venue. We must say he was truly impressed, so well done Victorians!
As you left the venue of the Lasting Affair, we are sure that all of you have thoroughly enjoyed yourself at the concert, glad that the last day of the school year had ended on such a high note. As Victorians, we work hard and play hard, the Lasting Affair definitely paid up for all the hard work we have put in in the past few months leading up to our promos. To all Victorians, enjoy your holidays and remember to study as well as relax, keeping in mind that ‘all work and no play makes Jack a dull boy’!
VA is an event that ends the school year with as much — if not more — fun than the Fired Up concert in the midst of the JC1 Orientation, and indeed according to Mr Seet, the purpose of VA is to end the year the very same way we started it, with fun. It is undoubtedly one of the major highlights of every Victorian’s journey in the school. With the added thrill of performing live and sharing the Victorian spirit in a public arena, this year’s canVAs was truly a success shared by all, from teachers to the audience.
Shannon Pei, 16A12
Claire Chan, 16A12
Ng Xue Ying, 16A13
Chong E-Lyn, 16A14
Tian Jing Jie, 16S37