The time had come to Ride the Victorian Wave — on the 12th of January, the school welcomed prospective students to experience first-hand the sights, sounds and infectious laughter of Victoria Junior College. This year’s Open House was held from 8.30 in the morning to 4 in the afternoon, with a theme that saw various beach and surfing-related imagery used to decorate the school and a programme packed with activities. Visitors were met with a flood of that characteristic Victorian Spirit, as Victorians exuberantly showcased the best of VJC to the public.
Upon entering the school, visitors first encountered the Bus Bay, where various lively performances were being staged. The line-up was a mix of fresh acts and familiar faces — Victorian Affair alums like the Burmese Bombshells and Bridget & Queenie wowed with a range of pop songs, while first-time performers NIL and Yong Li & Frances gave renditions of crowd favourites like, respectively, Eason Chan’s “Love Transfer” and Taylor Swift’s “Our Song”. Besides music acts, CCAs such as the Indian Cultural Society, Symphonic Band, Dance and Wushu gave performances that showcased the sheer diversity of talents in VJC. It would be difficult to picture Open House without immediately thinking of the stage at the Bus Bay, and it would be hard to miss too — even without live performances, expert DJs Shamir, Pranav and Jonas mixed tunes which played on loudspeakers, welcoming guests into the college.
In continuing a long school tradition, the Bus Bay was also the site of our signature Mass Dances. As the instantly recognisable starting notes of “Whiney Whiney” and others began to play, Victorians rushed to join in, kicking and cheering in unison. It was a sneak peek into the excitement that was to come during JC1 Orientation and the vibrancy of Victorian life. Britney, who was considering going to VJC, praised the dancers for their “enthusiasm and school spirit. It really feels like such a fun and bonded community.”
The mass dances are an Open House staple and this year, the different dances were performed at different times. So ingrained into our minds are the mass dance steps that when the DJ played a megamix sampling lines from “The Nights”, the Victorians immediately began dancing without thinking! This year’s mass dance segment also had an interesting twist — VCA Year 5 juniors who had been taught the moves to “The Nights” thronged the bus bay, really putting the “mass” in “mass dance” and creating a spectacle for the guests to behold.
Close by, visitors were also surprised by flash mobs that took place in the school canteen. The Symphonic Band, Piano Ensemble, and String Ensemble collaborated to entertain the audience with an orchestral cover of the pop song “Shut Up and Dance” and “Under the Sea”, a multi-way collaboration that certainly left a good many of the parents impressed. The possibility and effortless execution of this performance was certainly a testament to the synergy enjoyed by our various CCAs, and the spirit of inter-CCA collaboration which pervades VJC.
The creativity of Victorians shone through clearly in our CCA exhibitions. The various clubs and societies converged at the concourse to showcase their skills in ingenious ways. At the Robotics Club booth, students got a first hand glimpse of the club’s impressive VEX robots that were driven around using a remote control. Aspiring doctors could visit the Medical Society booth to play a game that simulated an operating theatre, while everyone could head to the area outside LT5 to receive beautiful hand-drawn tattoos at the Art Club booth. The booths in the Concourse were arranged in neat rows allowing parents to easily access them while on tour, while some CCAs with “brisk business” at their booths, such as StudioV and the Writers’ Circle (us), had already started recruitment of Year 5s and J1s.
Meanwhile, in the Hall, the Sports CCAs were given the opportunity to show off their finely-honed skills gathered over the span of years. Badminton, Tennis, Netball and Volleyball alike welcomed potential Victorians to participate in friendly matches against the seniors. In another corner of the Hall, Floorball boasted their competitiveness as the Girls’ team competed against the Boys’ team. Students who wished for fresh air outside the humid hall found themselves drawn to the sheltered outdoor court where others were playing Basketball and Hockey.
By the Performance Theatre, Victoria Junior College’s diverse performing arts CCAs set up exhibitions which featured a multitude of competition trophies, plaques, and awards. Dance, Choir and Guitar took turns impressing the crowd with their stunning choreography, songs and instrumental pieces, while the Saxophones section from Symphonic Band walked around and enthused everyone who walked them by. Many potential Victorians expressed keen interest in being members of the performing arts CCAs after being enlightened by the well-rehearsed performances.
Throughout the day, student ushers were dispatched in rotating shifts by house to bring parents on school tours. Aside from seeing the above attractions, ushers brought guests to the E block to enquire about subject matters (“I get a lot of weird questions!” said the PW teacher). It was an undeniable fact that this year the guest turnout was lower than expected. However, the teachers and organisers took it in their stride and were very effective at modifying schedules and re-organising deployment to turn the situation to their advantage. By rescheduling some events, we were able to achieve a more personalised experience for each guest, and overall the visitors’ experience at VJC could be described as nothing short of satisfactory, with many praising the impressive show we all put on.
As the future J1s contemplate the road ahead, we hope that this Open House has given them a better idea of what VJC has to offer to anyone who chooses to ride the Victorian Wave. We look forward to seeing all of you who turned up for Open House 2017 at VJC. “Our doors are open to you. Make the right choice, choose VJ!”
Ashley Chan, 16A11
Claire Chan, 16A12
Ryan Ch’ng, 16S47