Singapore Youth Festival: Celebrating 50 years

Love for making music still very alive

Mr Alfri (second from right) with fellow members of Junyuan Secondary School band after their SYF performance in 2003. This picture was taken outside the Victoria Theatre and Concert Hall.
Mr Alfri (second from right) with fellow members of Junyuan Secondary School band after their SYF performance in 2003. This picture was taken outside the Victoria Theatre and Concert Hall.PHOTO: COURTESY OF ALFRI MOHD YUSOFF

It was while taking part in the Singapore Youth Festival that a young Alfri Mohd Yusoff realised what he wanted to do in life - to continue making music.

Now 28, he is a percussionist with the Singapore Wind Symphony .

He told The Straits Times that it was when he joined the Symphonic Band in Junyuan Secondary School that he first tried out the instruments.

In 2003, he participated in the SYF with the band.

"It was the most important thing for all of us," he said.

"We had exchange programmes with other school bands and long rehearsals, but it was really fun."

He still remembers how much work went into it, and also the bonds that were forged, and how much he discovered about himself.

"Preparing for the SYF was tough, but it taught us a lot of discipline, teamwork and commitment," he said.

"We would support each other through tough times, like whenever any of us felt like giving up.

"During the SYF, you also realise that you are capable of so much more.

"You discover talent you never thought you had."

It was in the midst of preparing for the festival when he realised that this was something he wanted to do for the rest of his life.

"At one point, I looked around and saw how much all of us had grown and how we were getting better and better with every rehearsal.

"That feeling was amazing."

The passion that was ignited still remains now, especially when he performs with his current band, said the percussionist of 16 years.

"I'm still playing now and I don't see myself doing anything else."

A version of this article appeared in the print edition of The Straits Times on July 04, 2016, with the headline 'Love for making music still very alive'. Print Edition | Subscribe