SINGAPORE – Middle school student Jayne Peh started writing songs at age 11 when she was in Presbyterian Primary School in Kuo Chuan.
Encouraged by a music teacher, she formed a group in 2015 with her 5th grade classmates to write songs and perform at school events such as talent shows.
Jayne also got her first guitar that year and, inspired by American pop sensation Taylor Swift, wrote her own songs.
Last year, she submitted one, titled Glow, to the Singapore Youth Festival (SYF). It was shortlisted as one of the top 15 out of 150 songs.
Glow was rearranged and recorded by local professional vocal group MICappella for this year’s SYF. Under a new platform called Let’s Jam Together, students can record themselves singing the song virtually with the band.
The annual festival, which showcases creativity and artistic talent, kicked off on Saturday July 3, with a virtual format for the second year in a row due to Covid-19.
The theme of this year’s event – hosted by the Department of Education – is Celebrating the Arts in Schools, Recognizing the vibrancy and resilience of young people in the face of adversity.
At the virtual launch, Education Minister Chan Chun Sing said the impact of the pandemic has been huge and the arts have not been spared.
He added that despite the challenges, the arts will continue to play a vital role in the development of young people and nurture a generation ready for the future.
SYFgoesOnline’s activities and projects across seven platforms were made available from May 21 and continue until July 6, involving art, music, dance and theater.
Mr Chan said, “Through these activities, our students have found new and creative ways to express themselves and digitally collaborate with each other. They have shown us that Covid-19 will never wear us out and they have demonstrated their courage and resilience, and through this process they also discovered their own unique artistic voices. “
For Jayne, 17, a first year student at Hwa Chong Institution, acceptance and gratitude anchor her song Glow.
She said: “I think the prevalence of social media is very isolating for someone going through something difficult because everything we see online are other people’s best times, but we all need to remember may our value not change. “
The song won praise from MICappella lead singer Tay Kexin, 33, who said the uplifting melody complements the uplifting lyrics.
Jayne, who is a huge fan of the group, said: “I remember hearing about the collaboration and I panicked and basically danced in my bedroom. It’s very surreal and I’m very honored to be. ‘be part of it. “
CHIJ (Kellock) student Bheema Lokesh Yuktha, nine, harnessed his desire to promote environmental sustainability and love for his pet betta fish to participate in the My Imaginary Underwater Creature project.
She said: “I had a lot of fun collecting (recycled) materials, such as a plastic bottle of maple syrup, broken cloth clips, pistachio shells and plastic straws to create ( works of art) pistachios. “
Besides Let’s Jam Together, there are two other new platforms this year – #helloSYF and SYFplaysON, where students can create their own video diary and perform the song Kampong Love in a virtual ensemble.
Kampong Love, based on popular Malay folk songs Di-Tanjong Katong and Rasa Sayang, is arranged by local educator and songwriter Benjamin Yeo.
Shortlisted submissions are featured on SYF’s website and social media platforms from Saturday to August 1.
For the first time, the SYF art exhibition uses immersive 360-degree virtual technology, which allows the viewer to enjoy more than 260 works of art in a digitized context of gallery spaces within the National Gallery. Singapore.
The exhibition is on the SYF site from Saturday to December 31.