One voice…

A friend of mine called me one day asking me if I could help out with the school team’s preparation for the Sibu-level Inter-school Choral Speaking Competition 2009. I think some of you may not even know what on earth choral speaking is.

The first time I saw it myself was in 1992 when I brought my school debate team to the national finals in KL. There was a school (Can’t remember the name now) presenting that while the judges were deliberating on the results. It is actually just a group of students speaking in unison…and though the competition started earlier in the state, it was only in 2002 that one was held for schools in the Sibu division. My daughter was in the primary school level and she and her friends did Roald Dahl’s “Little Red Riding Hood”. You can see another school (from don’t know where) doing that same script in this video clip:

In my honest opinion (and I’m not being biased), I think my daughter’s team did it much better than this, but went a bit too fast – like a machine gun, so they did not win.

In the meantime, I was roped in to help with my own school team for the secondary-school level. At first I thought I would just help by doing the script but when I went to see the presentation, it was really really bad, to put it mildly. My daughter tagged along and even though she was only in primary school at the time, she could see that it was such a drag. So even though my experience was limited to that one time that I saw some people doing it in KL, I was forced to take over to do the grooming and the training and what not (You will never learn something unless you  get down to it and DO IT!!!) while the other teacher eventually supervised the DAILY practices…and we emerged champion! The first ever in Sibu…but because there was a whole lot of bickering in Kuching that year, so much so that the education director then called it “quarrel speaking”, they decided to do away with the whole thing for the whole state, so we never had a competition again after that. What a relief that was! LOL!!!

I don’t know what happened but they revived it last year, so this year, since it was my friend who called me, I just could not refuse…and I went to the school one Saturday morning to give my two cents’ worth…

Helping Hand
CWK Cheng’s photo from Facebook

I’ve used the thumbnail version of the photograph for obvious reasons. ROTFLMAO!!! …Anyway, back to what I was saying, I did not do very much actually – just gave my opinions on how they could improve the script and a few pointers on the presentation regarding things like enunciation, articulation, dramatisation and so on…and the rest was up to them.

They managed to emerge 1st runner-up eventually and considering that the previous year’s team was not placed at all, I would reckon that was a great step forward. I don’t know if Yan‘s son was in this particular team of Form 1 and Form 2 students. Well, congratulations to the teachers and the students! Keep at it and try again. If you all start earlier and have more intensive practices (I heard they pushed forward the date of the competition – by almost a whole month! Ah well, what to expect from those people in the department!!! Tsk! Tsk!), you should be able to clinch the coveted title next year. Good luck… (Pssst!!! Don’t call me! Hehehehehe!!!)

Incidentally, I think this is one nice song, especially for those taking part in the inter-school choir competition…

How do the rest of you feel? Anyway, I hope all of you like the song, and do have a blessed Sunday.

Author: suituapui

Ancient relic but very young at heart. Enjoys food and cooking...and travelling and being with friends.

17 thoughts on “One voice…”

  1. Hey, that’s a good picture of you hard at work!
    Judging choral speaking has always been open to criticism in Kuching.

    Eyew….with that double chin! Hahahahaha!!! That’s one big problem – when they do not have judges and they get teachers from other schools e.g. like in the debate. Once at state level, the Kuching teacher openly declared that if she became the judge, she would make sure my team lost – just to get us out of the way!!!

    For one thing, where choral speaking is concerned, I don’t know why the teams must submit their scripts for the judges to refer to. This is a SPEAKING competition, not a writing or reading competition; if the judges can’t hear, then the team has to be eliminated – it’s as simple as that. And too much weightage given to the script too…

  2. back in high school days, i used to watch juniors choral singing in da hall.
    it was synchronized very well and fun!

    Yes…it is quite enjoyable. Definitely more entertaining than those debates and public speaking competitions with the boring texts and the not so eloquent speakers….

  3. Oh you big bad wolf! haha. I remember I took part in the secondary school level back then in 2000. Like what you said, rehearsal to synchronize all the voices is important. We presented something on the potpourri and uniqueness of Sarawak but didn’t emerge as champion. I forget which school did. Nevertheless, it was a great experience.

    St Joe won probably! At one time, they were very much into choral speaking… I know 2002, St Mary’s won…and all the teachers were up in arms against one judge in particular and the matter went right up to the education director who decided to ban the whole thing!

  4. Choral speaking = quarrel speaking
    LOL! what an apt description of it.
    I don’t know about how it is there, but here, we seriously lack judges/adjudicators that are impartial and unbiased. They come in with preconceived decision on which school will win. Concept paper there for show only, when they award marks based on their own criteria. That’s why the sketch team representing the division sucked so bad, I wanted to laugh out loud (even though I was the emcee). Bikin malu saja.
    Wah, you helping out the choral speaking this year eh?

    Not really, just that one school here asked me to help out a bit. Next time, ask them to invite me over to be the judge… I am VERY objective and impartial! LOL!!!

    1. The last time we submitted names of judges (for the foot drills), we selected from other divisions (sibu). Guess what? They rejected it. Appointed those from local departments. These ‘smart people’ talk about integrity but they sure don’t lead by example.

      It’s ALL about money. They want to save the allocation for their own personal claims, legitimate or not – that’s another story! Imagine…I had to bring students for state-level competitions and they used MY entitlement for transport, food and hotel that I would have to claim from my own school (allocation). The department would not give a cent. Being a non-grad, it was not enough and ever so often, I had to use my own money. If it wasn’t for the students, I wouldn’t have bothered!

      1. Reminds me of what happened last year. I need to ask the school to pay for the transport and what not to bring my student for state level public speaking. Knowing your ‘BFF’ so well, she almost fried her brain to think of how to send us there without spending much $$..

        That one memang kedekut! 5 sen the size of a kereta lembu wheel!!! LOL!!!

  5. i didnt know what choral speaking was before until my son had one during his primary days… during my time in school days, we had debates, no choral speaking then… then came my daughter, she also experienced that, speaking in front of the mirror, the actions and all.. about environmental kind of topic…
    how did u all make them memorize the whole script ah.. really a wonder… it will be a real torture for me.. lol….

    Don’t ask me how they manage. I wouldn’t be able to do that too! But kids today seem to be extremely good at that – memorise everything, score straight As in the exams and forget all or most of that in a week or two…

  6. that’s a very nice pic. It reminds me of my old school days where I took part in choral speaking too. It was fun but tiring.

    Ah! You are young enough to be a part of it all, eh? Ya…it was fun indeed but the practices were killing. Had to be in school early in the morning before school started…as the rest of the day, the students had their own schedules. Hehehehe…nice candid shot, eh? Didn’t realise somebody took my pic till someone tagged me on Facebook!

  7. Love the photo of you…

    Why? Because I look so fat – that double chin the size of a motorcycle tyre? Humph!!! LOL!!!

  8. Wah! I never knew Red Riding Hood’s grandmama is also called Punok.! hehehe!!!! The wolf said so …..!!!

    Where? How come I didn’t hear anything like that? Hahahahaha…

  9. We were number 4 Kch level. Very good considering we send the F1 n F2 first timers and the teacher in charge has never seen choral speaking before!

    Same with this school I went to – Form 1 & 2 kids and the young teachers dunno anything about choral speaking. But I think there’s one teacher who should know but she’s in charge of something else. Sad that she did not even bother to help give some pointers – yunno – school politics! She was in charge in 2002 when we won and her school got 2nd. Another thing – I’m sure BTP has the video tapes…but if they have not converted to cds, dunno how many people still have video players.

  10. Yes, yes, yes, my son Chris is in the team. He has been in the choral team since primary school days. Thanks, STP!

    Ya, I thought I saw someone looking like him… Welcome, glad that this old man still has got some use… LOL!!!

  11. Ahahah! I never knew what choral speaking is about until I watched the video. Been hearing about it since my school days in 1995.

    Anyway, biased judges, umpires, etc are always around. It used to sadden me last time whenever we lost because of this kind of treatment from overzealous officers. i don’t understand what good it’ll bring to them.. bukan boleh jadi kaya pun…

    LOL!!! So now you know…!!! I’m always fair and impartial. If another school is better and should win, I would say so openly – not blindly insisting that my school should win. MOST people are so kiasu!!! Dunno why winning is so very important especially when they don’t even have the stuff that champions are made of…

  12. congratulations…………..being really busy… seldom drop by….but it’s worth it this time because i saw good news from you;-)

    LOL!!! Thanks, but it wasn’t really me – just helping some people out. Ya, I know you’ve been really very busy and I’m waiting for your good news too. All the best, good luck!

  13. I seemed to “fall in love” with your blog.. hehehe.. I wont go to sleep without reading your blog for a day or at least 2nd day, i would come to read early…

    Hmmh… your trademark is indeed sthg diff. and definitely I like the way you express and your English is undoubtedly if not the best, at least the best what i had read in our place, rite? Suituapui??? hehehe..

    Don eat 2much OOO!

    Aiyor! So shy lah like that!!! Blush! Blush!….Hey! Are you up to something? Help!!! Hahahahahahaha!!!!

All opinions expressed in my blog are solely my own, that is my prerogative - you may or may not agree, that is yours. To each his/her own. For food and other reviews, you may email me at

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