Union String Orchestra
Union String Orchestra is a co-curricular activity in Sekolah Rendah Jenis Kebangsaan (Cina) Union, (Union Primary School) which was initiated by Ms. Loh Yat Cheng, the headmistress. The co-curricular activity is an outreach program conducted by Kester Music since 2016 and is assisted by their teacher advisor, Ms. Khor Pei Lee and Ms. Tan Kee Peng.
The string orchestra consists of students aged 7 to 12 years old. Students with no basic music knowledge will learn:-
Reading sheet music (music score/notation) – The information in sheet music which contains mainly pitch, rhythm, tempo, articulation, and dynamics. This is fundamental in learning music.
Posture – Posture involves the way we stand, sit, and hold an instrument. Good posture will help to achieve efficient use of energy in playing and make the player one with the instrument. It is also important to maintain good posture to avoid physical injuries while learning and practicing.
Technique – Technique covers the physical skills in approaching the instrument and the bow. It can be as fundamental as creating a nice sound from the instrument to difficult virtuoso skills to awe audiences.
Genres – There are different genres of music which differ mainly in style and interpretation. Each genre has a unique form, and it is important to learn the differences between genres to increase the musical understanding and acquire the different skills.
Union String Orchestra often performs for local VIP guests from the Chief Minister of Penang to the Officers from the Ministry of Education. They have also performed for guests from Thailand, Singapore, Japan, China and South Korea during their visit to the school for cultural exchange programs. Apart from performances, Union String Orchestra also participates in national as well as international level competitions held by the Ministry of Education. The string orchestra has won prizes ranging from Bronze to Gold in several national and international competitions. In 2018, Tiffany Ooi Zi-Dhong won the best conductor award.
The string orchestra was also featured in Union 90th Anniversary Celebration in 2018.