Whenever anyone reflects on the year that’s passed, the word “Covid” features prominently. It really reminds us and hits home how much everyone was impacted by the pandemic. This challenge to normalcy was especially pronounced for the tireless team at Arc Children’s Centre. As a centre for children with cancer and other life-threatening conditions, the Arc team takes great care to keep their charges safe, while providing them the enrichment they need to grow. Having worked with the children since 2016, the TMC team were keen to support their needs and musical development, and appreciate our educators who adapted and ensured the music could keep on going for the children of Arc Children’s Centre.
With the frequent need to keep the children of Arc safe through some of the periods of wider risk, the teachers and students had to manage with online music and movement lessons, while occasionally being able to conduct in-person lessons when the situation was deemed safe enough.
Since we have been able to resume in person lessons again, it has been a treat being able to see their enthusiasm and smiles each music lesson!
One of the highlights of our calendar in working with Arc, has been the Annual Arc Gala lunch. Throughout these past 2 years, we were constantly eagerly awaiting the opportunity to be part of the ARC gala again. When it was confirmed that the gala lunch was going ahead in September, we were delighted that we had the chance to help put together a musical item, and to prepare them to shine on that occasion.
Both TMC and ARC are so blessed to have renowned composer-arranger-artist Julian Wong arrange two songs for the children to sing and perform, namely The Climb by Miley Cyrus and A Million Dreams from the Greatest Showman.
The children worked hard with their music teachers to learn the songs and actions, and rehearsed them over a few months. We were very proud to have 9-year old Arc student Evangeline conduct the younger group. Though it was daunting standing alone in front of the choir, she stepped up courageously and led the ARC kids in an extremely heart warming rendition of the songs.
TMC Team posing with Julian Wong (centre)
One aspect of the presentation that is both challenging and exciting for us is accompanying the children as a band, performing the music “live” to support the children and enhance the presentation.
Each year several TMC educators would play in the band, and would collaborate with guest musicians, including our long-term collaborator Lester Ng on the bass. This year we were super excited to have a TMC parent join us, with pianist Rebecca Lee gamely joining us on the keyboard. We are truly thankful for their dedication to the kids and Arc’s meaningful cause.
And Rebecca shared how meaningful it was for her to play for the Arc gala for the first time:
”As an amateur musician, I feel really honoured to be part of the ARC gala. Music is for me a most enjoyable and sometimes self- indulgent hobby but I'm reminded that it can also serve a greater purpose - for worship, to heal and in this case to raise funds for a good cause. It was such a joy to see the children revel in the music!
The TMC Band for Arc Gala including guest musicians Lester Ng (left) and Rebecca Lee (right)