Students Sing Praises Of CLEP – Literally17 Feb 2016
Zhao Jiayi (15A15)
In February this year, Hwa Chong students produced a remastered version of ‘CLEP: Broadening Horizons’《语特蓝天》, the original Chinese composition that was created in 2015 to celebrate the 25th anniversary of the Chinese Language Elective Programme (CLEP). The Hwa Chong Publications Society speaks to CLEP students about their experience in the Programme.
Hwa Chong’s CLEP students’ love for the Programme is evident from how they describe their experience. Xie Chaoxin (14S6T), for instance, credits the Programme with “[making him] fall in love with the Chinese language”. Meanwhile, Tan Jia Ying (14S71) recalls fondly, “As a [CLEP] batch, we have made so many memories together and shared times of frustration as well as the cheery laughter.”
Not content with just reminiscing, the two decided to join other CLEP students in singing praises of the programme – literally.
As 2015 marked the 25th anniversary of the Chinese Language Elective Programme, the students felt that there was no better way to commemorate the occasion than to compose an original Chinese song titled ‘CLEP: Broadening Horizons’《语特蓝天》, which was later performed at the anniversary’s ceremony.
Jia Ying and her fellow singers “poured [their] heartfelt wishes and gratitude” into the tribute, “hoping to express [their] most sincere appreciation to the teachers and batch mates who played an instrumental part in [their] experiences in the programme”.
Their efforts were all the more admirable because the songwriting process was fraught with challenges. Composing and recording the song spanned several months in the latter half of the year, and with the pressure of the A-Levels drawing near, they faced the difficulty of coping with the workload on top of their other school commitments. Yet, the students persevered and completed their task with aplomb. Upon finishing the assignment, they regretted that “it was over all too quickly”.
Probing deeper, one discovers the wealth of symbolism hidden beneath the song’s surface. The lyrical melody is evocative of the memorable experiences students have enjoyed in CLEP, explained Zhou Boxin (14S6T). Moreover, the lively drum part creates a cheerful mood and the uplifting change in tempo signifies the exciting times that lie ahead for CLEP students. With a return to the original piano tune, the song comes full circle; the calming melody reminds listeners and songwriters alike of how “[their journeys] in CLEP [have] come to a beautiful end.”
Boxin is not the only one for whom the song bears special significance. Jia Ying reflected, “This song just reminds me of the happiness we shared, the difficulties we conquered, and the love within this big family.
“Now we can walk just that little bit more confidently, knowing that our journey in CLEP has given us not just knowledge, but also friends to last a lifetime, and a newfound appreciation for bilingualism and the literary world.”
The remastered songs are available below:
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