Having my mind unwind to half a year ago, my lips rose to a convex function parabola, feeling reluctant to stop dreaming and return to the real world. I then started to think: why was high school graduation worth a nostalgia? Here’s the reason, broke down into three parts:

Part 1: The Magazine.

“Many of you may ask, why don’t we do a PDF file and save costs?” One teacher captured our heart with this question. “Because of nostalgia!” she continued. Soon our job began: RM 180 of funding per pax. I was fortunate enough to had one of my relative (as a businessman) to contribute advertisement which costs RM 150, and had my job almost settled by December 2012. Some, unfortunately, had to seek for donations and keep counting how far they had gone towards their goal. This explains the enormous amount of advertisement in the back cover: more than half of a book! The book was then completed in October 2013:

There’s no decent translation of the theme, showing how Chinese phrases can be unique so that no translation can replace/supersede it. A thumbs-up to the committee for their year-long hard work!

Part 2: The song.

While the number of graduation and farewell song could overwhelm the market, which should we use? The most prominent piece “aud lang sye”? Nope, our ancestor composed one specially for Chung Ling brother schools. Interestingly, our school (exclusive for CL Butterworth) had a unique graduation song every year (all in Chinese Language), many thanks to a school senior who fought for this).

How could it be a no good news for me? I had a 4-bar motive in my head since Form 2, and I decided that that’s the right time to throw that in. I was then inspired by my senior who graduated in 2012 with this unprecedented successful F# major piece (marvel in both lyrics and melody):

(Name of piece: The sky of memories)
LOL he did the whole work himself, I can’t have sufficient tenacity to aim to unseat him, never! Meanwhile, there were a 6 competitors fighting to have their pieces be the song of 2013. Isn’t that I couldn’t lose any details from composing to recording? Let’s sketch our pictures.
Composer: Me.
Arranger: Tan Xue Heng
(using his knowledge of orchestration, plus my advice learnt from DipMusLCM theoretical diploma)
Lyrics: Zeno Lee and Lim Shan Hua (no joke, their Chinese proficiency is among the best in the class, where they consistently score more than 60/70 in Chinese essays)
Singer: Ryan Goi (You will know why we invite him later: he’s really popular in Sound Cloud, proving how proficient is his singing)

For designation of style, a sense of sadness is essential but not too much, since I regard graduation as something not supposed to be over-emotional (basically, not funeral-like music please). My arranger concurred with me and we picked up our pencils and worked out together.

Suffices to say, there were at least 6 different versions of recordings, from the most sketchy piano-only version to complete studio recorded. The second final draft was submitted (using instruments created organ) to save recording costs:

Despite some imperfect recording (and tempo, etc), we won the battle, with 25 majority votes compared to the second highest ones. Happy or not, we had to finish the final recording, which took place in mid-term holiday (this time we obtained budget for from the school). I didn’t know what the heck I was doing prior to the recording, calling Shishoki Studio for few times before booking, and being in perplexity on 4 or 5 hours needed.

But we were ready for recording, finally, after practice and “import” of a Form 4 guy for drum set purposes, and a live cello player! Here’s the strategy after consultation from the recording studio owner: electronic mode for piano and drum set, and live for singer and cello (for short passages).


Upper row from left: Ryan, Me, Jian Ning (Drum player) Lower row from left: Mr. Arranger, Ms. Cellist, group photo

And mission complete after 5 hours!


In 2012, our seniors did a fantastic job of producing a graduation video that depicts the school life, with the graduation song as background music. This time we did the same,officially revealed on the graduation ceremony:

Well, some content is jocular 😀

Much more for this year: some promotional video about my beloved CLB, a fine work by Form 3 students after their PMR exam.

Part 3: The ceremony.

This should be grand finale for all of us, so nothing could be more important than it! But there are two, in fact, one of which was the joint graduation ceremony for 3 Chung Ling Schools (BW, Penang, Independent).

(a) 26 Oct 2013: “For all”–this time the joint ceremony was in our school (Considering modulo 3 😛 ), and each student was to go onto the stage to receive a scroll with certificate inside? While you think that was boring, there were some dramas: MC announces a director from the board giving out scroll for his daughter (so there was a kiss given to the beloved daughter :O ) and waiting for announcement of The Most Outstanding Graduate. Something not so pleasant: blackout for almost the whole ceremony.

(b) 31 Oct 2013: “Exclusively for us”–this one was more interesting, captivating us to enjoy the whole ceremony (despite not really all ears on the lengthy speeches). Some conventional component would be anthems, speeches, awards, recognitions,band performance, and graduation song session. What’s good for catching attention? Awards! The names were usually disclosed on rehearsal, except the ultimate: The Most Outstanding Graduate, which was traditionally kept confidential until the ceremony itself. Too bad, this time they had to let the cat out of the bag since a name was needed on Joint Graduation Ceremony which preceded this one.

On the side of award, the greatest one I owned was the “Outstanding Graduate” (not to be confused with the one I mentioned before), thanks to my participation and involvement in IMOs. The grand prize went to my classmate Kwan Jia Ni, who deserved a big clap for her all-rounder qualities (basically, every aspect you name it, and she has it.)

This, ironically, wasn’t the only proud moment for me; the other one was the fact that everyone was singing the song composed by me: the Graduation song. There are a total of about 600 graduates (460 Form 5, 100+ Form 6), and the whole vocal force bombarded the hall for more than 3 minutes. While enjoying the pride, tears and sobs were mixed in the voice of graduates, making me to realize that our school life would be ending soon.

(c) Photos: The existence is trivial, but the amount is not: I remembered having 40+ photos on my Facebook tagged by friends, along with untagged and photos not posted on Facebook it summed up to more than 70. How about group photos? Almost uncountable.

So that’s all for the graduation, and we were all-gear for the ultimate exam: SPM 2013. It’s depressing enough to have our seat arrangement for exam juxtaposed with the grad ceremony. Who cares? We had enough fun…and for the rest of my life this would be a pleasant reminiscence for me, feeling reluctant to walk out from this reverie.

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