And the winner is ........................................ ?
Time stands still as students wait eagerly with bated breaths. The victor is announced and this marks the end of several weeks of preparation towards the much anticipated SOS-HGIC singing competition.
Every first semester of the academic year, students prepare tirelessly toward the HGIC singing competition. This is a challenge involving four hostel sporting groups: Spartans, Titans, Trojans and Vikings. As the prize is the most coveted of all HGIC prizes, current champions work strenuously hard to keep the trophy while challengers try to outdo each other in order to win.
Here is what's interesting. Students start rehearsals four to five weeks before the competition. Each hostel group elects choir leaders who then select members of their choir based on their vocal abilities. While many complain of long hours of rehearsal and very strict diets, often, the urge to win dwarfs all other complaints hence students pursue this goal undeterred.
Even more demanding is the effort which goes into getting the choir attire ready. Although it is not compulsory for choirs to acquire special costumes for the competition, all groups look for attires that make them stand out on stage. House tutors consult with their students on, fabric, styles and accessories, after which tutors find tailors and seamstresses to sew these designs. Sometimes it's a tussle to settle on a particular design and accessory as each individual has personal preferences. Again, sometimes after settling on a particular fabric, house tutors discover they cannot find the exact fabric on the market.
Another exciting addition to the build-up is the avoidance of certain foods believed to affect the quality of one's voice. To do well at singing competition, choir leaders encourage students to stop drinking chilled water, fizzy drinks and eating very oily foods. It's exciting to see friends chiding each other over non-observance of such interesting rules. Even more fascinating is the sight of offenders begging that they not be exposed to the choir heads as such rule-breaking attracts sanctions.
As all preparations go, sometimes there are hiccups. It is not unusual for some students to take ill days to the time; exhaustion, sore throat and the common cold are some typical complaints. Such complaints are aptly handled by house tutors and the school nurse. Also it is not strange to find students dropping out at the last minute due to fear or some other doubts.
This year’s competition was held on Saturday, September 26th 2015. The day itself is colourful, fun-filled and emotionally charged. Parents, guardians, staff and students gather at the Margaret Nkrumah Hall to support their wards and hostel groups. Some spot group colours to show solidarity with their affiliations. Amidst the cheers and jeers, only one team emerges winner- the best, of course! A panel of five judges fairly determine who wins and who loses based on a number of criteria. The Titans Choir is this year’s winner, sweeping all the awards for best compulsory song, best African song and best optional song. Next are the Spartans and Trojans choirs. The Vikings hold fourth position after being champions several times before. The night is crowned with a party for all teams in recognition of their hard work and sacrifice; this is a really thrilling night.
Overall, singing competition is a vital part of the four year HGIC journey. It's without a doubt, an experience worth every effort.
Deborah Asare, English Teacher