The thick tension in the Dining Hall was extremely palpable. Weeks upon weeks of training, tough rehearsals, and weary nights had culminated student efforts to this very point- The Singing Competition. Year after year, students from across the scope of Africa, united through SOS-HGIC, participate in a compulsory Inter-hostel Singing Competition. To the layman’s eye, this competition is just a bunch of people in different clothing, singing, but its significance goes way beyond that.
Every choir is in it to win it, with persistence and perseverance being the order of the day. For weeks leading up to this moment, 3 hours each weekday and 5 hours on the weekends were solely dedicated to polishing voices and stage crafts for this competition. Practicing means a sharpening of time management skills in order to ensure that student academics do not suffer as a result of this absolutely essential competition. Despite long rehearsal hours, students continue to study deep into the night until bodies succumb to sweet slumber and some rest is gained before morning classes.
On the 7th of October 2017, the Vikings, Spartans, Titans and Trojans descended onto the Dining hall armed with unimaginable talent and anxiety masked by vibrant smiles. To truly understand the essence of the night, you must comprehend that each sporting group possessed a specific motive for the night: The Trojans, clad in yellow and white, were desperate to break their constant streak of third place. Spartans, decked out in shades of blue and orange, were eager to shake off the three-year monotony of last place. The blood-red Vikings, sporting splashes of white here and there, were salivating at the chance of regaining their position as top-dog of the singing competition. And the Titans, parading in green and white, confident for repeat of their superior performance last year, to retain the first position.
Finally, the IG1s finally recognized the importance of this competition. Initially disregarding it as just another, in the innumerable sea of competitions, the first year students finally saw how big a deal it was at SOS-HGIC. Constant encouragement and motivation from singers and non-singers alike made us understand that the stakes were very high. On stage, singers stood ramrod straight, and with no flinching whatsoever with a level of discipline army leaders will certainly admire, and sang out, trying to remember all the tips, tricks, the dos and the don’ts. It was a night of passion, pain, excitement, and most of all, a night of fun.
Stepping onto the stage, hearts racing as one beat, the choirs, faced the people gathered, who waited with bated breath. 1…2…3, the conductors signalled and singing began. Bright lights shone on the choir, in a color corresponding to sporting groups and singing rang through the hall. It was truly a beautiful experience, and all the pressure was forgotten for a few moments as students bellowed their hearts out on that stage.
After everyone had sung, and a few breath-taking performances occupied, the moment came for the results to be announced and the tension was back on as an old friend, filling the hall with a piercing silence. The first category went to the Trojans! Second category, to the Trojans! The third category; Trojans, and the final category was won by the Trojans!!!! After the declaration of the Trojans’ landslide victory, screaming and shouting was heard, and the undeniable Trojan chang rang throughout the school.
When all was said and done, and parades around the school were over, each Trojan hostel continued to silently pulsate the electrifying energy peculiar to new victors. That was one of the most intense yet, rewarding competitions I ever had the chance to partake in.
Written by Kwame Addadey with contributions from Nissi Bediako