13th Guitar Camp 2011 CGS IGF&Camp
Wednesday, 18 January 2012 13:01

CGS International Guitar Festival & Camp 2011

'13th Guitar Camp'

9-11 December

Work in progress ...

Photos uploaded

Day 1 - Done

Day 2 - completed as well...

Day 3 - Completed at last!



Documenting the camp in Photos


Simon Cheong

What more is there to be said when we have already organised 13 camps...lots! The organisers are all excited as this is the third time we are having over a hundred participants. Our usual numbers are around 50 - 60 and frankly speaking, lots of similiar festivals, camps and summer schools around the globe number around 40 or fewer. This year we have 90% teenagers with 60% beginners! These figures tell us that we are reaching out to the young ones, creating interest and enthusiasm for our beloved instrument - fitting into our mission and vision for the Society.

Day 1

Our Buses

As usual, we have two meeting points for pickup - one in PJ and the other in KL.

The bus in KL and the other in PJ. We can see Peng Yang and Jovy standing at the bus door waiting for the participants who have yet to turn up.

It is really great to have the participants all turning up on time and without any delay, we left on time.


This year there were no delays with everyone turning up on time and ... no traffic jams! This year Fraser's Hill opened up another road so there was no going up at odd hours and coming down at even hours - no more waiting at the Gap! All in all, a very smooth journey. We all arrived earlier than our usual time.

The participants lugging in their guitars and bags into Shahzan's Inn. Here are Ernest and Felicia handling the registration.

Unfortunately, although we were all very early, the registration could not proceed smoothly as we had to wait anxiously for our Singaporean participants. Well, this year, 35 Singaporeans attended our camp. They chartered their own bus and were on their way up to the camp. I got to know later that they left Singapore at 4.30 am but they only managed to arrive at 1.30 pm, no thanks to heavy traffic caused by accidents! As registration was at noon, and the Singaporeans were still not in sight, Sew Hong called their mobile to find out their situation. Sadly, Fraser's Hill has very poor reception, making it difficult for us to contact them. It was a huge relief when he finally got through and we knew they were fine but would be pretty late. Knowing that we could not wait for them as the rest were getting restless and hungry, we decided to carry on completing the registration exercise without the Singaporeans. We proceeded with the introduction of both our Artistes-in-Residence and the briefing of the camp rules to all the participants.

Here is Simon briefing the participants as well as introducing both the Artistes-in-Residence. Rafael Serallet (Spain) on Simon's right and Manoon Ploypradap (Thailand) on Simon's left.


After the registration, lunch was on the agenda.

I did mention about the waiting...well the first photo shows the participants entertaining themselves with their guitars while waiting. Lunch Time!


The Singaporeans arrived around 1.30 pm.

The bus from Singapore arrives and the participants disembark, get their luggage and proceed to the hotel lobby. The Committee is at hand to help sort out the room allocation and attend to the registration.


After lunch, the Society's activities start with a getting-to-know-you games session and everyone is involved - that means both our Artistes-in-Residence are involved! Both artistes were game and sportingly mingled with the participants.

Here are the two committee members in charge of this session - Jesslyn Chan and Low Yang Li. Evelyn helped out as well. They were having fun definitely!

The first two photos have the participants looking for their group and remembering names and the other two photos show a game called Charades. You can see Manoon having a great time with the participants.

Here we have the games masters speaking with Rafael and the participants in their respective groups. I was innocently resting my feet when suddenly the participants came running over and insisting on pulling out my white hair. Later, I discovered that pulling out my white hair was included at the last minute. Thank you, Sew Hong, for the idea! The participants had to collect stuff as part of the game, as you can see in the last photo.

This is the last part of the games; the Singaporeans who have put their luggage into their rooms and have had their lunch... joined in at last! There were 10 groups and here are samples of creativity. First, is work in progress... Second, I can't remember all but there's a reindeer in the third photo.

An immovable snowman. I don't remember what she is dressed up to be...? Rafael is dressed up as one of the three Kings...

The leaders of their respective groups coming up to claim their prizes. The winner, runner-up and third place winner had bigger goody bags for prizes whilst every group got a prize as well. All just for fun!


Well, everyone seems to have enjoyed themselves. It is time for some serious stuff. On to the masterclass session. There are two classes. The beginners masterclass is handled by Rafael Serallet and the Intermediate/Advanced masterclass by Manoon Ploypradap. The next day they will exchange classes so that all the participants will have attended classes with both our Artistes-in-Residence.

Every year we try our best to be fair as to provide every participant a chance to perform for the masterclass. We encounter decision making that is never easy. We first try our best to reach out by asking the participants if they would like to play in the masterclasses, workshops or in the solo participants concert. The reactions are aplenty - from a direct no to a direct yes with many shades of yes and no in between! We have about 60 plus for this beginners class for a one-and-a-half hour session each for two days' sessions as we have both the Artistes-in-Residence exchange classes the following day. Imagine, if all 60 were to play in the three hours provided - 3 hrs multiply by 60 mins equals 180 mins divided by 60 participants equals 3 minutes each! Sorry...this calculation does not work! We can either provide 10 minutes each which will be 9 for 1 1/2 hr session and 18 for both sessions. If it was 15 minutes a participant then only 6 per session making 12 for both. So when there is a big demand we have no choice but to choose the 10-minute session so that we can accommodate and give more participants a chance to play in the masterclass. A simple equation like this could be a complex problem... We have to deal with the indecisiveness of the participants as when the fear of appearing in front of an audience while being taught takes a hold suddenly...a participant might refuse to play! On the spur of the moment, the person in charge of this session will have to make a decision as to drop this participant and allow the rest a longer session or if there were those who had wanted to play but were not picked be given a chance? The situation will make the answer apparent but sometimes decisions are made that might seem the right one at that moment but yet it is wrong. We can only apologise but unfortunately, the committee stands firm behind the decision made and hope that that decision made can be understood.

We often get complains from our Artiste-in-Residence that they have insufficient time to teach and I keep telling them that we would like to give more participants a chance to be playing in the masterclass than to have only a few chosen. There are many more considerations to take into account in our decisions and would be difficult to recount here. An example will be to fulfill the participant's teacher's request. We will try to give this consideration as after all, it is because of the teachers recommendation that that particular participant is attending the camp! This is not the only criteria we use as we have to weigh out the situation and make decisions. No doubt that the lesser the participants playing in the masterclass, the more time provides time for further explanations! We are faced with variety (more players) against detailed work! In a beginners class, a variety of players will prevent boredom as detailed explanations will be too much for the beginners to take in. Moreover, those who are supposed to take their turns will have their adrenaline pumping and those having finished - will have a sigh of relief! This will be so also for their friends and supporters. All in the course of learning!

I do believe that it is not possible to teach a complete piece within a masterclass situation. This is the case even if the class is an individual class of an hour session! One can only point out a few salient points to be discussed or maybe to point out a few faults to be solved. Let us understand what is a masterclass. A masterclass is a class given by a visiting performer/virtuoso who is a master/expert in his field teaching a student in front of a participating or non-participating audience. The most important feature of the master is his sharing of his interpretation and insight of a piece. This is most evident in the case of Advanced students but due to the fact that the master will not be in such an ideal situation all the time, he will have to see what fits the situation and work accordingly. A valuable aspect on attending masterclasses is for the students to hear another opinion that may reinforce their own concept or that of their teacher's and garner new insights into the piece they are playing. And if what they learn is different, to correct the differences as well as to have critical thinking and logic as their guide if ego does not get in the way nor misconception as to what is presented let alone misconstrue the usually pleasant and diplomatic way of explaining something! As for diplomacy, one can't expect a visitor to be nasty!

The committee will not be able to control all factors but will do its best through experience and common sense. There will be times when the Artiste-in-Residence meets up with an ideal situation with responsive students and audience, and the students and audience experience a great master who captures their imagination in their learning. We all hope for the ideal ...

Rafael's masterclass

The masterclass here for beginners had the biggest group. Rafael in action...

Here is a quartet for the masterclass by the Singaporeans.

Manoon's Masterclass

There are about 30 in the Intermediate/Advanced masterclass and here we have Chuah Yeong Chin presenting the participants.




The day ends with a professional recital and Manoon Ploypradap from Thailand is presented.

As usual, Mr Ernest Thomas our MC extraordinaire presents the recital...
Manoon Ploypradap (Thailand)
The ballroom where the recital is held.
Here are Yang Cheng En from Taiping with Paul Chin from Sandakan at our sales counter buying Manoon's CDs...
Autograph time - Manoon signing on his CDs after his recital.


To be continued...Day 2



Last Updated on Wednesday, 17 October 2012 12:15