The #HumansAtSCO series – a special project which documents the stories of the people of Singapore Chinese Orchestra (SCO). We tell honest and inspiring stories of administration staff and unsung heroes working in the arts industry. We hope to bring out the very best in every story we tell, discover stories untold and positively impact the community.
Have you ever thought about whom you purchase tickets from? Or who ensures that the venue is safe and equipped with logistical support? And who manages the orchestra which consists of more than 80-musicians?
These are the day-to-day responsibilities of the “unsung heroes” in the Singapore Conference Hall, which has been a home to the Singapore Chinese Orchestra since 2001. Without their contributions, our compound would not be operational to hold many successful concerts and events.
Meet Sabrina, a Polytechnic student who recently finished her internship at the Singapore Chinese Orchestra (SCO). Curious to find out more about her experiences in SCO? Read on to find out more.
Text: Lim Ka Min
Photo: Singapore Chinese Orchestra
Today, Sabrina answers 5 questions and sheds light into her role as Intern in SCO:
About the art scenes:
- Do you have music background? What do you enjoy about the arts scenes?
I started learning music since I was young. I learned the Angklung in Primary school and the Guzheng in Secondary School. Also, I learned the violin when I was 6 to 10 years old. Unfortunately, due to stress in school, I have stopped learning the instrument.
The arts scene is not limited to one specific subject or topic. It does not only consist of one path. It includes many spheres like music, artworks, film and theatre. This makes the arts a melting pot; not restrictive, and allows one’s creative juices to flow. There are also many solutions to solve a problem as the arts scene is ever-growing.
Sabrina participated in SYF with YSS Guzheng ensemble in 2019. (Source: @yssguzheng on instagram)
Experiences during internship:
- Describe the most memorable experience which you had during your internship.
Working on the #HumansatSCO project was one of the most memorable experience during my internship. This is an interesting project which made me excited to learn more about other’s job. In this case, I found out more about the day to day responsibilities of the “unsung heroes” working passionately and positively impact the arts community .
I had the opportunity to know, read and learn more about another staff’s experience in SCO. While reading about their experiences, it made me realised that everyone is different in their own unique way. The expectations of one’s job may be different from how others perceive it to be.
For example, I always thought that ushering was an easy job, until I worked on Usher IC Darien’s blog post. I realised that he met a variety of “good” and “bad” patrons and it was challenging to handle some of them.
Another memorable experience was going to a housewarming party at one of my colleagues, Ka Min’s house. It was actually the first time I ever travelled to a housewarming party. As such, I got lost, even with directions. Eventually, I found my way and was greeted with a warm welcome by the team. It was memorable, we shared many laughter and food together. We also watched a movie and took a group photo together. It was an enjoyable gathering together!
Sabrina at Ka Min’s housewarming party
- What did you think the job is about, perception vs reality. For example: Before you intern in SCO, what did you envision? Now after the internship ended, was it like you imagined?
Before my internship in SCO, I was so worried. My initial thoughts were that workplace might not be as friendly as the school environment. I also thought that my job in the Marketing Communications team was to talk to people (a lot). However, after working for about 4.5 months, I realised there is nothing for me to worry about. SCO is a friendly place and open to ideas from anyone. I also experienced that there are many things that this job entails. Some tasks include: preparing artwork design briefs, filming, planning and organising gatherings, as well as doing Front of House (FOH) duties. My internship job scope also involves extensive communication with others (especially my team) and sharing my ideas. I also helped in liaison with vendors and musicians for filming or events.
It was quite a feat for me, at first. I am an introvert who does not talk to others easily. However, after sometime, I started to open up more and engage in discussions with them. In all honesty, this job is not as easy as it seems. We needed to complete many tasks daily and also check them thoroughly before making anything official. Nevertheless, there are fun moments in the job as we get to brainstorm and engage in many different projects and also unleash our creativity and professionalism.
- What do you enjoy most about being in the arts industry and what about your internship excites you?
I enjoy letting my creativity juice flow. I am a very creative person who has many different ideas to share. Being in the art industry allows me to unleash my creativity and put it to good use.
I get to learn many new things and this excites me. I get to experience firsthand what it is really like working in the Marketing Communications department. I have always been interested in marketing. I have helped out in marketing roles for my interest groups in Secondary school and Polytechnic. Now, I know what marketing is really like on the job and it prepares me for the future. It has been an interesting experience working in SCO and I hope that I have contributed positively to the company as I learn and grow in this internship.
Sabrina with the Marcoms team and vendor, filming MD for TY20
- Any words of advice for interns who are keen to join the arts industry?
Be open-minded and creative. Do not restrict your ideas or plans to only one. I am unsure about other companies but I can speak about my experiences at SCO. As long as you are open-minded and ready to learn, you would gain many insights about the art industry. Being creative also helps when you embark on new projects and new works. Therefore, if you are curious about the arts industry, then just go for it!
Excited to learn more? Remember to catch more episodes of #HumansatSCO the series!
Do you have any questions to ask Sabrina? Drop us a message on our Facebook or Instagram account.
Thank you for your kind attention, stay tuned to the next episode of #HumansAtSCO. 😊