October 2016 | Issue 26
Mmbop to the top: introducing MedLee, LKCMedicine’s first acapella group


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By Sean Firoz, Senior Executive, Communications & External Relations

 

Intelligent, curious and with a strong appetite for learning, LKCMedicine students have made a name for themselves among faculty and clinicians for their diligence and enthusiasm. But there is more than meets the eye, as clinicians and faculty who attended two recent events learned, where they were wowed by the vocal talents of MedLee.

The young acapella group consisting of LKCMedicine Class of 2020 and 2021 students delights its audiences with an impressive array of songs, and most recently performed at the National Medical Excellence Award (NMEA) at the Conrad Centennial Singapore on 17 August. They impressed the who’s who in healthcare with their rendition of Misbehavin’ by Pentatonix, showcasing their colourful harmonies and vocals.

Coming from different musical backgrounds, ranging from choir to school bands, the members first discovered their shared musical passion at a get-together of the NTU Crescent and Pioneer Hall’s acapella group. Noticing that they were from the same cohort at LKCMedicine, they decided to form their own acapella group.

 

 

 

Yang Sin Yee, leader of MedLee, said, “We decided to get together and prepare songs for LKCMedicine’s Peanut Butter and Jam (PB&J) event earlier this year. We really enjoyed singing together and forging this special bond we shared.” PB&J is an annual talent show, where students and faculty come together to show off their musical skills.

Each member of MedLee has a different vocal range, bringing rich harmonies to the group’s ensembles. Split into five sub-groups: soprano, alto, tenor, bass and beats, the team members complement each other without the use of instruments at all.

Naturally, MedLee spent a lot of time together behind the scenes, both in studying and preparing for their performances. Making use of every available space on campus, the group found many opportunities to practise their vocals and choreography.

Soprano vocalist Elena Angelica Hartawan said, “Some of my favourite memories include breaking out into song together at random occasions, and having fun at impromptu practices with the microphones at the Learning Studio.”

For their debut at PB&J, the group performed two types of medleys; one with Disney classics and one with songs from popular British singer Ed Sheeran. The group’s performance was well-received by the audience, even catching the attention of the School leadership who invited them to perform at other events.

When asked what makes the acapella group stand out from the rest, bass member Huang Jinghui said, “It is about the spirit of caring. We help each other with our various parts and it is less of a working relationship and more of a group of friends wanting to make good music.”

Following the success of their debut, MedLee was invited to perform at Apollo’s Dream, an event to commemorate the completion of an art installation by the inaugural cohort of students at LKCMedicine, and eventually at the NMEA. Performing in front of VIPs such as LKCMedicine Chairman Mr Lim Chuan Poh, LKCMedicine Dean Professor James Best, and even Minister for Health Mr Gan Kim Yong, MedLee has gained confidence and valuable experience singing in public, further earning an invitation to perform at another event.

Shafiqah Bte Shahrin, who sings alto in the group, said, “We hope to try out newer and more challenging arrangements that will not only expand our repertoire of songs but also to grow and develop our skills as acapella singers.”

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Big smiles before performing at the National Medical Excellence Awards 2016

And the aspiring singers won’t stop there. Being a young acapella group, MedLee continues to expand, recruiting other LKCMedicine students to leave a legacy as the senior students get busy with their clinical years. Constantly challenging themselves, the medical students aspire to improve their delivery and showmanship.

Bryan Ang, choreographer and music arranger of the group, said, “We look forward to performing at more events and improve to inject some fun and energy to our performances. Throughout this journey, we constantly seek to improve as musicians, and grow as friends!”

Shining through charismatic performances and wonderful harmonies, it seems that the newest kids on the block will be around for a long time, serenading us one note at a time.