Monday, September 16, 2013

Finding Her Voice at NYP


There are dreamers, then there are go-getters like Nanyang Polytechnic (NYP) student, Lazel Louise Anne Dela Cruz Herramia. In her quest to become an international singing sensation, the third-year Engineering student has raced after every opportunity, endured setbacks and savoured sweet victories. Here, the two-time winner of NYP Jam! reveals her exhilarating adventure in pursuit of her dream.
I’ve always loved music. My mum tells me that as a kid, I used to sing like I was performing under a spotlight. But it’s still a mystery who I inherited this gift from. I’ve never had any formal training and the only person in my family who is musically-inclined will probably be my distant uncle. He was also the one who taught me how to play guitar. Despite my love for singing, I never dared join competitions. I was shy and lacked confidence.

 When I went to Secondary One, I was really excited to know that there was a CCA called ‘Band’. I imagined it to be a singing band, with guitar, drums and a lead singer. To my disappointment, it turned out to be an instrumental brass band… not quite what I was looking forward to. But because my CCA mates were warm and friendly, friendships were soon forged and so was my enthusiasm to master my instrument, the saxophone. I even became the soloist in my band! I learnt that any opportunity is a blessing as it leads you to discover new interests and pick up things that you never knew you were capable of. Thus, I grab any opportunity that comes along my way and make the best of it.

In my four years in secondary school, I neglected singing. However, when I enrolled into Nanotechnology and Material Science course in the School of Engineering at NYP, I discovered a CCA called Soundcard that focused on singing. I knew it was an opportunity that I should not miss. In Soundcard, we were given training in vocal, singing techniques, stage performing skills as well as various chances to showcase our talents. All these helped to enhance my singing and boost my confidence, which led me to join my first singing competition, NYP Jam! in 2012. I was so elated to win second place in the contest – it helped me open many doors. I got to perform at big events like NYP’s 20th Anniversary Celebration and 2012 Graduation Ceremony.
This year, I took part in NYP Jam! again and feel so blessed to have been crowned champion! It gave me the confidence to audition for external competitions like Youth Got Talent, Like Performing, Love Sony and The Final 1. Although I did not win any of them, I learnt a lot and intend to try again next time. I know that as long as I don’t give up and continue to work hard, I will eventually achieve my goal.

NYP inculcates a strong desire for success in students. Not only are there plenty of CCAs for students to discover and develop their talents, the lecturers are also very supportive of interests. My lecturers always tell me how proud they are of me, and this encourages me to strive even harder. Despite numerous competitions and performances, I still feel nervous on stage, so I intend to join more musicals and school productions to gain more experience. Hopefully this will help me become a more seasoned performer and overcome my stage fright.

If you wish to touch others through singing like me, I encourage you to step out of your comfort zone and start taking part in competitions like NYP Jam! which are good platforms for exposure and experience.

Lazel is living her adventure at NYP. What’s yours? Come choose your own adventure at NYP Open House from 9 to 11 Jan 2014! Take part in NYP Jam! singing competition and you could be one of the secondary school finalists to walk home with attractive prizes at the Night Open House on 10 Jan. Wow us, like this year champions, Lazel and Gail Alexandra L Belmonte from CHIJ Secondary (Toa Payoh) did!


Published in the October 2013 Issue of Teenage Magazine. Reproduced with Permission.

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