The beginnings of the Tanjong Katong Band can be traced to two root branches. One branch – from the former Tanjong Katong Technical School (TKTS) – began in the year 1965. That band started out humbly as a brass band with only 26 members. It called itself the Tanjong Katong Brass Band – TKBB, in short.
The first shoot of significant improvement began in 1967, when TKBB had its first combined performance with its sister band from the girls school (TKGS) next door. The TKGS band would be the other root branch of the TK Band. Along with that band, came a lady band instructress, Miss Irene Joseph, and she turned out to be the most important element that spurred and nurtured the band’s development.
The 2 bands combined, and took on its own persona. It was named the Tanjong Katong Band, affectionately called TK Band. Under Miss Joseph’s tutelage, the band was able to grow quickly, imbibing in both outdoor drills and music building. By 1972, the band won its first Mace of Honour. The band was also able to consistently win the outdoor competitions despite extremely fierce competition.
In the indoor competitions, the band fared well too. It is through her teaching that the band must be able to handle both the outdoor competition and the indoor competition that created the genesis of the band’s versatility in these two performance forms.
Two significant events happened in the late 80’s and early 90’s. In 1989, the combined band split. The band went two separate ways. Miss Joseph stayed on with the band from the technical school, and it retains the name TK Band till today. In 1992, she retired, leaving behind a rich legacy and more importantly, a living one. For it was because of her shining example, that she was able to leave behind not just an outstanding band but also a cohort of very inspired alumni to carry on her work.
In 2006, honouring the school’s 50th anniversary, the band put up a stellar display performance. Unprecedented in the history of display band performance, TK Band used large props that included a bell tower and 2 canons to complement its spectacular finale – a large formation of the St Basil’s Cathedral in Moscow , with all its colourful domes, supported by the great Russian piece 1812 Overture. It was awarded the Display Band of the Year Award for the 5 th consecutive year, a feat no other secondary school in Singapore has ever achieved to date.
The Band looks set to break new frontiers in the Peak of Excellence Programme as she takes off on her journey of excellence around the world, with her participation at the Kuala Lumpur World Marching Band Competition in 2008, where she was awarded a Silver Award.
The band continues its tradition of excellence, serving as a living spirit for all members to continually strive toward greater heights, and to define excellence.
“TK Band – best band in the land!”
Mr Lawrence Siao
- Mr Siao Choon Keong Lawrence
- Mr Gordon Yong Wenjie
- Miss Nur Khairiyyah Nordin
- Ms Nurul ‘Ain Kamarulzaman