Cereal Killers Break Loose

Digging a little deeper into the interior of the middle school band

Daeyon Strums the guitar. Photo: Bernice

On stage, they’re stars. Off stage? Well, despite their not quite vicious group name, Cereal Killers, the middle school band is simply a group of rather quirky, sweet and talented girls in grades 5 to 8. After their top-notch first performance last month, one could not help but want to know more about the band. So here it is: the story behind Cereal Killers.

So how did such a name come about? Allegedly, Mr. Tootell, (more frequently referred to as “Mr.T”), sponsor of the band, enjoys handing out badges with amusing slogans written on them. “He gave me a badge,” said Dayeon, bassist, “and it had ‘cereal killer’ written on it. It just stood out, and seemed like a good idea for a name.”

“We had loads of options, and even used the random name generator to come up with a bunch of different ideas. But in the end, we came back to Cereal Killers. We wanted something that would grab people’s attention,” chimed in Nicole, guitarist.

Well, it looks like the plan is working out. The band completed their first show on November 18, and another one on Friday, December 12 as part of the Christmas band performance alongside the faculty band and high school bands. Both times they proved themselves with spectacular performances.

Four members were part of middle school band last year: Chelsey (6, vocal); Dayeon (8, guitar); Nicole (8, bass); and Diya (8, DJ). Six new members have joined the band: Sahana (8, vocal); Sofia (8, Drums); Reema (5, Drums); Kanon (7, Vocal); Sunwoo (6, Vocal); Charley (5, Keyboard). All of these girls from different grades joined band for different reasons. “I just really like singing!” Sahana states. Nicole says, “I wanted to be able to play something different and this seemed like a good opportunity.” Different motivations, different interests, yet they’re a still very tightly-knit, unified group.

Also, an obstacle that had to be overcome for the band was splitting up the songs. Consisting of eleven members, this band has enough members to form a soccer team. More importantly, this uniquely large band has not one, not three, but five vocalists. That’s right, five. Now how do they manage to function and get organised amongst themselves with so many parts? Like sharing pieces of a pie, a song only has so many lines to share. “We split it into single lines, and sang line by line last time. But that was too much work, so for Christmas we have a different method planned. We’ll all sing individual verses, or songs, and sing the choruses together,” said Sahana.

The band claims to be unique in the way it chooses the most recent and popular of songs to keep audience members engaged and interested. The band works hard to select songs to get the audience going. “The songs are mainly selected by vocalists. But we try to choose songs that people know and can enjoy, because for younger people, it’s interesting to hear the songs that we hear on the radio and recognise,” explained Sahana. “The instruments usually take a step back, and add on our parts around the vocalist,” Nicole adds.

“We’re a more ‘modern’ group, I guess. The middle school band’s musical direction over the years has always been quite modern, but I feel like this year is more like that than usual,” said Dayeon.

With a unique style and a whole lotta flair, this band has definitely got a lot to show–go on and see for yourself at Family Festival.