School House Rockz
The Television Musical Series
School House Rockz is the first made-for TV musical series in Singapore. It was aired on MediaCorp Okto channel from 17 February 2008. Conceived and directed by Yeo Lay Har, and co-directed by Sharon Tan, this was a highly-successful series. The music was composed by Kenneth Lyen and lyrics written by Jack Ho. Additional music and lyrics were by Desmond Moey. Different episodes were written by scriptwriters Lynette Chiu, Alina Heng, and Rahim Halim. The music director and vocal coach was Iris Koh, and dances choreographed by Trevelyan Neo.
The teenage stars are Inka Mader, Shawn Tok, Foo Fang Rong, Shraddha Ramsundar, Amni Mumpuni, and Rosalind d'Almeida.
School House Rockz centres around teenager Inka, a snobbish schoolgirl from a rich, independent, single sex school. Her life experiences have been that of the rich and privileged, and her friends only served to enhance this elitist mentality. She did care much for studying, as she expected to automatically gain entry into the affiliated secondary school. Unfortunately when she receives her primary school leaving examination (PSLE) results, they were mostly C's, and she was assigned to Eastwood Secondary, a co-ed government-funded neighborhood school with a poor academic reputation. This was a school that she used to make fun of, calling the students "peasants". Unable to bear the thought of entering such a "low-class" school, she tries to persuade her father to transfer her to a private school, but he tells her that she has to live with the consequences of her own actions. His intention is to take her arrogance down a notch, and he hopes she will learn to be less superficial and materialistic.
The day of reckoning finally arrives. Inka registers and collects her books in the hall. She turns around and sees an ocean of unfamiliar faces. With a heavy heart, she maneuvers her way through the crowd, singing of her angst. All the time, Inka plots to get herself transferred out of Eastwood Secondary. Each week begins with her “ingenious” schemes to convince her father that Eastwood Secondary is detrimental to her. Most of her schemes succeed only in getting her into more trouble, but not transferred. As she comes up with scheme after scheme to get out of Eastwood Secondary, she finds herself being drawn into the lives of her fellow students at the same time. When finally a place for her to study in a private school arises, she is faced with a dilemma... does she really want to leave Eastwood Secondary?
The series was very warmly received, and gained 11% viewership on the Nielsen Media Index. It was nominated for an Asian TV Award in 2008, and spawned a TV movie sequel, School House Rockz: the Movie, which was released in 2009.
School House Rockz has been re-broadcast regularly on MediaCorp Okto. Below are video clips of some of the songs:
"Us and Them" music by Kenneth Lyen, lyrics by Jack Ho: Us and Them
"Jungle Song" music by Kenneth Lyen, lyrics by Jack Ho: Jungle Song
"Nothing We Can't Overcome" music by Kenneth Lyen, lyrics by Jack Ho: Nothing We Can't Overcome