The 800-seat Brother John Moh Hall was a buzzing full house as Sam Tet Secondary School brass band presented their sixth musical concert, ‘Watch or Feel 2’ on Saturday, February 18.
The band, consisting of over 70 young artists dressed in maroon and black attire bearing a glistening musical instrument each, was conducted by Lam Chee Choong, the music director.
True to the theme, it was a multisensory experience thanks to the interactive performers, ever-changing stage formation, synchronised lighting and responsive crowd. From classical hits dripping with nostalgia to the goosebump-inducing music heard in blockbuster movies, every piece was met with deafening cheers.
“The second half of the show will be even more exciting as we play trendy movie themes from ‘Titanic’, ‘Spirited Away’, ‘You Are the Apple of My Eye’ and ‘Our Times’. We also play trendy hits by G.E.M., Beyond, JJ Lin and Twice,” Lam told Ipoh Echo during the 20-minute intermission. Meanwhile, the repertoire for the first half of the show consisted of works by composer John Williams, Satoshi Yagisawa, Philip Sparke and Yeo Chow Shern.
The audience, some hailing from as far as Sarawak, was singing along and flashing beacons of light from their phones. The surprise encore featuring soundtracks from the latest South Korean television series, Descendants of the Sun, provided the epic conclusion for the night.
“In Sam Tet, music is part of every student’s life. If you don’t play musical instruments, you learn to appreciate music, that is our objective,” Lau Swee Mun, the principal said. The school was awarded the cluster school of excellence status in 2015 for their active involvement in music with a strong symphony orchestra, Chinese orchestra, band and choir team.
“We send students to Turkey, Russia, Hong Kong, Japan and now our 70 band members will be going to Shanghai, China. The cost is very high and we need your support. It could easily cost RM300,000 to RM400,000,” the amiable Lau explained.
Hence, the proceeds of the night will all go towards the band’s expenses for participation in the 2017 Shanghai Spring International Band Arts Week Festival to be held at the end of April this year. Readers who would like to donate can channel the funds to account number 2081 6436 100466 (RHB).
“It is an honour and a great opportunity to be invited to represent Malaysia to perform in Shanghai. It will be an eye-opening and valuable experience for the band boys. Up till tonight, about RM30,000 is raised,” Desmond Chen, chairman of parent-teacher’s association added.
The Sam Tet brass band was crowned as the national champion for school category and first runner-up for the overall category in the international-level Malaysia International Wind Orchestra Festival 2016. They were also honoured with the best performance award in the national-level Sultan Idris National Wind Orchestra Festival 2016.