Arts & Culture

From Minnesota to Ipoh

By Mei Kuan
Hailing from the Gustavus Adolphus College in Minnesota, USA, the Gustavus Symphony Orchestra and Jazz Ensemble dropped by Ipoh for a charity performance during their tour of Malaysia and Singapore. All proceeds from the evening performance went towards helping the needy via the Lighthouse Hope Society (LHS) Ipoh. It was held on Friday, January 31 at the ballroom of WEIL Hotel.
“This concert is indeed a rare treat for Ipoh, especially music lovers. We sincerely thank the Symphony Orchestra led by conductor Dr Ruth Lin and the Jazz Ensemble under director Dr Dave Stamps and all the organisers involved in bringing them to our shores,” Ellen Yoong, organising chairperson expressed.
“The Lighthouse Hope Society has come a long way since its humble beginnings 13 years ago. Reaching out to the hungry, homeless and helpless in our society has been such a joy with the provision of free meals, free medical care, haircuts, clothing, shower facilities, counselling and drug rehabilitation assistance,” Dr S.S. Gill, president of the Lighthouse Hope Society explained.
“An expanding part of the Lighthouse Hope Society is the Orang Asli Economic Empowerment Projects in providing fruit saplings along with chicks for rearing. Additionally, we have embarked on providing free installation of solar panels to kampungs (villages) without electricity under our ‘LightUp Our Kampung’ project,” he added.
Founded in 1888, the Gustavus Symphony Orchestra has a membership of 50 student musicians, of whom less than 20 per cent major in music. Meanwhile, the premier 21-member concert jazz ensemble is currently celebrating its 50th year of excellence. The two groups combine to form a studio orchestra, a unique collaboration that took the ensembles to Greece and Macedonia in 2016 and to Malaysia and Singapore in 2020.
The Lighthouse Hope Society’s soup kitchen is located at 4, Jalan Koo Chong Kong, 30000 Ipoh. The NGO can be reached at 05 5462023 or lighthousehopesociety@gmail.com. Readers who would like to lend a helping hand can do so via cheques and transfers to: LIGHTHOUSE HOPE SOCIETY, IPOH, PERAK PUBLIC BANK BHD 3200 461 024. Kindly send transaction confirmation via WhatsApp to 012 505 7648. Donations in kind such as clothing, footwear, toothpaste, umbrella among others are welcome too.
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Tan Mei Kuan

Tan Mei Kuan graduated with first-class honours and book prize from University of Malaya majoring in languages and linguistics (English). She is proficient in both written and spoken English and Malay. She is also conversant in Mandarin and has knowledge of Japanese and Korean languages. Mei Kuan has been on the Dean’s List for three years running. Having written for the campus newspaper and residential college magazine, joining Ipoh Echo has helped utilise her writing and language skills. In her spare time she enjoys running (races).

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