UCSI students raise funds for World Harmonica Festival 2013August 6, 2013 | Campus News
KUALA LUMPUR: Students of UCSI University’s School of Music recently organised a harmonica concert themed, ‘Towards the Glorious Path’. The concert aimed to raise funds for the student performers to participate in the prestigious World Harmonica Festival 2013.
The performers consisted of eight childhood friends from various universities in Malaysia, two of whom are from UCSI University. The students, Cleryn Wong Hui Yun and Sharene Tang Suat Ting, who are both pursuing the BMus (Hons) Classical Music, enlisted the help of UCSI University (UCSI) to sponsor the concert venue.
According to Prof. Dr P’ng Tean Hwa, head of UCSI’s School of Music, the University also donated RM20, 000 to the students, as the management was impressed by the students’ passion for harmonica music.
“Harmonica music is not like piano music, where the music sheets are readily available. It is not a well-tread path, so the students have to arrange the music themselves to suit the harmonica,” he said, adding that the students had done ‘a tremendous job’.
With its repertoire of songs ranging from classical pieces such as The Barber of Seville to modern pop songs by singers such as Jay Chou and Bruno Mars, the concert was clearly a hit with the audience, with more than 600 tickets sold.
“I’m amazed at how the harmonica can play any kind of song, even modern ones by singers like Bruno Mars,” said Brandon Hew, a student pursuing the BSc (Hons) Business Information Systems.
The concert also showcased two guest harmonica artists, Aiden Soon and Evelyn Choong, founders of the musical group Fresco Harmonica and World Harmonica Festival 2009 double champions in the ensemble and duet category.
As both of them have participated in the competition before, with excellent results, Soon and Choong have shared their experience with and mentored the student players since a year ago.
“I hope for the competition, the students will be able to surprise the judges and make them sit up and notice that Malaysia does have talent,” said Choong, who is also the first female harmonica artist from Malaysia to become a double champion at the competition.
The students have raised RM17, 000 from the sales of the concert tickets. Including other sponsorships, they have raised less than RM60, 000 out of the RM 85, 000 they would need for the eight of them to participate in the World Harmonica Festival 2013 to be held in Trossingen, Germany in October this year.
“The World Harmonica Festival is the Olympics of harmonica music. We will do everything we can to make Malaysia proud,” said Wong, adding that the students have not given up and will continue to look for sponsorship.