15 September 2015

Jeffrey Cheah Foundation hosted charity recital to benefit community scholars

Jeffrey Cheah Foundation (JCF), the largest education-focused social enterprise in Malaysia hosted a charity recital presented by the Perak Society of Performing Arts (PSPA) to benefit the Jeffrey Cheah Foundation Community Scholars at Sunway University in its newly refurbished and acoustically well-equipped University Hall, which saw a turn-out of over 750 people.

Titled “A Night of Musical Kaleidoscope”, the PSPA International Ensemble performed an extraordinary musical extravaganza which was specially designed to take the audience on a journey through the breath-taking lens of music history from Bach to Yiruma.

The PSPA International Ensemble, organisers and sponsors of “A Night of Musical Kaleidoscope” received a standing ovation

In a kaleidoscopic fashion, the repertoire for the night transported the audience back into the 16th century with the upbeat elaborate musical ornamentation of the Bach’s Brandenburg Concerto No. 3 in G major, BWV 1048. The ensemble then took audiences into the 18th century with Brahms’ more solemn Piano Quartet No.1.Op.25 and back into the present with Taylor Swift’s popular “Love Story.”

The PSPA International Ensemble was led by internationally-renowned conductor Eugene Pook, who has performed in prestigious venues around the world including Carnegie Hall in New York, USA. The performance featured 13 outstanding and world-class musicians from Canada, Hong Kong, Singapore, Malaysia, the Netherlands and the USA.

Andrew Simon

“PSPA is an outreach programme. Besides the night performance, we have also conducted ‘Meet Musicians’ workshop for aspiring musicians at Sunway, allowing us to share our experience with young musicians,” said Pook. “We hope to make music fair to everyone, not only to people who can afford it, but also for the underprivileged.”

This year’s ensemble also featured the renowned clarinet soloist, Andrew Simon who is the Principal Clarinet from the Hong Kong Philharmonic Orchestra known for his critically acclaimed musicianship, and is lauded by the prestigious international performing arts magazine, Auditorium Magazine for his divine technique.

The PSPA International Ensemble performed a mesmerising night

“Malaysia’s audience are extremely fantastic!” quipped Simon, who fell in love with durian after his first try. “The sponsors are wonderful and they exposed us to all kind of Malaysian culture and food.”

“A Night of Musical Kaleidoscope” came to Sunway after Penang and Ipoh and it is the third time that the JCF and PSPA have partnered together to promote the appreciation of music and the arts to the community.

Sunway University Ensemble whose members include a few Jeffrey Cheah Foundation Talent Scholarship recipients made an appearance. The University’s ensemble has gained a reputation as a community ensemble and is highly sought-after for community and corporate events and benefits.

“We are grateful to the many corporations and members of the public who has not only supported the Jeffrey Cheah Community Scholars but also help propagate an appreciation for music and performance,” said Dr Elizabeth Lee, Senior Executive Director of Sunway Education Group and Sunway University.

The Sunway University Ensemble’s performance received compliments from Pook which served as a strong motivation for them. Rockie Siew Wi Nam, conductor and consultant of the Sunway University Ensemble was pleased with their involvement in the Musical Kaleidoscope. “We have certainly benefitted from the Musical Kaleidoscope as the students were not only able to get a chance to play and perform, but also to talk to musicians,” added Siew.

All proceeds from the recital benefited the JCF Community Scholars who are from homes and orphanages in Malaysia who would otherwise not have access to quality education. To-date the JCF has aided 144 community scholars selected from homes and orphanages throughout Malaysia. This year another 20 will receive the opportunity of a quality tertiary education. The scholarship covers full tuition, accommodation, living allowances and books.

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