Feast for the ears
KUCHING: Hundreds of music lovers and supporters of Sarawak Hearts Foundation (SHF) enjoyed a feast for the ears as they attended The Sound of Music 2.0 fundraising concert at Borneo Convention Centre Kuching.
Jointly organised by Plaza Merdeka Holdings Sdn Bhd and SHF, this concert aimed to create a trust fund for the provision of cardiovascular procedures for underprivileged Sarawakians.
The first Sound of Music concert was held in 2012 and it raised RM1mil.
The funds were used for building two halfway houses at Sarawak General Hospital and at the Hearts centre in Kota Samarahan.
Talented musicians delivered a night filled with sweet melodies when a student music band comprising 44 students from SM Sains Kuching kick-started the concert with their smooth rendition of several hit songs by Swedish pop group Abba, including Mamma Mia and Dancing Queen.
Sainsku Winds Orchestra, as they are known, has grown from a 23- to 64-instrument orchestra and it is now nationally acclaimed.
They have joined the ranks of elite schools with their many achievements including Most Improved Orchestra Award and the division two championship at National Wind Orchestra Festival 2009.
Local talent Nisa Addina Taufik made Sarawakians proud with her charismatic violin performance.
The 19-year-old Kuching-born contemporary violinist began her career in 2009 and has two albums; Yakina, which is filled with original compositions, while her second album was a dedication to music icon Tan Sri P. Ramlee.
Nisa has performed at numerous venues in France, Indonesia, Singapore and Malaysia and is a solo violinist with South Norfolk Youth Symphonic Band (SNYSB) from England.
Joining Nisa on stage for a duet was South Korean solo artiste Choi Sung Bong, who made his debut on reality competition TV show Korea’s Got Talent in 2011.
While Nisa skilfully played the violin, Choi showed off his vocal prowess.
He has just published an autobiography and is currently developing a second album.
Choi has performed worldwide including London with Paul Potts from the US and with Psy in his home country.
He has earned praise from international pop singer Justin Bieber and BoA for his performance.
Choi touched the audience with his soulful singing of The Prayer and impressed everyone when he sang it in Bahasa Malaysia.
He alternately sang in his native Korean language and English.
Meanwhile, 56 musicians from SNYSB performed several soothing and fun pieces including one musical score from the movie Chess.
The musical ensemble, led by founder Michael Booty, had performed in Kuching along with SainsKu Winds and Nisa Addina in 2012.
The youths have performed twice at the Royal Albert Hall, toured Europe on many occasions and five times in Germany as well as South-East Asia including Singapore and Thailand.
They have helped raise thousands of pounds for charities and perform up to 30 concerts each year.
All musicians took the stage once again at the end of the concert to perform a harmonious tune before the show ended.
Among the guests who attended the charity concert were Sarawak head of state Tun Abdul Taib Mahmud and wife Toh Puan Ragad Kurdi Taib as well as the Chief Minister Tan Sri Adenan Satem, who came to support his wife Puan Sri Jamilah Anu, the trustee for SHF.
In her welcoming speech at Borneo Convention Centre Kuching on Saturday night, Jamilah said the SHF had assisted in the purchase of heart-related equipment to upgrade the cardiac unit in the state’s community hospital.
Over the years, the foundation has donated over RM10mil worth of equipment.
“The donations have not only benefitted the patients directly but also raised the stature of our Sarawak Heart Centre to the forefront of the treatment of heart-related diseases,” she said.
She said the Heart Centre was now being designated as a training hub for the running of the Fellowship Programme of Cardiothoracic Surgery by the Royal College of Surgeons of Edinburgh.
Jamilah also invited the public to join the foundation’s next event, Walk-A-Mile, which will be held in conjunction with World Heart Day 2016 next month at Stutong Park.