Written by Kong Xiang Xi and Kwong Hui
Edited by Varshini Vijayakumar and Ms Amanda Chong
Sunway University Choir had their 5th annual recital on 15th September 2017 in the Jeffrey Cheah Hall and attracted more than 700 people. The theme of the recital was “What a Wonderful World”, which implied the idea of embracing diversity and showing support towards Sustainable Development Goals (SDGs) created by United Nations and adopted by Jeffrey Cheah Foundation in 2016 together with the establishment of Jeffrey Sachs Center.
The audience felt connected and captivated by the entire performance as the songs were filled with lively tempo, sorrowful and heartwarming melodies which are feelings the audience could relate to. The mixture of happy and sad tunes of songs were contradictory and these differences remind us that there are ups and downs in life.
One of the most impressive part of the whole recital was their delicate intention in conforming to the theme-“What a Wonderful World”. A boarding pass instead of a traditional ticket, a passport booklet was used, replacing the usual customary pamphlet, with the addition of two postcards are the things that roused the audience by their creativity. It all started with the audience handing in their boarding passes, while the students who acted as steward and stewardess guided them to their seats. Once they were settled down, that was where the journey began. Songs and pieces from different countries were performed by the choir, and this concept brought out the pictures of one traveling around the world. From countries in Europe, to Asia Pacific & Middle East, they successfully turned the entire performance into an enjoyable flight journey.
Moreover, songs such as “My Way” and “Spirited Away” performed by Sunway University Ensemble enlightened the whole recital. The combination of violin, cello and flute caught everyone’s attention. “Gai Tau Hong Mei” is a song that represents Singapore’s culture. It was another surprising performance which enlivened everyone in the hall. The beats of the song were choppy and jolly, like a wavy terrain, coming along with lyrics that were filled with joy and love towards good food. The audience was engaged and captivated by the lovely performance.
Aside from that, the Bollywood Medley was also another unforgettable performance that captured everyone’s attention by portraying rich Indian national colours. The medley consisted of three lively Hindi songs and was honoured to be presented with two special guests, Soumini Roy Chowdhury and Eshan Roy from Zest Bengal. Their special appearances enhanced the recital as they added vibrant and exciting dances while singing the songs. The audience were incited by their energy and could not help but dance along together.
After ‘traveling around the world’, we enjoyed and embraced the beauty of other countries. However, we can never forget to appreciate our own home country- Malaysia’s Top favorite performance was “Dirgahayu Tanah Airku” which represents one of our Malaysian patriotic songs. It beautifully illustrates the beauty of the landscape and the warmth of Malaysia. The unity and strength in the lyrics brought tears to our eyes. The lyrics “Satu bangsa, satu bahasa, satu budaya Malaysia nusaku tercinta” which means “One nation, one language, one culture Oh Malaysia my beloved realm” is one of the most memorable parts of the whole song. No matter what race and what ethnic background, the variety of arts and cultures, the plentiful food and natural resources and also the unique way of speaking ‘Manglish’ are the things that make us special and proud as Malaysians.
“Every success story starts with a dream, concrete planning and massive action!”
Nothing could have been achieved without pouring in one’s own effort. Sunway University Choir started their preparation since January 2017. They had practised the songs one by one and wrapped up everything after most members came back from their semester break in July. From 24th of July onwards until the big day, they had been having practices every Monday, Wednesday and Thursday. Since they are a group of diverse individuals from all walks of life in Sunway University, it sure did took a lot of effort for them to bring out such awe-inspiring performances. Nevertheless, they are also a group of passionate, committed and dedicated people who are more than willing to devote a lot of their time in music. According to the president of Sunway University Choir, Elexis, language is one of the biggest obstacles they faced as they were performing songs from different countries. They faced difficulties in memorizing the pronunciations and lyrics of each song. The choir had a total of 20 songs to perform at the recital.
It cannot be denied that ‘What a Wonderful World’ recital by Sunway University Choir was nothing but a great success. They genuinely delivered the message of that the beauty of the world lies in the diversity of its people. Regardless of the language or dialect, music is a great blessing, it can unite us to sing together in one voice. Although the recital came to an end after 2 hours, the unforgettable performance will always stay in both the choir performer’s and audience’s fondest memory, reminding everyone that this is what and how music can bring us together as one.