Ipohites were treated to a symphonic orchestral concert when musicians from the Selangor Symphony Youth Orchestra (SSYO) kicked off their 2023 tour at the auditorium of Soka Gakkai Malaysia (Perak Branch) in Ipoh last evening. “From The New World” is the title of the tour, with two more dates following the 3rd June concert in Ipoh. The others are on 18th June at St. Joseph’s Institution International School (Petaling Jaya) at 4pm and on 27th August at Chung Hwa High School (Muar, Johor) at 4pm. For further information, log on to: https://www.sso.org.my/ssyo
Music director, Ipoh-born Eugene Pook, was joined by two other illustrious conductors, Mustaqim Abdullah and Tommy Ng, to bring us a night to remember. The concert began with the 55-piece orchestra under the baton of Mustaqim Abdullah, playing Slavonic Dance No. 8 by Czech composer, Antonín Leopold Dvořák. As the audience warmed up to the lively tunes of the symphony, next came Orpheus in the Underworld by German-French composer, Jacques Offenbach. Mustaqim wrapped up his set with In The Hall of the Mountain King, a piece of orchestral music composed by Edvard Greig.
Sharing the first half of the concert with Mustaqim was Tommy Ng from Hong Kong, opening with The Sleeping Beauty waltz from the ballet adaptation by Russian composer Pyotr Ilyich Tchaikovsky. Amidst loud claps from the audience, next came Bacchanale, an orgiastic musical composition that kept our feet tapping. Bringing down the tempo, next came Salut d’Amour, Op. 12, a romantic piece that English composer Edward Elgar called “Love’s Greeting” which was gifted to his fiancée as an engagement present.
Tommy closed the first half of the concert with Bugler’s Holiday by American composer, Leroy Anderson. An enduring classic, this piece features a trumpet trio, undertaken in this concert by Alif Bin Mohd. Amin, Muhammad Amir Dinie Bin Khalil alongside Nurien Afryna Binti Abdul Shukor.
In the second half, backed by the orchestra conducted by Eugene Pook, 26 singers from Estee Pook Academy aged from as young as 5 to 20 years, serenaded the audience with their angelic voices first with A Million Dreams, one of the soundtracks for The Greatest Showman. Although the young singers started softly, they soon picked up the energy and gave the song an enthusiastic beat, befitting the message that the lyrics carried, that success comes from steadfast determination. We can change the world for the better.
The theme of improving the world continued with the all-girls choir signing their second piece, Heal the World, written, composed and recorded by the King of Pop, the late Michael Jackson. Calling for humanity to make the world a better place, Heal the World sparked the establishment of Heal the World Foundation, a charitable organisation by Jackson to improve the lives of children around the world.
The concert continued with Symphony No. 9 in E minor, after the children had stepped off the stage. Popularly known as the New World Symphony, it was composed by Antonín Dvořák in 1893. What made it one of the most popular symphonies of all time was that its tape recording was taken along by astronaut Neil Armstrong during the Apollo 11 mission, the first moon landing in 1969.
Conductor Eugene Pook closed the second half of the concert with 1812 Overture, also composed by Russian Pyotr Ilyich Tchaikovsky, as a commemoration of the Russian victory over French Napoleon in Year 1812. Before beginning the piece, Eugene tipped off the audience to listen out for four highlights of the story-telling classical composition: the French national anthem, the train approaching the hometown of the troops, the train slowing down, while family and friends on the street awaited their arrival, welcoming with the beating of pots and pans. That sound of celebration was followed by the sound of cannons being blasted.
As the concert officially drew to a close, Eugene answered the call from the audience for an encore, surprising everyone with a piece on his clarinet with “Stand By Me”, as a gesture of appreciation to all the parents who have entrusted their children to the Selangor Symphony Youth Orchestra (SSYO) to develop their classical musical talent from a young age. View the full photo album of SSYO 2023 Tour “From The New World” @ Ipoh on our official Facebook Page by clicking HERE.
Catch the second and third concerts of “From The New World” in Petaling Jaya on 18th June and Muar, Johor on 27th August. Tickets for the two concerts can be secured at https://www.sso.org.my/ssyo Monies collected from ticket sales are to cover concert costs, including hiring tutors, rental of musical instruments, transportation, sheet music purchase, and production team, etc.
Event: Selangor Symphony Youth Orchestra 2023 Tour “From The New World” in Ipoh
Venue: Auditorium Soka Gakkai (Perak), Ipoh
Date: 3rd June, 2023