Music Students Play Together For Charity

October 22, 2012
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Camerata Musicales: Hard at work preparing for their 11 November charity concert

When piano teacher Lee Jia Jie started a small ensemble group in his house, he did not imagine that it would one day grow into a mini orchestra that would perform to raise funds for charity.

Originally set up so that Lee’s students and two sons could gain chamber music experience, the group has now grown to include 34 musicians, most of whom are students.

Named Camerata Musicales—fellowship of music—the group will play its first concert, Hand in Hand Charity Concert, on 11 November at the MATIC Auditorium in Kuala Lumpur where it hopes to raise RM20,000 for the Pusat Penjagaan Kanak-kanak Cacat Taman Megah in Petaling Jaya.

The home looks after 138 orphans and people with various types and degrees of disabilities such as Down Syndrome, autism and cerebral palsy; and is raising funds for the construction of a new self-contained building on donated land in Petaling Jaya. Currently, the home is spread out over several neighbouring houses.

Camerata Musicales will be joined by five guest musicians from the Malaysian Philharmonic Orchestra (MPO)—harpist Tan Keng Hong will play the Harp Concerto in C by Johann G. Albrectsberger, arranged by Lee; while a quartet consisting of violinists Stefan Kocsis and Liang Zhenzhen, violist Jin Zhen Hong and cellist Csaba Koros will play Beethoven’s String Quartet in C min Op.18 No.4.

Lee Jia Jie: “It’s all about the love of working with others.”

“At first I thought of having a few chamber musicians in the concert, perhaps a quartet, a quintet or maybe a piano trio,” said Lee, but a chat with a few of his friends from the MPO changed that.

“They were keen to take part and the MPO management agreed,” said Lee. “So I thought that I can’t just confine it to my little group and decided to open it up to other kids.”

In April, Lee approached music teachers, asking for recommendations from friends and the existing Camerata musicians. “The response was overwhelming. I was flattered that they were all so supportive of this project,” he said.

As the group got bigger, more instruments were included. Camerata Musicales will play their first concert with violins, violas, cellos, double basses, percussion and piano.

“It’s not really different handling so many kids,” said Lee. “Every player has their own skill. As a conductor, you need to find the balance, to recognise each individual’s quality.

“It’s all about the love of working with others. You get to have a conversation with other people. The challenge is to find where the problems and weaknesses are and look for solutions.”

In addition to the MPO players, Camerata Musicales will also perform with two choir groups during the concert, one from the Taman Megah home for which it is raising funds and the other from the Lick Hung Primary School children’s choir.

Among the pieces to be performed are four choir pieces—My Name is Music, Tanah Pusaka, Somewhere over the Rainbow and the Chinese classic Ye Lai Xiang—a traditional Chinese Song Singing The Night Among Fishing Boat; Por Una Cabeza by Carlos Gardel, all arranged by Lee, and Edvard Grieg’s Holberg Suite Op.40.

One of the highlights of the evening will be a performance by Akina, a resident of the Taman Megah home. Blind and abandoned at birth, Akina who is also a slow learner will give a solo rendition of Ye Lai Xiang with accompaniment from the orchestra and choirs.

Lee realised Akina’s talent after seeing her sit in front of a CD player day after day trying to hum the tunes she heard. “I realised that her pitching was quite good although her diction was not perfect. She’s learnt to sing mostly all by herself,” Lee said.

The group hopes to raise awareness about the home for disabled children in Taman Megah.

More than just the money that the group hopes to raise with ticket sales, Lee is hoping for the concert to help raise awareness about the home. “We hope that after the concert more people will know about this home and will come forward to help them.”

And after the concert Lee plans to carry on with Camerata Musicales, with the next project to include wind and brass sections.

Another plan that Lee has up his sleeves is to promote local student soloists. “I find that many of them may not have a chance to play on stage. We would like to provide them with a platform, a chance to perform in public before they turn professional.”

 

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One Response to Music Students Play Together For Charity

  1. Ngau Siew Lian on June 14, 2013 at 8:33 pm

    Dear Sir,
    I am currently looking for a coach for my school wind band orchestra. Do you know of anyone who be interested.?

    Regards
    Mdm Mgau

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