KUCHING: Iban music fans should not miss the chance to catch popular Iban singer Melissa Francis in action at the grand finale of ‘Pertandingan Bintang Lagu Klasik Iban’ on May 25.
Organising chairman Mervyn Tajem said Melissa’s performance would be special because she had just won two awards during last Saturday’s Anugerah Juara Rentak Ruai (AJARR) in Sibu.
He said Melissa, who first shot to fame with hit song ‘Sulu Mata Engkudu’ 10 years ago, is expected to give a memorable performance during the event to be held at the Ecumenical Centre here.
“I am happy that Melissa will be performing because she had just won two awards namely Most Popular Song and Best Vocal for her song ‘Mutus Ati’ during AJARR. So, fans will be in for a treat. Another guest artiste performing that night is evergreen singer Christopher Kelly,” he said.
Eight finalists will be in for a multi-racial affair, in line with the competition’s objective to promote the usage of Iban language and to unearth talent not only from the Iban community but from other communities in Sarawak.
The four women finalists include a girl of Chinese-Bidayuh parentage and an Iban-Bidayuh lady. Two Malay men are among the four male finalists.
They are Valerie Thiam, Rina Bayu Adilana, Eisner Nala Jackson and Pauline Arah (ladies) and Flerdarus Udin, Suhaini Mat, Johnny and Lawrence E (men). They are aged 17 to 39 years old.
All finalists are required to sing two songs at the grand-final. Participants can only sing Iban songs recorded in the years 2000 and before.
They will be vying for attractive prizes starting from RM2,500 cash prize for the champion, RM2,000 for first runner-up and RM1,500 for third place. Apart from cash prizes, they will each also receive trophy, certificate and hamper.
Five consolation prize winners will receive cash of RM300 each, a trophy and certificate. There will be a special prize for Best Performance that will include RM500 cash and trophy.
Social Development Minister Tan Sri William Mawan will be guest-of-honour for the finals. Slated as a pre-Gawai dinner, tickets priced at RM400 per table are on sale now.
Those interested to purchase the tickets or require more information can call Simon Ritikos (019-8772770), Isa Lee (013-8266081) or Homery (012-8864745).