Saturday, May 25

St Joseph’s Secondary School Band poised for better things

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Ling (second right) hands over the cheque to Lau. From left are June and Dr Sim as well as committee members. Jonathan is on second left, back row.

Ling (second right) hands over the cheque to Lau. From left are June and Dr Sim as well as committee members. Jonathan is on second left, back row.

KUCHING: St Joseph’s Secondary School Band (SJSB) is poised to break new ground yet again with its fifth edition of their annual community concert after its absence last year.

On December 8 at 7.30pm, the SJSB will rock the Trinity Methodist Church when it joins forces with the ‘Onyx Brass Quintet’, a group world-renowned for its virtuoso players, powerful sound, entertaining style, varied repertoire, and fun interplay with the audience.

Themed ‘A Brass Spectacular!’, it features a world’s top brass ensembles, hailing all the way from London, United Kingdom.

Every year, the school presents a programme in which world-class entertainers share their talents with the Kuching community who has been so supportive of the school’s endeavor.

“How often such world-class entertainers arrives on our doorstep right here in Kuching? We always hear them (SJSB) performing so well overseas, so why not give local community a chance to see their performance.

“After all they are supported by local community and the concert is a chance for local community to enjoy. Not many have the chance to go overseas to see them performing,” said SJSB advisor and Old Josephians Association chairman Datuk Dr Sim Kui Hian yesterday.

He said, every year the concert band performs for the local community for one night in December as a way of giving back to the community.

Dr Sim said the band members have been practicing hard ready to give the best show for the concert, and he encouraged people not to miss this once a year opportunity as it will only be held for one night.

Band director June Ling who was also present pointed out that one of the many special and unique aspects of this year’s programme is the high degree of collaboration onstage and behind-the-scenes this year.

She said in the past, they had presented programmes with guest artists of international stature that benefited their students and audiences alike.

“This year is no different in that respect, but, from the beginning, we wanted the highest degree of collaboration for this programme. This year our band members will not only perform with the brass quintet for much of the evening, but benefit from Onyx Brass’ expert instruction, and work alongside them in the days leading up to the concert,” she said.

There are 50 members in the band this year, and parents of the students would be pleased to see their own sons and daughters’ hard work, after months of preparation, coming to fruition when they perform alongside the guest artists with confidence and finesse.

Programme coordinator Jonathan Fox said Onyx was carefully selected for this collaboration for their sophistication and accessibility.

Audience will be delighted by their phenomenal playing and engaging personalities, said Jonathan, who has a background in classical music as principal percussionist of the Singapore Symphony.

The SJSB has a proud history of achievements.

In 2015, the marching band was dubbed grand champions at the prestigious Yamaha Cup in New Jersey, United States of America, sweeping all captions.

In 2013, the ensemble celebrated the school’s 131st anniversary with a first-place finish at the German Open Championship in Chemnitz, Germany.

In 2012, the group performed to a packed house at the Yong Siew Toh Conservatory of Music (Singapore), in collaboration with Conservatory students and international artists.

Locally, the marching band was named Malaysian National Champions in 2006, as well as Sarawak State Champions nine times between 2000 and 2010.

Meanwhile, the tickets to the concert is price at RM200, RM100 and RM50 respectively.

Tickets can be purchased at the school office of SMK St Joseph and St Joseph’s Private School.

The school can be contacted by calling 082-240 885 and 082-414 575 respectively.

During the press conference yesterday, Cahya Mata Sarawak Berhad group general counsel David Ling presented a mock cheque amounting RM10,000 to the SMK St Joseph school’s principal Thomas Lau.