Sunday, July 5

Borneo Jazz 2017 ends on high note — thanks to volunteers

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Voon (centre) with fellow Borneo Jazz 2017 volunteers.

MIRI: This year’s Borneo Jazz would not have gone smoothly without the hard work of at least 100 volunteers working across various aspects of the annual festival – as liaison officers (LOs) for performing artistes and the manpower to handle musical instruments, up to event marketing, operations and management.

For Regal Marketing and Trading Sdn Bhd senior area executive Goh Teck Lim, his experience as the LO for the Cape Jazz Band, Osaka Monaurail and Miri Orchestra and Choir Society is something that he would cherish forever.

According to him, working with these bands has given him an enjoyable experience in that the band members are very friendly and easy to get along with.

“I had no trouble working with them at all. I have always been excited to meet people and Borneo Jazz provided me a great chance to meet and interact with people from all around the world.

“Apart from that, I also learned many things like the cultures from outside my native home,” said Goh, adding that he would definitely volunteer again for the next editions.

He also hoped that more aggressive strategies would be used to market the festival and attract more visitors from near and far.

In a similar sentiment, Curtin University Sarawak Bachelor of Commerce (Accounting and Entrepreneurship) student Voon Yu Min treasures the experience.

She signed up as a volunteer under Sarawak Tourism Board (STB) a month ago before Borneo Jazz 2017.

“I became interested to volunteer after a friend introduced me to the festival. I hope to know more about people and enhance my communication skills by interacting with them,” said Voon.

For Ian Ling Yii Yang, Borneo Jazz has been growing for the better each year, especially with the introduction of workshops and also the inaugural networking session this year.

“With a variety of subgenres in jazz music today, which more people are beginning to learn and understand about, I am excited to see what is in store for the festival in years to come.

“Moreover through volunteering, I’m hoping to expand my network and also to learn lots of things especially in terms of event organisation, particularly of an international one like Borneo Jazz,” said Ling, who said he was happy to work as a backstage crew member this time around, which allowed him direct access to the international artistes.

“One of the interesting highlights for me this year was to see the types of instruments that they brought to the festival. I am able to learn more about their traditionalal musical instruments too,” said Ling, whose participation this year marked his 12th year as a volunteer for the festival.

On any setback experienced throughout the two-day event, Ling said: “The weather.”

The long-time volunteer listed Laila Biali of Canada and Delgres of Guadeloupe/France as his favourite bands this year.

This year’s Borneo Jazz, which concluded on Saturday, was run by STB with endorsements from state and federal tourism authorities and partnership with Malaysia Airlines Bhd as the presenting sponsor.