December 10, 2009

Operafest Children's Choir in Miri (9th Dec 2009)

Miri as a resort city has a significant Miri Orchestral Choir but not a symphony orchestra. The MOC has been performing for several years to the delight of the music lovers of Miri. Every year there is a nice musical concert in GCM to raise funds for some worthy causes. This year an exceptional group came all the way to bring Christmas cheer to the quiet resort city. The Charity Musical Concert was like a good traditional family affair. The opening as usual consisted of a short speech each from the YB Andy Chia and the City Mayor Lawrence Lai. Both left for other important functions after several items.

The Operafest Children's Choir from Kuala Lumpur has won accolades around the world and sang twice with the Vienna Boys' Choir in Austria. Under the able baton of conductor/soprano Fong Sun Yoke they gave a performance which was both enthralling and enchanting. The Miri audience was transported into a truly musical atmosphere. The singers were disciplined beyond our expectations even though so many of them were only around 12 years old (the youngest being 10).

Fung Sun Yoke (obviously suffering from a bad flu) related to the audience that the choir was self supporting and they paid for their own transport to Miri. The choir which has spread the fame of Malaysia far and wide does not receive any funding from the government. She was glad that the choir could help play a role to raise funds for the Sunflower Centre of Miri - a day care centre for disabled children of all races and religions.

Personally I felt that it was a real pity we did not get to hear her sing as she is a renown soprano herself.

The popular journalist George Francis having a nice moment photographing the cute little singers.

Charming singers of the Operafest Children's Choir.

the youngest singer of the choir ...a lot of charisma and grace.

Santa Claus came. But he moved too fast for me to take a good photo of him. Guess where he is from? He is not from the North Pole definitely.

A charity sale was put on at the patio and all proceeds of the sale went to the Sunflower Centre. Here is the loyal Florence Enau of the Inner Wheelers selling decorated pine cones and other Christmas items. She and a few friends decorated pine cones in many unique but creative one-of-a-kind designs for say....Prices range from 15 to 60 ringgit. The whole committee under the leadership of Mrs. Liza Chai and Madam Jennie Soh should be applauded for their great efforts.

A normal refreshment was served after the concert and many stayed to socialise and get to know and make new friends. Definitely it was a cheerful and heart warming event.

For a good cause Mirians should actually support this kind of activities especially if it is only once a year. However the musical evening went well and ended with the whole audience coming together with the two choirs to sing "I'm Dreaming of a White Christmas" and Auld Lang Syne and We Wish a Merry Christmas.

While the singing children raised their Christmas caps I was wishing that our voices had raised the roof to match their triumphant performance! And how I wish that more than 500 people could have come out to hear these angels sing!


Anonymous said...

Thank you Sarawakiana for your nice writeup on Miri.

Merry Christmas and Happy New to you and your loved ones.

Bengbeng said...

:) :) :) Surprise surprise surprise :) :)

wenn said...

interesting occasion..

Sarawakiana@2 said...

Dear Anon
thanks for visiting. Hope next year the GCM Charity Concert will draw a greater crowd and the MOC will sing even better!!

Merry Christmas and Happy New Year ....

Sarawakiana@2 said...

that's a nice Christmas present for me...

I am still lost for words.

thanks. thanks. thanks.

Sarawakiana@2 said...

Hi Wenn

Hope you have taken your ginseng chicken soup after all the travelling and revived greatly!!

Thanks for visiting. We had a great musical evening.

Ann said...


So different from Sibu when we were growing up. We just went to mid night service.



Sarawakiana@2 said...

Miri has churches which put up Christmas festivities and GCM has always been a kind of social centre which celebrates all the different festivals with a good do depending on the strength of its individual committees.

the New Year Do used to be a "must attend" thingy and every body would rush for tickets. Since 1997 things have been very different - economics change social behaviour and demographics in Miri has always been very dynamic. When politics takes over the reins of social life to me very often it is like water and soap in a basin - When the stop is pulled out the water runs down the drain leaving the soap.

According to people help sell tickets and the buyers are selective of who the VIP is. Soperhaps some organiserx think they need someone really popular to draw the crowd and even the reporters!! The Deputy CM remains very popular and he can always draw a good crowd for example.

And then certain functions must have certain politicians. So that draws the political crowd and hangerson.

Many weddings also have a table of YBs and VVIPs.

This is the social scenario in Sarawak now.

Some YBs for as long as two hours if truth be told.

A concert like this is rare but usually there is a GCM Christmas concert .

Sibu was different when we were young. But now I am not sure may be Christmas is church based and home longer community based. But soon you will see the various blogs featuring Christmas trees and other functions..but Chinese blogs though.

Daughter of the Soil said...

For sometime I have been blog walking. And I accidentally bump into your site. Your blog is nice with lots of information. Perhaps one day my back packing will take me to Miri.

Could you supply with some addresses of this club and Sunflower Centre when you write about them again? You do not have an interactive chat section. May be this is better than comments?

Wish you happy Christmas and New Year...

My travelling companion is also keen to see disadvantaged children.

Sarawakiana@2 said...

Dear Daughter of the Soil
Your back packing must be interesting. Hope you come to Miri one day.

Thank you for writing in. Good suggestions! Thanks again.

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