UNIVERSITI Teknologo Mara’s (UiTM) Faculty of Music marked its 30th anniversary recently with an entertaining concert at Kuala Lumpur’s Dewan Filharmonik Petronas.
UiTM is the first local institution of higher learning to offer programmes related to music, when its School of Art and Design offered it as an elective subject back in the 1980s. It later offered the Advanced Diploma in Music before the Music Department was set up in 1984.
From department status, it evolved into a faculty status in June 2006. At present, the faculty boasts 41 teaching and 17 administrative staff members as well as nearly 500 students undertaking diploma, degree and post-graduate degrees.
In his foreword to mark the 30th anniversary, UiTM vice-chancellor Prof Tan Sri Dr Sahol Hamid Abu Bakar said the concert was an appropriate way to celebrate the faculty’s coming of age by showcasing its products and prodigies within an imposing setting such as the Petronas Philharmonic Hall.
“The faculty’s musical fraternity has always been part of UiTM’s culture of creativity. Their musical prowess has been repeatedly proven through countless invitations to perform before kings and queens, and music lovers across continents. In a university founded on science and technology, the faculty of music has made its mark as the bedrock of musical arts at their best.
“For that, I am proud of its accomplishments, which are in tandem with the university’s collective goal of putting UiTM on the world map,” he added.
For the faculty dean, Assoc Prof Dr Ramona Mohd Tahir, the concert is meant to showcase the musical talents and the myriad of musical styles studied at the faculty.
“All our students are trained to be highly proficient performers whether they are in the music education, composition, music business or music performance programmes.
“I would like to thank the wonderful support from the top management and governing board of UiTM for without their continuous faith and belief in the musical ability of bumiputra students, we would not have attained the status as the leading provider of higher music education in our beloved country,” said Dr Ramona.
Proceedings began with UiTM’s symphony orchestra led by Juan Daniel Montoya Valencia playing Mars from The Planets (composed by Gustav Holst), before backing Khairil Johari Johar as he sang Mawar Putih accompanied by Ahmad Muriz Che Rose on the sax.
Siti Hajar Mohd Seperah, a UiTM lecturer since 2012, then played Le Flute de Pan, with Hii Mei Lin on the piano.
Tazul Izan Tajuddin then took over the baton to lead the orchestra on to play The Secret Cast, composed by Amanina Alwani Badaruddin. The orchestra then played Tazul’s composition, Lagu Tanpa Kata, where Syafinaz Selamat, a UiTM graduate, demonstrated why she is one of the region’s leading sopranos.
UiTM’s Rendezvous Choir provided a nice twist to the evening with three songs, Ngajat Tampi, Seri Bunian and Jorge Ben’s Mas Que Nada, arranged by Rizal Ezuan Zulkifli Tony for acapella. Directed by Faezah Hamdan, and with Nur Aqila Abol Hassan on the piano, the highly-entertaining choir definitely showed promise.
The mak yong ensemble directed by Mohd Kamrulbahri Hussin then presented Lagu Bertabuh Makyung, Lagu Mengulit (Burung Punai) and Lagu San Gendang, followed by Orkes Krontjong Irama Sari, directed by Muhammad Zaki Abu Jazid Javis who played Bisikan Hati.
UiTM’s Gamelan Club under the direction of Shahanum Mohd Shah gave a captivating modern gamelan performance of Mohd Yusri Hamid’s Khabar Angin Tenggara.
Jazz lovers rejoiced when the UiTM Unity Jazz Project rendered its tribute to the late Tan Sri P. Ramlee through Amalgamation Teuku Zakari Teuku Nyak Puteh, composed by Rizal Ezuan.
The combination consisting of Patrick Terbrack on saxophone, Marques Young on trombone, Michael Veerapan on piano, Ahmad Zapuwan Ismail on guitar, John Thomas on drums, Zailan Razak on bass guitar and Fly on bass provided a fitting finale to the night.
There were happy faces all round as performers mingled with lecturers and students as the concert ended close to 11.30pm.
So what if a few dozen folk missed the last LRT train from KLCC that Sunday night?
It was a birthday party that provided much joy and more importantly, amply demonstrated what our musicians are capable of when they put their heart into it.