YOUNG Malaysian singers did the country proud in the 2020 Voices In Bloom International Virtual Singing Competition, achieving stellar results and demonstrating exceptional vocal talent.
The Voices In Bloom Solo Singing Competition is a bi-annual event that serves as a platform for discovering and nurturing young performers, as well as promoting bel canto (operatic) singing in Malaysia.
Due to Covid-19 restrictions, the event was moved to a virtual platform this year in the hopes of encouraging young people to continue making music despite the current pandemic and also to allow for international participation.
The distinguished panel of jury for this year’s event were voice facilitator Allan Hubert-Wright (France), choir conductor and vocal coach Raymond Lee (Singapore), National Centre for the Performing Arts in Singapore stage director Tang Xinxin (China/Singapore) and professional vocal coach Jean Lee Duong (USA).
Twelve countries took part in the competition, with entries sent in from Singapore, Vietnam, Indonesia, Sri Lanka, India, China, Hong Kong, South Korea, England, Australia, Norway and Malaysia.
The competition, which was for children aged six to 13, was divided into two categories, namely Chinese Folk/Art Songs, and Disney/Movie Theme Songs/Musical Theatre.
A total of 132 participants competed in the Chinese Folk/Art Songs category, and the Disney/Movie Theme Songs/Musical Theatre category attracted 162 participants.
The top five participants from each category were selected as winners.
In the Chinese Folk/Art Songs category for six to nine-year-olds, Liaw Jin Yuan from Malaysia emerged as winner with an Art Song named Birthday.
It was a clean sweep by Malaysians in that category, with Lee Kai Ying taking second spot, Liu Jie Ying in third, Lee Wen Ying in fourth place and Lee Jia Yi completing the rostrum.
For the Chinese Folk/Art Songs category for 10 to 13-year-olds, Malaysia once more swept all five awards, with a song Ullana on the Grassland by Chua Jing Shuen winning the top prize and Tan Yi Qian coming in second.
Chue Ryee En took third place while Jayden Yong Kian Yu and Phuah Yu You were placed fourth and fifth respectively.
Malaysian singers dominated the Disney/Movie Theme Songs/Musical Theatre category for six to nine-year-olds as well.
With the song I Just Can’t Wait to be King from The Lion King, Natalie Ng Shu Mae was crowned the category winner with Tang Zer Vee coming in second, Kee Pearly Pearl Xin Han-Ji third, Lee Kai Ying fourth and Peong Thong Xin in fifth place.
In the Disney/Movie Theme Songs/Musical Theatre category for 10 to 13-year-olds, the category winner was Dinara Ellepola from Sri Lanka who sang a song Popular from the musical Wicked.
The runner-up was Chuah Jing Shuen (Malaysia) along with fellow Malaysians Chan Jie Yee coming in third, Nicole Teong emerging fourth and Tan Yi Qian in fifth spot.