Elevating hill fest with contest for composers


Young musicians of homegrown orchestra Musica Sinfonietta delighting the crowd with their performance at Penang Hill Festival last year. — Filepic

Registration opens for songwriting competition at festival in Penang

CULTURE, music and environmental education await visitors attending the Penang Hill Festival from July 19 to 21.

Besides the visual and sensory elements, this year’s event will promote the hill’s rich biodiversity and cultural heritage.

The inaugural Penang Hill Songwriting Competition will also take place.

Malaysians aged 15 and above are invited to compose songs that capture the spirit of the hill themed “Penang Hill – A Treasured Gem”.

The competition is aimed at unearthing new tunes which can resonate with visitors, encapsulating the essence of this iconic attraction.

Registration for the competition is from now to June 17, with entries accepted from June 18 to July 31.

There will be prizes for the champion, runner-up as well as other awards.

Talks on the transformation of Penang Hill and the challenges of illegal wildlife trapping by various experts will also be featured.

Chow (third from left) flanked by state tourism and creative economy committee chairman Wong Hon Wai (second from left) and Penang Hill Corporation general manager Datuk Cheok Lay Leng, with representatives of various agencies and sponsors at Komtar. — ZHAFARAN NASIB/The StarChow (third from left) flanked by state tourism and creative economy committee chairman Wong Hon Wai (second from left) and Penang Hill Corporation general manager Datuk Cheok Lay Leng, with representatives of various agencies and sponsors at Komtar. — ZHAFARAN NASIB/The Star

Additional festival activities include a treasure hunt, photography workshops, and guided nature walks, offering immersive experiences that underscore the importance of conserving Penang Hill’s natural and historical assets.

The event promises to be a vibrant celebration of Penang Hill, offering something for everyone from music lovers to environmental advocates and families looking for an enriching experience.

The celebration will also highlight shows from classical Indian dance to ethno fusion, traditional Malay performances and rainforest music.

Penang Chief Minister Chow Kon Yeow said the festival, in its fifth edition, had been in the forefront of promoting and bringing greater awareness to Penang Hill’s nature, rich tapestry, history and cultural heritage.

“This festival features a series of exciting activities aimed at celebrating Penang Hill and showcasing the talents of local individuals.

“The festival’s new addition (the songwriting competition) underscores their commitment to nurturing local talent and enhancing Penang Hill’s cultural footprint. It’s a wonderful platform for aspiring musicians to showcase their creativity.

“The competition welcomes submissions from diverse genres,” he said at a press conference held at his office in Komtar.

Chow said the festival was expected to attract 20,000 visitors this year.

Meanwhile, the Penang Hill Corporation is looking for volunteers for the festival.

For details and to register for the competition or as a volunteer, visit www.penanghill.gov.my/phf2024

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