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A musical afternoon with the Maestro


(From left) Lee, Pearcey, The Rotary Club of Pudu vice-president Sandy Soh and immediate past president Alex Chang (right) giving away goodie bags to the special needs children from Music Dream Centre.— Photos by SHAARI CHEMAT

(From left) Lee, Pearcey, The Rotary Club of Pudu vice-president Sandy Soh and immediate past president Alex Chang (right) giving away goodie bags to the special needs children from Music Dream Centre.— Photos by SHAARI CHEMAT

MUSIC appreciation is a catalyst that bridges the able and disabled communities to build greater understanding and compassion.

Believing in the power of music, The Rotary Club of Pudu brought together 182 underprivileged children from seven orphanages in the Klang Valley for a musical show titled The Mysterious Maestro at The Petronas Philharmonic Hall in KLCC.

Its director of community service Veronique Pearcey said the initiative was an opportunity for the less fortunate children to discover the depths of music.

“Children today are always pressured by their academic life that they have little or no chance to pursue music or art.

“In French, we have a saying that every child has a Mozart within them. I believe that we must give the children a chance to awaken their inner artist,” said the French painter and wood carver.

Children of Thangam Illam Welfare Society posing with the Pied Piper and other characters of The Mysterious Maestro show at The Petronas Philharmonic Hall, Suria KLCC
Children from Thangam Illam Welfare Society posing with the Pied Piper of Hamelin and other characters from The Mysterious Maestro.
 

Pearcey hopes to attain financial support to sustain the annual artistic affair for more children from homes and those with disabilities.

“I organise events like this every year, because I believe this is the best way we can help children appreciate music and art.

“However, it is a costly affair and we are actively looking for a sponsor to help us continue organising annual art events for more of these children,” she said.

Among the orphanages who attended were Thangam Illam Welfare Society, Young Women’s Christian Association, Pertubuhan Kebajikan Anbu Illam, Music Dream Centre (RMDC), Rumah Amal Cheshire Home, Pusat Kebajikan Good Shepherd and The Agathians Shelter.

Supported by The Rotary Club of Bandar Utama (RCBU), Music Dream Centre, which is the first Rotary music therapy centre for children with special needs, also joined in the musical Sunday.

RCBU director Lily Lee said she was happy to see the children immersed in the 60-minute orchestra performance.

Some of the children from Rumah Amal Cheshire showing their goodie bags from The Rotary Club of Pudu.
Some of the children from Rumah Amal Cheshire showing their goodie bags from The Rotary Club of Pudu.
 

“Music is an important part of our therapy sessions with children who have ADHD, autism and learning disabilities. It helps them develop their mind and express how they feel.” she said, adding that all the children at the centre either learn to play musical instrument or sing.

Scored by famous compositions including the Verdi, Mendelssohn and Beethoven, The Mysterious Maestro show by The Malaysian Philharmonic Orchestra (MPO) dazzled the children and their chaperones with the story of a little girl with the gift of song in the town of Hamelin.

Paired with a skit by comedic actors and the exquisite voice of opera singer Allison Lynch, the story follows Hannah who conspires to return music to the town which forbade it after the Pied Piper led all the children away with his flute 30 years ago.

Under the spell of MPO’s resident conductor Ciaran McAuley, the 21-instrument orchestra’s symphonic storytelling invoked resounding “ooohs” and “aaahs” from the impressed children.

Thangam Illam Welfare Society advisor K. Sellamuthu said he was pleased to be invited by The Rotary Club of Pudu to be part of the spectacular musical’s audience.

“We are very grateful for the chance to attend the concert. This is the first time the children are watching an orchestra performance,” said the chaperone of the society’s 17 children who were present for the show.

Fifteen-year-old Katiravan from The Agathians Shelter expressed his happiness in attending the concert.

“I have never seen such a great musical like this,” said the SMK (L) Bukit Bintang student who particularly like the percussions.

   

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