FRESH from its outstanding performance at the International Orchestra Festival and Competition “Golden Sardana” 2023 in Spain, the Seri Puteri Symphonic Winds Orchestra, or fondly known as SP Winds, from Sekolah Seri Puteri, Cyberjaya, is already gearing up for the quadrennial World Music Contest (WMC), the next of which is set to take place in 2026.
SP Winds director Raja Muzafar Shah Raja Abdullah, who has been with the orchestra for 15 years, said the girls had aimed for international recognition, targeting the WMC 2026, before the start of the Covid-19 pandemic.
“This contest is the equivalent of the Olympics for wind orchestra bands. It takes place once every four years in Kerkrade, the Netherlands.
“The journey to the WMC 2026 will involve regional competitions in the Asia-Pacific next year and a qualifier in the United States in 2025.
“It is not just about performing on a global stage; it is also about sharing the girls’ passion locally, and inspiring other young Malaysians to strive for excellence through music,” he told StarEdu.
On the girls’ recent success in Barcelona and Lloret de Mar, where they bagged three awards, Raja Muzafar Shah said it was the result of their outstanding musicianship and commitment.
“The biggest challenge now is to sustain a high level of musical and academic excellence,” he said.
At the event held from Sept 8 to 18, SP Winds won the Excellent Golden Diploma Award, the Jury’s Special Award (Extraordinary Artistic Impression), and the Organiser’s Special Award (Golden Sardana)
Raja Muzafar Shah said gold awards and world championship titles are not just accolades, but also symbols of a legacy of consistent dedication.
He added that the orchestra’s mantra is to think and practise like a world champion.
“With every triumph comes challenges. As seniors gear up for their exams, new recruits step in, often starting from scratch.
“Although they usually start with zero music knowledge, the girls, through rigorous training, are able to acquire a certain standard of musical skills within six to eight weeks.
“After that, they will rehearse and practise with the full symphonic wind ensemble.
“I will always speak passionately about these girls as with their diligence and perseverance, we have come this far,” he said.
According to Raja Muzafar Shah, music education is not just about tunes and rhythms, it is also about developing a well-rounded individual.
Through music, these students acquire technical finesse, creative musicality, and a deep sense of national identity, he said.
“More than just future musicians, they become leaders, scholars and global citizens, embodying the ‘Malaysia Boleh’ spirit wherever they go,” he added.
Proud parent Mohd Fadhli Abdul Rahman, whose daughter Auni Saffiya Mohd Fadhli plays the French horn in the band, said she only started playing the instrument seven months ago.
“She picked the French horn because it is a very complex instrument to master, but she has been very persistent in honing her skills daily.
“The French horn produces a unique sound, and the instrument is shaped in a way that not everybody can produce a noise by simply blowing into it.
“Even I couldn’t produce a sound when I tried to play the instrument,” he joked.
Mohd Fadhli said SP Winds has worked very hard to be where they are right now.
“I am very proud of them. I never dreamed that my daughter would be part of an orchestra, what more performing in Spain,” he said.