ENGAGING SESSION: Malaysian-born Bass-baritone and Choral Conductor Mak Chi Hoe (most left) teaching UCSI University Music students the proper way of singing and checking their voice synchronization during the Masterclass.
ON STANDBY: UCSI University Music students ready to perform during Malaysian-born Bass-baritone and Choral Conductor Mak Chi Hoe’s Choral Conducting Masterclass.
TOTAL FOCUS: Malaysian-born Bass-baritone and Choral Conductor Mak Chi Hoe conducting the Malaysian Medley during his Masterclass with UCSI University Music students.
KUALA LUMPUR, Mar 8, 2013:
Recently, UCSI University’s School of Music invited Malaysian-born Bass-baritone and Choral Conductor Mak Chi Hoe to conduct a two-hour choral conducting Masterclass for its students on 8 March 2013. Mak has bagged numerous prizes and awards in singing and choral conducting and continues to pursue an international freelance career in both areas.
Approximately 170 Music students in their second and third year – segregated into two groups – presented the songs titled "Lullaby" and "Malaysian Medley". The performance was conducted by a student and Music lecturer, before Mak joined the session.
According to one of the performers, they faced numerous challenges including blending all voices smoothly because each singer had a different tone of voice. Among the performers, there were also those who did not take vocal lessons and therefore, this performance proved to be a challenge to them.
"The pieces that we sing require various singing techniques. It is vital for students to sound exactly the same, in order for us to create the melody that our conductor seeks," said the performer.
First-year Music student Nicole Yap – who is majoring in Classical Piano – said that she was able to learn several essential vocal techniques and also the connection between the body, voice and music from this Masterclass.
"I really enjoy these types of extra classes organised by the School of Music because there is always something new to learn and someone new (apart from our lecturers) from whom we can learn. Also, learning and meeting a professional-level coach is always an exciting thing! And this was indeed a fantastic choir Masterclass (workshop) by Mak Chi Hoe!" said Nicole.
As for third-year student Joslyn Choy Woan-Ni, who is majoring in Contemporary Piano, she has learned that composers have different styles. For "Malaysian Medley", the composers were agreeable with giving the conductor free rein to be creative and weave different rhythms throughout the song.
Mak has provided the Music students with valuable insight and pointers in specific sections of the song, although his advice may not be applicable in other songs with similar sections.
"I find that this Masterclass has certainly increased my knowledge because there is a lot of practising and hands-on exercises. I was able to learn new Music techniques," enthused Joslyn.
In a nutshell, the participants found Mak to be a very talented and passionate conductor who is very willing to share his knowledge on Music, and knows how to clearly convey his message to the audience and what to expect from his performers.
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