UCSI University’s music students raise RM10,000 for Rohingya refugees
Maxy Chan knows how to move audiences. And performing in Seoul and Taipei, the talented pianist is now moving her audience towards a new cause: charity.
Seeking to raise funds for Rohingya refugees in Bangladesh, Maxy and 90 of her peers from UCSI University’s Institute of Music conjured a musical tour de force during their sell-out charity concert that paid tribute to some of the most famous tunes in film animation.
Organised by UCSI’s Institute of Music Student Association, the concert raised a grand total of RM10,000. RM6,080 came from ticket sales while a further RM3,920 was raised in donations that surged as the concert drew to a close. All proceeds have been channeled to Unicef.
Themed The Sound of Kindness for Every Child, the concert’s repertoire featured 10 timeless soundtracks from animated movies like Remember Me from Coco and the timeless One Summer’s Day from Spirited Away.
Other songs from Frozen, Moana, Tangled, How to Train your Dragon, My Neighbour Totoro, Pocahontas and The Lion King were also played before Maxy closed out the concert with a medley from La La Land.
Maxy, a gold medal winner in the 2013 and 2014 Asia Music Competitions, also gave the audience a treat by dedicating a rendition of Keith Jarrett's Köln Concert Part IIc to Ismat – a 15-year-old refugee – and other victims of violence and sexual assault.
“I feel extremely happy and fulfilled because many who were involved in this concert – committees, crews, performers, audience, and donors – expressed their delight in being able to contribute to the cause,” expressed Maxy, who aspires to be an acclaimed pianist.
“If we put things in perspective, we are so fortunate compared to the refugees who are stranded in foreign nations. They face constant uncertainty and their children face a daily uphill battle when it comes to education and life chances.”
Maxy added that the collective desire to ease the plight of refugee children influenced the song selection of the concert. The shared commitment also saw the team practising ceaselessly to put on a show.
Interestingly, Maxy first donated to Unicef five years ago to support victims of Typhoon Haiyan in the Philippines. She was armed with a burning desire to contribute to those in need ever since and she raised RM420 for the needy through her first piano solo fundraising recital last year.
“Tonight’s concert is a much bigger improvement!” she continued. “It shows us what we can do as a team and I’m sure the younger students took note of the high attention to detail one must commit to when it comes to organising events.”
Lauding the music students for their effort, UCSI Institute of Music director Professor Dr P’ng Tean Hwa said that the charity concert was a microcosm of what the Institute was all about.
Sharing the joy of music, he opined, was the responsibility of every musician. And doing so to champion a noble cause was a big bonus.
“At UCSI, we encourage our students to impact society with their talents,” he said. “I’m very proud that so many music students have come together to highlight the plight of refugees. The Institute has a long history of reaching out to society and I’m delighted that our students have continued this tradition.”
UCSI’s Institute of Music is ranked as Malaysia’s best music school in the QS World University Rankings by Subject 2018 when it made the top 100 in the field of performing arts. Many of its alumni like Dr Joanne Yeoh, Dennis Lau and Onn San, among others, have gone on to chart great careers.