The Fresco Harmonica musical group recently bagged five awards in the World Harmonica Festival that was held in
Comprising ten harmonica players, the ensemble emerged as champions in the Harmonica Group and Open categories, took first runner-up in Harmonica Duet, and clinched first and second runner-up in the Harmonica Trio category. Two of the group members are Music students Cleryn Wong Hui Yun and Sharene Tang Suat Ting from UCSI University (UCSI).
Edging out approximately 1,000 contestants from more than 30 countries like North Korea, France, Switzerland and Germany in the international competition, the group was recently featured in an exclusive press conference at UCSI on Nov 11 and was ecstatic that their hard work finally paid off.
To prepare for the festival, intense practice sessions – from practising in cold weather at Genting Highlands to burning the midnight oil – were held.
This enabled the young performers to be better prepared for the festival – a prestigious event that would no doubt promote Malaysia in the eyes of the world.
And according to its founders, UCSI alumni Aiden Soon and Evelyn Choong, the festival also provided the ideal platform to create greater awareness of the harmonica.
“Harmonica music wasn’t too well received before in Malaysia but it’s now increasing in popularity,” says Soon, who has taught the harmonica for more than ten years.
“I’m glad we’ve sparked more interest in the harmonica here and that we’re getting more requests to perform at events.”
Prior to the competition, the ensemble also organised a harmonica concert in early July this year themed, ‘Towards the Glorious Path’ as part of their efforts to raise RM85,000 to participate in the festival.
Approximately RM60,000 in total was raised from ticket sales at the group’s concert and other sponsorships.
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