Flashmobs are quite the in-thing recently, with a crowd suddenly breaking into a dance or a random performance at a public place. But, not everyday do we get to witness an orchestra flashmob with musicians on their instruments in casual attire performing orchestral arrangements of patriotic tunes! This was exactly what happened at the open concourse of Publika, Solaris Dutamas on 15 September 2013.
3 of our current students who are members of the Malaysian Philharmonic Youth Orchestra were part of this flashmob. Tan Wei Harn (flute), Loo Mei Hui and Joey Young (violins). We managed to catch up with Joey Young, a 2nd-year student in the BMus (Hons) Contemporary Music program, majoring in violin. She shares with us her experiences participating in this event.
“It was a great experience taking part in this event. I have learned many things and gained new insights in preparation for this flashmob. Prior to the event, rehearsals were stringent and kept me alert. I had to be sure of my part and come for rehearsals fully prepared. With a fully prepared orchestra, we can use the time to work on ensemble work and the choreography of the flashmob without wasting any time.
Being spontaneous in a flashmob also helps with the element of surprise. Orchestras are generally perceived as monotonous in terms of dress code (we wear classic black most times), so this was definitely a new experience for me and for also our audience. We were in casual wear (re: plainclothes) because we had to blend in with the shoppers before our performance and join in with the performance spontaneously.”
Being a student at UCSIU for the past 2 years, Joey has enhanced her performing skills from various classes she has enrolled, such as Modern Band and Aural Skills. “I learn to be a more sensitive player when playing in ensembles. Classes like my major instrument lessons and Aural Skills also helped me in other aspects of my playing such as technicality, and also creates awareness of the music that I am playing.”
Joey continues to share about being a full-time student and a performer, “I had to set aside time for my practices and my assignments in between the rehearsal time for this event and the event itself. As the performance date drew closer, the rehearsals are usually from 10am to 5pm. We are all usually tired out after the rehearsals but we are always satisfied and happy to be playing good music.”
“This experience has taught me to be a better, more disciplined musician” – Joey Young
This flashmob was to celebrate Merdeka Day and Malaysia Day with the public, organized by Petronas. The Malaysian Youth Philharmonic Orchestra (MPYO) was invited to be a part of this event. They performed well-known patriotic songs and this year’s Merdeka theme song, “Tanah Air” composed by Audi Mok, which was released by Petronas.