IMus Alumni Homecoming – Onn San

“Think Big. Never Give Up. Follow Your Heart” — Onn San

This was the tagline that echoed throughout the recital hall a month ago when Malaysian composer Onn San came back for a masterclass at UCSI University.

Onn San addressing the 300+ students and attendees

San Weng Onn was a product of UCSI, from the Institute of Music under the Bachelor of Classical Music programme majoring in piano. It was an interesting session as he generously shared his personal life experiences. He mentioned that he developed interest in film scoring and also musical theater which brought him to pursue his Masters Degree in Musical Theater from the prestigious New York University, Tisch School of The Arts, and Graduate Musical Theater Writing Program.


During the master class, he presented an impressive film score, which is original music written specifically to accompany a film. In the session, he shared and presented his original works such as commercials for brands such as Maxis, Paranormal Zone and also Kit-Kat amongst many others.
One of his accomplishments was in the year 2012, where his first instrumental album was released: “EPOMANIA” – An Epic Soundtrack by Onn San. He wrote for films and television commercials and also introducing a very impressive musical which was showcased in New York City: Marrying Me.

Onn San (center) with IMus Director Prof. Dr. P’ng Tean Hwa flanked by fellow alumni and staff after the masterclass

Personally, San Weng Onn is a positive person and he released positive vibes to his audiences. He utilised his session by encouraging us throughout the master class. He emphasised that we should ‘think big’ and advised us ‘never to ever give up’. To me, that was an extremely powerful piece of advice from someone young and successful.
It was very impressive when he mentioned that despite the obstacles that he faced, especially during his period of study in New York City, he still worked very hard to achieve the end picture in mind. The whole master class session was a refreshing session to me. It was indeed an honour to be part of the audience!

Click HERE to view a video of our student Nurul Aina giving new breath on If Only from Onn San’s first musical, Green Tea. 


This article was written by Inez Tajol Asanan, IMus scholar and 1st year student of the Bachelor of Classical Music program. 


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