An evening of feel-good music with IPGKTAR’s Malaysian traditional orchestra
By Jude Toyat
The Tun Abdul Razak Teachers Training Institute (IPGKTAR) recently hosted the inaugural Malaysian Traditional Orchestra aimed at promoting knowledge and appreciation of Malaysian traditional music and to enhance musical talent among trainees towards becoming renowned professional musicians in future.
About 70 students were involved in the orchestral performance themed ‘Gemalai Citra Rentak Tradisi’ that showcased performances from teacher trainees from various local and international learning institutes including Peninsular Malaysia, Sabah, Sarawak and Indonesia.
The evening started with a traditional musical ensemble featuring Malaysia’s three major ethnic groups – the Malay, Chinese, and Indian – including drumming by the 24 Seasons as well as gurindam, gamelan and caklempong performances accompanied by several traditional dances.
It continued with a Sabahan performance including evergreen Sabahan song ‘Jambatan Tamparuli’ and music interludes from the ‘Land below the Wind’.
Following that was an enchanting performance by students from Universitas Tanjungpura, Pontianak, Kalimantan Barat, Indonesia filled with traditional songs and dances.
Last but not least, the evening ended with powerful performance Sarawakian music and dance including the Sape’, and medley music and dance from the Iban, Bidayuh, Melanau and Orang Ulu community. The students also did a rousing rendition of Andrewson Ngalai’s ‘Bekikis Bulu Betis’ that left the audience in awe.
The IPGKTAR Malaysian Traditional Orchestra team was established in April this year and is fully managed by students or teacher trainees at the institute under the guidance and advice from lecturer Abdul Latiff Poli.
It is led by Brandon Daby, a year 3 student majoring in music in IPGKTAR, who is also a renowned Sape’ player who won various awards for his involvement in music, including the most recent Sape’ Challenge organised by the Sarawak Cultural Village last month.
Brandon has performed in various local and international venues, including Taipei with Warisan Sarawak. He was named Mr Borneo Ethnic during the Borneo Hornbill Festival in 2013.
The Malaysian Traditional Orchestra was a great collaborative effort by teacher trainees at IPGKTAR to increase the prestige of traditional music heritage, while portraying the unity of various ethnic groups in Malaysia in line with this year’s National Day theme ‘Sehati Sejiwa’.
It is also the highlight for Seminar Penyelidikan Pendidikan Memartabatkan Bahasa Melayu (MBM) Peringkat Kebangsaan 2015 held at the learning institute from September 2 to 4.