Article: Music in Historic Melaka: The 3rd EM Festival at Melaka, Malaysia

Music in Historic Melaka: The 3rd EM Festival at Melaka, Malaysia

The streets of Melaka, Malaysia were buzzing with the activity on April 3 to 6 2023 as music students participate in the 3rdEM Festival. Headed by Lily Chiam, Director of Expression Music Academy Brunei Darussalam, this was the third year that the academy has organised the musical boot camp designed, as Lily described, to “foster an engaging platform through building friendships and to enhance music learning to another level.

The EM Festival included workshops on stage presence, performance techniques, and practices that could further improve music skills and showmanship. This year’s festival was joined by renowned maestros from China, Singapore and Malaysia.

The Piano Masterclass was held by the Steinway Artist, Zhang Chi; together with the Founding President of Malaysia Piano Teachers Association (MPTA), Ian Goh Bin Wei. The Vocal Masterclass was directed by Mezzo-Soprano opera and musical theatre singer, Sun Jia Yao. The Drums Masterclass was led by the spirited Arthur Kam, winner of the Undiscovered Drummer Contest in New York.

Sun Jia Yao Vocal Master Class (left) Arthur Kam Drums Masterclass (right)

Mrs Lim, the founder of Mrs Lim Studio Malaysia, held a highly engaging Music Theory class with fun teaching techniques. Leading the Violin Masterclass was violinist Lim Jae Sern, Concert Master of the Malaysian Philharmonic Orchestra (MPO).

Mrs. Lim's Theory class (left) Lim Jaee Sern violin masterclass (right)

The festival was also joined by internationally acclaimed Singaporean violinist Min Lee together with her mother and mentor, Annie Lee. Both were also directors of Wolfgang Violin Studio. The studio also held a concert on the third day of festival. Named “Genius: Mozart & More”, the concert highlighted music composed by prodigy composers and showcased young maestros from Wolfgang Violin Studio Singapore and Expression Music Academy Brunei.

Violinists from Singapore and Expression Accedemy Brunei

The EM Festival were held in multiple venues in Melaka, such as The Baba House, Puri Hotel, River Cruise Hotel, and Zheng He Library Hall that served as a concert hall. At the end of every highly educational and engaging music day, the music students got to enjoy the charms of Melaka’s history, culture, and cuisine.

Overall, music festivals such as the EM Festival was a great way for young musicians to enjoy live music by their peers, discover and connect with renowned maestros, and have fun with new friends in a new and lively environment.

3rd EM Festival Gala night (1)

Special thanks to Kok Kee Boon, venue coordinator for Malaysia, and the wonderful staff of Baba House, Puri Hotel, iNote Academy, Zheng He Library and River Cruise Hotel.

3rd EM Festival Gala night (2)

EM fest sightseeing

EM fest sightseeing St. Paul Church



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