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Updated: Jul 31, 2023

A message from PPO’s Chairperson, Datin Seri Irene Yeap

My Dear Fellow Members of Penang Philharmonic,

What can I say about your performance on the afternoon of the 25th June 2023, at PenangPac, that is not already said? Your performance was simply phenomenal! You members never cease to amaze me.

PPO has grown from strength to strength in every genre that is opened to you, at this rate who knows, PPO may even head for international status, an ambitious thought though, but not entirely impossible. On behalf of the Board, I am delighted to offer our congratulations to all of you for pulling off this seriously outstanding performance! It is by far the best Concert for PPO with all three groups, all inhouse musicians and choristers performing together for the first time, with Mak Chi Hoe, Artistic Director of PPC; Tan Jin Yin, Artistic Director of PPCC; and Ng Choong Yen, Conductor of PPO at the respective helm. It is through this Trio’s initiative and hard work that a combined concert was mooted for the first time for the State Orchestra. PPO is now on a trajectory with its mounting successes year by year.

The state government should be proud of her voluntary Philharmonic, whose startling progress knows no bounds and her enthusiasm is infectious. Already there are many new members queueing to join PPO. I would like to add that there is so much talent in the State, music and performing arts are doing well. The software (artist/musician) is there but the hardware (concert venue) is difficult to find. Penangpac will see its doors shut at the end of this month, the iconic Dewan Sri Pinang will also close for much needed renovations indefinitely, the beautiful townhall is difficult to rent for musical performances for reasons unknown to many. But, Johor State has a new state of the Art concert hall, the Permaisuri Zarith Sofia Opera House. Surely the Penang State can do as well if not better, to have such a Hall after all Penang’s GDP is much higher than most of her sister State’s. Surely Penangnites deserve better than the many multipurpose halls no matter how big/beautiful dotting the Island! Alas, they are still multipurpose! We still have big hopes for such a hall with excellent acoustics to materialize in the government’s future plans for Penang. Penang, after all, is an International City and well known international cities have concert halls of repute if not beauty.

Board member Dr. Francis Tan opened the concert with his delivery of an eloquent speech re the honoree, ex-BOD, the late madam Lee Fee Khoon for her numerous generous contributions to Penang especially to classical music, which is not the norm for concert etiquette. However this time was the exception. The curtains opened to show well dressed choristers standing tightly together behind the orchestra on the small stage. It looks like performers outnumber the spectators. The hundred and thirty choristers and musicians performed straight through Faure’s Requiem without a hitch, ending with thunderous applause! The afternoon concert was a resounding success! Congratulations!

This Concert was the initiative of Mak Chi Hoe together with Tan Jin Yin and Ng Choong Yen. The Board would like to extend a special big Thank you to the three of them for their ambitious desire to perform such a difficult Concert and especially to the two Choral Directors who had faith in their choristers to sing in Latin, a no mean feat! Chi Hoe and Jin Yin were simply superb as soloists! We, the BOD, hope to see many more of this Orchestra/Choral standard of performance in the near future. Thank you.

The State should be proud of PPO’s achievements. Thank you


Irene Yeap


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