Abdul Karim speaking at the Sarawak Harmony Musical Performance ‘Sejambang Budi Daripada Anak Seni’ at the DUN building. Photo: JaPen

KUCHING: The Sarawak Harmony Musical Performance ‘Sejambang Budi Daripada Anak Seni’ is a symbolic expression of gratitude to Head of State Tun Pehin Sri Abdul Taib Mahmud for his idea of establishing the Sarawak State Symphony Orchestra (SONS).

Tourism, Arts and Culture Minister Datuk Abdul Karim Rahman Hamzah, who spoke during the opening of the performance at the State Legislative Assembly (DUN) building here, said the idea to establish the orchestra came up in mid-1988 when Taib was still chief minister.

According to Abdul Karim, Taib’s dream of seeing Sarawak haing an orchestra and choir group composed of talented locals of various races was achieved when SONS was launched on March 30, 1989 at Dewan Suarah Kuching.

To date, SONS has expanded with three main components, namely SONS Classic, Pop Jazz Orchestra, and SONS Choir, which aim to present music disciplines from various genres to suit the tastes of listeners and viewers.

The SONS performance on Friday night was accompanied by 60 SONS classic pieces as well as five combo pieces led by conductor Victor Leong and Datuk Marcus Leong as a guest conductor, especially held in conjunction with the 84th birthday of the Head of State.

The performance was also a symbol of appreciation from organisers, the Sarawak Arts Council and the Ministry of Tourism, Arts and Culture through SONS-and a combination of old and new artists, who conducted performances in the form of music, dance, and literature especially from Sarawak artists.

Also present were, representative of the Head of State, DUN Speaker Datuk Amar Mohd Asfia Awang Nassar, State Secretary Datuk Amar Jaul Samion, Assistant Minister of Tourism, Arts and Culture Datuk Sebastian Ting, and other guests.