Austein wins Datin Julia Chong Book Prize 2019

Austein (centre) with the Datin Julia Chong Book Prize 2019, flanked by (from left) music lecturer Chang Yun Ping, Pek Lin (representative of Chong family), IPGBL director Jamiran Salam and IPGBL deputy director Awang Hepeni.

KUCHING, June 2: A final-year student at Batu Lintang Teacher’s Institute (IPGBL), Austein Harry Dward Lumpoh was bestowed with the Datin Julia Chong book prize recently (May 22) in recognition of his outstanding academic performance in music and his active participation in cultural performances at the institute.

According to a press release, Austein, who majors in History, received RM100 in cash and RM400 worth of music books.

The book prize was launched in 2010 by the daughters of Datin Julia Chong , a well-known music teacher, pianist and composer. The Chong family hopes that the prize, awarded annually to the best student in music at IPGBL, will help to continue Julia’s legacy of nurturing the love of music and the pursuit of excellence in performance.

Besides attaining a high score in his final year music elective course, Austein was a vocal soloist, dancer and actor in various stage performances at college, state and international levels.

These include appearing as soloist with the IPGBL choir at the state-level Women’s day celebrations in 2014, dancing at the Borneo Cultural festival in 2015, singing and dancing for the Rainforest Fringe Festival in 2017, and starring in two Kenyah musical dramas at IPGBL in 2017, 2018 and 2019.


Austein in his role as the headman of Long Moh in the Kenyah musical drama ‘Ilun Kuai’, April 2019 at IPGBL.

The latest performance in April 2019 called ‘Ilun Kuai’ (meaning ‘Orphaned Argus Pheasant’) featured an original musical drama based on Kenyah folklore, sung entirely in Kenyah and accompanied both Kenyah instruments (sape and jatung utang) and Western classical instruments (piano and cello). The songs were documented by Dr Chong Pek Lin, a former lecturer at Batu Lintang over 20 years of research in the Baram and Belaga districts. — DayakDaily