Humble idea raises RM22,149 for three charitable causes

Abdul Karim (fourth left) in a group photo with the performers, organisers and other guests.

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KUCHING, Dec 31: A band of friends with a noble notion rallied supporters and friends together to stage a charity musical concert called ‘He Ain’t Heavy, He’s My Brother’ recently at the Sarawak Club.

Through their efforts and networking, the humble idea which initially started with one performer and a modest target of fundraising only RM1,000 grew into an international effort with all eight performers performing pro bono and the organisers raising more money than they had imagined.

According to a press statement, the name of the concert itself was inspired by a song by the Hollies which teaches one to care for his own and to carry out benevolent acts not only as a duty but to take it up as pleasure.

Inspired by its meaning, the band of friends also raised funds for their ‘brothers’, namely: Sarawak AIDS Concern Society (SACS), Kuching Parkinson’s Society (KPS), and Society for Cancer Advocacy and Awareness Kuching (SCAN).

Led by Mike Lim as concert producer and Michael King as musical director, the organisers were able to raise a net sum of RM22,149 for the three said charities, surpassing their initial expectations.

The concert which has held on Nov 19 included performers from Nigeria, England, Singapore and Malaysia covering genres such as classical, jazz, country and western, saxophone, ‘sape’ and rock.

A section of the packed hall.

Over 200 individuals packed the hall to the rafters to enjoy the performances which lasted for more than two hours. The event was made possible with the support of ministry, corporate and individual sponsors including the Ministry of Tourism, Arts, Culture, Youth and Sports and its minister Datuk Abdul Karim Rahman Hamzah, Cahya Mata Sarawak Berhad, Sarawak Energy Berhad, Sacofa Sdn Bhd, Kenanga Investment Bank Berhad, Joshua Rentap, Kebajikan Dayang Fatimah Berhad, The Sarawak Club, and Sharpy Sound and Light.

Sarawak sape legend Matthew Ngau, bid welcome to the audience with his famous number ‘Lan E Tuyang’. This was followed by Michael King, a professional opera singer from Nigeria, singing Andrea Bocelli’s ‘Time to Say Goodbye’.

Father-son duo, Zaid Ahmad and Addin Rahman, followed thereafter with each playing the saxophone and violin, mesmerising the audience as jazz and blues music was filling the air. Concert host Mike Lim kept it interactive between the audience and performers, interviewing the various musical acts about their musical histories, accolades and musical instruments in between their performances.

Lim (left) introducing one of the performing groups to the audience.

The second half of the show included a performance by Peter Williams from the UK singing his self-composed songs including the ‘Bubblegum Song’. Sarawakian vocal talent Farhah followed with a few vocal numbers in Malay and English and kept the audience tapping their feet throughout her performance.

Well-known Singaporean hard rock band The Alif Putra Band then brought the house down with their heavy metal and rock-and-roll numbers, including a high-energy rendition of ‘Bohemian Rhapsody’ by legendary band Queen which had the audience singing their hearts out along with band.

The Sweet Children O’ Mine band comprising Zaid Zaini and his four children ranging in age from 14 to 4, dished out rousing rock and roll numbers and dazzled the audience with their upbeat music.

Finally, ending the show was country music vocalist and winner of several vocal competitions Alfonso Alphonsos, who gave his interpretation of the famous tune ‘Country Road’ which also got the audience singing along.

Lim (left) interviewing King.

During the finale, all the performers united on stage to deliver heartfelt performances of songs such as ‘We are the World’ and Josh Groban’s ‘You Raise Me Up’. They were rewarded for their efforts with a standing ovation by the audience.

This was a night all will treasure and will remember for a long time to come.

The encouraging reception has inspired the organisers to organise the second edition of the charity concert ‘He Ain’t Heavy, He’s my Brother Vol. 2’. It is scheduled for November 7, 2020 at The Sarawak Club. For more information on the concert and reservation of tickets, please contact Concert Supervisor Poh Guan Huat (019-817 8070). — DayakDaily