The Intersection of Jazz and Pop is a music concert designed to give young up-and-coming musicians the opportunity to demonstrate their talent. It has been planned as part of the celebrations of the tercentenary of Saint John Baptist De La Salle, founder of the De La Salle Brothers (also known as the Institute of the Brothers of the Christian Schools), who founded St Xavier’s Institution (SXI) in 19th century colonial Penang. Intended as a Catholic rival to the protestant Penang Free School, SXI remains one of Penang’s most prestigious schools. 

Several groups are participating in the concert, including the St. Xavier’s Institution’s Marching Band, one of the oldest marching bands on the island. The band performs regularly in everything from school sports days to State Merdeka Parades, and even at international events such as the Asia Pacific Masters Game in 2018. For this afternoon’s concert they will play a number of pop songs.

The concert is also part of the Penang Jazz Society’s education and outreach project promoting jazz to schools through education and free concerts. Their own Youth Big Band of Penang, a group of primary school, high school and college students who share the passion of playing in large jazz ensembles, will also be on stage that afternoon, as will the Chung Ling Butterworth Wind Orchestra, another highly-regarded and very active school band. The Youth BBoP will play a mix of pop, Latin rock and swing favourites, such as Oya Coma Va and Splanky. Chung Ling Butterworth Wind Orchestra will play Adele’s Hello and some Chinese pop songs.

Varying the theme a little, two students from SXI will perform piano solos. 17 year old Charles Gunn Li Qi was the Grand Prize Winner of the 3rd Steinway Malaysia Youth Piano Competition and represented Malaysia at the 3rd Steinway Asia Pacific Regional Final Youth Piano Competition in 2016. Charles will play variations on the school melody, the Alma Mater’s Call whose origin was an early19th century Irish marching tune. The second student, Ong Yue Chuen, also 17 years old, is the SXI Marching Band’s former conductor, and is an experienced soloist who plays regularly at charity concerts. Yue Chuen will play Chopin.

The concert will take place in the Karpal Singh Hall, St Xavier’s Institution, Farquhar Street, at 3pm on Saturday 23rd March. There is no entry charge. For more information about this and other activities of the Penang Jazz Society, check their facebook page.