Written by: Amal Hamizah and Cheng Joan
Edited by: Wen Qi
As the COVID-19 infection has become more and more severe, Sunway University and College have been taking protective measures to close the entire campus until the Restricted Movement Order (RMO) is lifted to minimize the spread of COVID-19 infection. As a result, all clubs and societies events in Sunway campus have been canceled or postponed until further notice. Thus, this resulted in some clubs and societies in Sunway campus making some suitable changes to their events. So what happened to those club events? Fortunately, an insight of the initial plans for the Sunway Ensemble Re:kindle 2.0 is provided by Sunway University Ensemble (SUE)! In this article, they explained how RMO has affected their club, events and how they handle such problems.
Initially, the organizing team had made the decision to extend their area of collaboration to children this year, as they mentioned that the ensemble’s motto had always and will be about encouraging collaboration. Therefore, this year’s concert was childhood-themed and was titled “Re:Kindle”. They hoped that this will remind people that it is okay to reminisce about our younger selves and our childhood even when we are at the transitional phase into adulthood.
In the interview, the organizing team also shared some exciting news about the songs that they were going to perform. They planned to perform songs that resonate with people from different generations (such as from your dad to your “adik”! (which means smaller brother)) for the concert. They explained that they were going to play songs such as “Dancing Queen” by ABBA and “Sound of Music” for the older audiences. In addition to those, they also prepared Disney film music such as Mulan and Frozen to target the younger audience and Disney fans across generations. In cooperation with their motto and theme, they were going to join forces with some of the talented vocalists and dancers from Sunway and collaborate with the children from Trinity Children’s Home in the hope to light up the world during the time like now.
They had also mentioned some of the challenges that they have faced while preparing for the concert. In the beginning, they were concerned about the funding for the concert. Thankfully, they were able to secure financial support from the Sunway Group! They mentioned that this allowed them to proceed with the concert plan with much more security and assurance. Sadly, there is still another issue in their way. The issue is that it is still difficult for them to obtain new clothes for the orphanage children who were going to perform at the concert. This is because not many were willing to sponsor the concert so they mentioned that the postponement of the concert might be a good time for the organizing team to come up with a suitable solution regarding that matter.
Then, they also shared some insider news about their ticket sales! Initially, they were aiming to have an 800-seat full house concert and in just 3 weeks after the event launched, they sold almost 50% of the concert tickets (WOW!!).
However, sadly even after those preparations, the event has to be postponed due to, as you all know, the COVID-19 situation (or the RMO). It has become clear to Sunway Ensemble that their event has to be postponed because the covid situation has worsened drastically. They had to prioritise the public and SUE community’s health and safety. As the event was canceled, they had to refund their tickets.
Even after the event cancellation, they did not shift their focus entirely on this event. Instead, they unleashed their creativity and looked for other possibilities to allow SUE musicians to come together and still perform. The team couldn’t have live practice sessions together, but the committee got creative and they started a series of online projects for their love of music. They posted their videos of practicing music together on Facebook, and so far they had released two video projects which are “I Dreamed a Dream” and “Super Mario Medley” .
They were also collaborating with people beyond the Sunway community for this new project. The team used this shortcoming as an opportunity for the committees and members to share their knowledge and strengths among the SUE community. For instance, they explained that they had sharing sessions or workshops that empower their members to talk about things that they are good at, such as arranging music, video editing or designing. They thought this could be an opportunity for a mutual learning experience for the SUE community.
Their advice or words of encouragement for people or clubs who had to experience the cancellation issues is to be open, to adapt and accept new possibilities of doing things. Anticipate what will come next and make necessary preparation for it. Above all these, allow your team and yourself to have enough rest for the job well done in handling this unfortunate situation.