A captivating concert on the hill

VISITORS thronged Penang Hill to check out the special concert ‘Music on the Hill – East Meets West’ at the Dataran, Penang Hill Upper Station, today.


The concert, which was part of the Penang Hill Festival, showcased a splendid mix of musical performances which wowed the crowd.

Organised by Penang Hill Corporation (PHC), the third edition of the Penang Hill Festival (PHF) started yesterday (Aug 5) and would be held until tomorrow (Aug 7).

It is aimed at promoting greater awareness of Penang Hill’s nature, history and cultural heritage.

The two-hour concert kicked off with a traditional percussion-based musical ensemble – gamelan – by Wak Long Music & Art Centre. Gamelan is considered an integral part of Indonesian culture.


Festival-goers were then entertained by the Milky Way Chinese Orchestra.


Musician Ray Rozells, accompanied by Tonal Alchemy, a critically acclaimed ensemble led by jazz piano virtuoso Wilson Quah, drummer Jon Scully and saxophonist Jonathan Yee and guest bassist Kenny Gabriel also impressed those present with their jazz performance.


The unique concert performances complemented the natural sounds of nature.


PHC general manager Datuk Cheok Lay Leng said various activities have been meticulously prepared for the three-day Penang Hill Festival.


“Among them are workshops, talks, guided tours and exhibitions.


“Today, we witness the best of our local talents.


“After two years of ‘silence’, our live music is whirring back to life.


“One of the Penang Hill Festival’s best highlights the ‘Music on the Hill – East Meets West’ is finally back!


“We hope our visitors will enjoy the amazing performances,” Cheok said in his speech during the concert.


Cheok said PHC has put in efforts to plan for the Penang Hill Festival since it became an integral part of its marketing calendar four years ago.


“The festival is like our ‘calling card’ to promote greater awareness about this magnificent hill and its invaluable history.


“The festival is back, featuring different levels of participation experiences, along with an array of carefully curated programmes and strong support from business partners, hill community, academicians, local talents and nature enthusiasts.


“We hope families will spend more time reconnecting with nature during the Penang Hill Festival this year,” Cheok added.


Also present were Chief Minister Chow Kon Yeow and Air Itam assemblyman Joseph Ng.


Chow said he enjoyed the ‘Music on the Hill – East Meets West’ concert.


“I am happy to see our local talents shine.


“It is my hope that the local creative industry will continue to flourish in the state.


“Let us shower more love and support to our local artistes,” he said.


Chow said the annual Penang Hill Festival has become one of the state’s iconic events.


“I am truly glad that the festival has returned this year after a two-year long hiatus due to the Covid-19 pandemic,” he said.


According to him, this year’s Penang Hill Festival is a historic and memorable one.


“This is because we are not only celebrating the hill but also its latest recognition as a Unesco Biosphere Reserve.


“The Penang Hill Festival will also spur Penang Hill to be a great example of environmental and heritage conservation site as well as a platform to educate the public on the history of Penang Hill.


“We hope that Penang Hill will provide a thrilling yet memorable experience for our visitors,” he said.

Story by Riadz Akmal
Pix by Adleena Rahayu Ahmad Radzi
Video by Darwina Mohd Daud