By Kuah Guan Oo
Pic by Marina Ismail
SERDANG, 10 Dec (UPM) – Violin maestro Dr Joanne Yeoh of Universiti Putra Malaysia (UPM) has released a new album of 10 specially-composed songs to treat her fans and followers here today.
The talented musician who is the Head of the Music Department of the Faculty of Human Ecology of UPM, launched her new album called “After A Dream” at a media conference at the UPM Gallery, here.
The album, her second, is a collaboration with renowned musician-composer Daniel Veerapen and the repertoire of 10 songs allows her to showcase her faultless intonation, improvisation skills and rhythmic confidence.
The songs, some of which are medleys, are Simple Gifts, Miserlou, Dixie’s Land, Everytime/Pray, Greensleeves, Khosn Kale Mazel Tov – Hava Nagila, Tango, After a Dream, Danny Boy and Goin’ Home.
She had produced her first album Pulse Metropolis eight years ago.
Dr Joanne Yeoh, who had served as a lecturer at the Music Department in 2000 before being promoted to become its head last year, said she chose to launch the album on UPM grounds because she is proud to be a full-time staff of the university.
“The environment here is also very conducive because we are given the liberty to work,” she said, adding that she chose those 10 songs for her album because they are something that people can relate to.
Two of the numbers, she said, are also her favourite.
The Kuala Lumpur-born violin virtuoso had studied at SM Subang Jaya before earning her 1st class honours degree in music from Middlesex University in 1998. The following year, she obtained her Masters in music performance (specialising in violin) from the University of Leeds.
She applied and joined to teach at UPM in 2000 and in 2009, she completed her PhD with Heriot Watt University, focusing on music and consumer behaviour.
But it was the stage performances at home and abroad that she is now known by her fans for her talent. Among them were her performances with Hong Kong superstars Jacky Cheung and Alan Tam, and Taiwanese heart-throb David Tao.
Dr Joanne Yeoh, who started playing piano at the age of 4 before starting on violin at 8, said she could not imagine her life without the violin.
“I enjoy, I love it and I practise it!” she said at the media conference.
Music and the violin has made her life like a dream, she said of her performances in so many different countries and in different parts of the world.
She has received many accolades, the latest being the National Academic Award 2012 for the Arts and Creativity category. She has also been included in Marquis’ Who’s Who in the world 2012 &2013 edition.
Asked about her music studies, she said that during her time, music students like her had go overseas to further their studies. But because many Malaysian musicians had returned to teach, there are now many Malaysian institutions like UPM, offering music degree courses.
“The students can get the same type of musical training and qualifications as overseas,” she added.
The Department of Music of UPM which was established in 1995 has 10 lecturers including foreign lecturers with more than 70 students from freshmen to final-year.
Those interested in purchasing Dr Joanne Yeoh’s new album “After A Dream” can buy it online at www.joanneyeoh.com.my.
The price is RM50 per album or RM5 per song. – UPM
43400 UPM Serdang
Selangor Darul Ehsan