Tag Archive | musical performances

Australia’s Got Talent 2012 Winner Andrew de Silva in Negombo

It’s not every day that you get a chance to see a winner of Australia’s Got Talent perform and sing right before your eyes. My friend Neil influenced me into watching different reality shows on Youtube. I always end up in awe of the performances, sometimes even teary-eyed. But it never crossed my mind to be able to see a winner perform live.

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We were staying at Jetwing Negombo hotel where Andrew de Silva had a concert on 4 October. The hotel left a concert leaflet in my room but I was too occupied to even notice. It was only at dinner time that I learned about the concert when my colleagues talked about watching. Our group, being gatecrashers, just stayed at the corner but apparently the music was just too nice we can’t help but dance. Andrew then called on us to dance with him down the stage and some of the guests joined in. The gatecrashers ended up starting a party like it’s nobody’s business! Andrew posted the video of us on his Facebook.

Australia's Got Talent 2012 Winner

After I’m back in my room, I immediately Googled Andrew and watched his performances in Australia’s Got Talent. His song during the semi-final round was so sentimental and meaningful, I can’t help but cry. And he composed it himself! His story is also one that inspires people to appreciate life and to keep going no matter what the challenges are.

At a young age, he was already living his dream as a member of the popular Aussie music group, CDB. He was then diagnosed with cancer which forced him to leave the group. He also suffers from stuttering. But despite these odds, he never gave up on life. His family is his inspiration and driving force. Andrew is Australian but his roots are Sri Lankan. Andrew and his family stayed at the hotel as well so we got to bump into them a lot the next day. His daughters are so amiable!

Gita Meit

Photo by Mary Antonette Abello

The evening of July 2 could just be an ordinary, cold, rainy, lazy Saturday for most Bangkokians, but not at Tim Johnson’s place.

To celebrate his birthday, the musical director and pianist Tim Johnson invited his friends, students and other music enthusiasts for a charity evening of musical performances and wine tasting. The event dubbed Music, Wine and Friendship for Burma was inspired by the Burmese words “gita” means music and “meit” means friendship.

The proceeds from the wine and beverages will go to the Gitameit Music Center, a non-profit music school in Yangon founded by Prof. Kit Young, an American and M.D. U Moe Naing, a Burmese (more info are available at www.gitameit.org). Aside from the sales generated from the wine and beverages, they also welcomed donations of any kind such as music scores, DVDs and musical instruments.

It was my first time to meet Tim Johnson so I was very excited. Who wouldn’t be thrilled to meet a musical guru who has worked with Broadway producer and director Larry Alford, stars Seth Riggs and Roger Love, award winning choreographer Anita Mann and famous celebrities like Janet Jackson and Paula Abdul?

The moment I stepped into Tim Johnson’s house, I could feel the soul of art from every nook and cranny of his home. From the colored glass windows, lighted candles spread across the entire room, photos and paintings hanged on the wall and simple but elegant furniture, there were so much to marvel at for a creative soul.

There were already a lot of guests when I, Neil and Kuya Boy, a Filipino freelance photographer and English teacher which we happened to bump into at the gate, arrived. My timid self was a bit reserved until Tim Johnson came to greet us. His warmth and hospitality and the friendly guests made me feel more relaxed, ready to have a blast.

Shortly after a sumptuous dinner, the musical performances started. A riveting melody filled the air as Tim Johnson played the piano whilst the angelic voices of the performers swept us away. The beautiful Ms. Kristen Rossi and Alex sang “Serious from the musical “Legally Blonde”. The Head of the Voice Department of Mahidol University, Dr. Colleen, sang “The Girl in 14G”, “Taylor the Latte Boy” and “Alto’s Lament” leaving us in total awe. Students from Mahidol University – College of Music also performed. Among the songs they sang were “I’m Still hurting” from the musical “The Last Five Years”, “Cabaret” and “I’m Alive” from the musical “Next to Normal”.

It was indeed a night to remember. I was reminded of my childhood dream of learning to play the piano. We’ve also met a lot of wonderful new friends. On top of that, I have learned to appreciate the art of musical performance more than ever. And oh, the Italian red wine was delizioso!