SERI ISKANDAR – Ahh, yet another blissful and wonderful two-day cultural performance! The Red Sonata Fiesta, organized by Universiti Teknologi Petronas’s Chinese Orchestra (UTPCO) in conjunction with UTP’s Student Services Support Department (SSSD), is an annual event, and this year it has the theme of “The Orchid’s Redolence”. On the 7th and 8th of July this year, seven categories were contested, namely National Chinese Orchestra Ensemble Competition, National Dance Competition, National Chinese Orchestra Competition, National Concert Band/Strings Competition, National Choir Competition and International Musical Instruments Solo Competition for Chinese Traditional and Western Classical Instruments. Due to overwhelming participation, different venues were used for both days, such as the UTP’s Chancellor Hall, Block B Multipurpose Hall, Undercroft and CeTAL Hall. In total, there were 4200 participants and 1500 spectators. The main objectives of this event are to promote the uniqueness of Chinese culture to the varsity community, to celebrate the importance of culture in itself and to enhance the interest of the public towards cultural and orchestral performances.

“The ticket sales for our concert night was great. The seats in Chancellor Hall were almost filled with participants, UTPians and also outsiders. Regarding the merchandise sales for “The Orchid’s Redolence”, we have customized our own T-shirts and I can say that the sales were also great as they sold out in a very short time,” said Tan Jia Meng, the Assistant Head of Public Relations Department of Red Sonata Fiesta 2017. This has been his second time joining the Red Sonata Fiesta.

As for the theme, the orchid flower was chosen as they are well-known for the many variations in structure and colours of their flowers, which represented participants from all walks of life, united together by music. Apart from having a pleasant scent, they also frequently grow in the wilderness and are not known to the world, just like those who are virtuous are frequently not known by others unless approached. The word “Redolence” represented a sentimental longing and affection for a period in the past with joyful memories. In light of organizing the 8th Red Sonata Fiesta, encouragement and the upholding of values which reflect on past mistakes are vital to inspire others.

A Red Sonata Fiesta exhibition was also conducted at Pocket D on the 4th, 5th and 6th of July 2017. “70s era Shanghai was famous for their fashion, lifestyle and songs. Women in that era usually wore traditional costumes such as the cheongsam. A lot of famous songs are still remembered by the youngsters until today,” was Tan’s brief explanation regarding their choice of Shanghai’s 70s era.

Now on to the final results! UTPCO made a strong return from last year and swept four outstanding awards in the event. The awards are as follows:


“We hope that Red Sonata Fiesta will continue to attract more participants in the coming years, including international participants. Last year we already broke the Malaysia Book of Record with the most participants in a Chinese orchestra event,” said Tan.

Do you wish to participate or sponsor Red Sonata Fiesta? Contact them via their Facebook page (, their official website ( or by emailing them at (

Stay tuned for Red Sonata Fiesta’s Chrysanthemum Theme in 2018!


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