Brenda took part in her first musical at the age of 6 where she had one line as a page in a community staging of Camelot – “the dragon is coming” – and she found true love in the creative arts. In her formation years, she sang purely for the joy of it as a chorister in school and church and briefly as a keyboardist for the community chapel. After leaving the corporate world where she specialised as a Brand Consultant, the road less travelled lead her to The Phil in 2009. Having found her music tribe she's stayed put ever since.
Brenda took on the mantle of Chairperson of The Philharmonic Society of Selangor in March 2019, in the Society's 61st year existence. “It's a privilege to lead a Society that's been powered by volunteers for 61 years now. That's testament to the foresight, wisdom, and sheer tenacity of the Chairpersons before me, and big-hearted members who have paved the road for the past six decades”.
“There is magic is a community choir – we are a sum of many colourful parts and each member is a cherished spoke in a vibrant musical wheel”.
By day, Brenda manages Nook Flowers at Bangsar South and this noted floral designer believes that singing to the blooms in her flower shop keeps them in a much better temperament than just talking to them.
He is an accountant by profession and conducts training in this sector as well.
Besides singing and music, he enjoys travelling and also likes to organize functions and events.
He believes that Choral Music is not one of life's frills but is something that goes to the very heart of our humanity, our sense of community and our souls.
As one who works with figures, here's his take on being with The Phil: “As an accountant, I count the numbers that make up the accounts. As a singer, I count the beats that each music note holds. So, let's start counting and singing. For those who wish to sing, you will always find a song!”
Erin has been with The Phil since 2008. She works in the legal organisation of a large multinational and specialises in communications, media and technology accounts. “There are some days when I'm so caught up with work and family that I don't have time to sing; I notice there'd be a marked difference in my frame of mind. I just love it whenever we sing the part in a past theme song that goes “It's amazing what is given when we share a song” that I immediately feel emotionally bonded and refreshed.”
Mr. Moy (as we affectionately calls him) is a teacher by profession specialising in Physics and Mathematics. He likes to create and reach out to more students, so he started writing books on Physics and later Additional Mathematics ever since he started teaching. He retired from teaching in 2011 as a principal at SMJK Tanah Putih Kuantan. After resting for 2 years, he joined an online learning company in Kuala Lumpur in 2014.
Around 2016, his colleague introduced him to the Phil's concerts and his interest in singing since young rekindled. He officially joined us on July 2018. The Phil gave him the opportunity to perform on stage during performances like ‘ Music & Laughter', ‘The Phil's 60th Anniversary Concert', ‘Singing In The Park – Taman Tugu' etc. These activities help make him more confident and at ease when singing. In particular, to sing with the mouth wide opened to produce more sound and the closing of words that end with ‘t' and ‘d'.
In his own words, "I am happy that I can continue to juggle the numbers ‘1, 2, 3, ...' as a maths writer; produce beautiful sounds with ‘1, 2, 3, ...' as in ‘do, re, mi, ...' and to count the figures in the account of the Phil as the new treasurer. Oh, what a wonderful world with ‘1, 2, 3, ...'!"
A member of the Phil since 1983, Wing Thim is disciplined in electronic engineering and holds an Advance Diploma in Entertainment from Adelaide Institute. TAFE Centre for Performance Arts, South Australia. Notably, he was the Head of Sound and Lighting at the Dewan Filharmonik Petronas (home of the Malaysian Philharmonic Orchestra) working on numerous international productions including 'My Fair Lady', 'The Sound Of Music', 'Annie', 'South Pacific', 'Peter Pan' and 'Oliver'. He was also the sound engineer for 'Bugis Street', and on the Production team of 'Phantom of the Opera' in Singapore.
Wing Thim has also consulted for the highly acclaimed 'Dances of the Dynasties' presented by the Shanghai Song & Dance Ensemble in January 2004 and served as Technical Director for 'Wild Zebra' in 2005, 'Peter Pan' in 2007, 'Mamma Mia' in 2008/2009, and 'Jersey Boys The Musical' in 2014. In 2005, he attended the Broadway Sound Masterclass at The Tribeca Performing Arts Centre, New York City and was a guest at Robert Edwin's masterclass 'From Bach to Rock' in Kentucky USA.
In 2014, he managed all technical aspects for the British Theatre Playhouse's 'Mousetrap', and 'Yes, Prime Minister'. In 2016, Wing Thim was accredited by the internationally renowned Association of British Theatre Technicians.
Loke May Ling joined The Phil in 2011. “I have bipolar disorder and found myself getting deeply depressed. I was also stressed with my responsibility in managing the Buddhist Maha Vihara Choir. It was a great blessing that my good friend Sim brought me to The Phil and since then I can feel how music has help me manage this mental illness. So now when I'm asked what my job is, my answer is — full time singing and part time helping The Phil. This is my happy ever after”.
Hon Koat has been with the Phil since 2016. He has an interest in listening to music and occasionally singing to a familiar tune that's playing on the radio. One fine day, he chanced upon an article of the Phil on the newspaper, and a few words captured his attention - non-auditioned choir, no musical experience needed, regardless of age, race, gender open to anyone as long he/she has an interest to sing and the love of arts! So the rest is history, with him performing first time ever, for four straight, sell-out shows on stage for the Phil's 2016 Music from Movies and Musicals 6 concert.
He works in the information technology field, and naturally, he had the opportunity to drive the rollout of the Phil's Website and implement the much needed Choir Member's management database digital platform.
In his own words, "Every time we come together to rehearse and sing, I felt really good and lift up my mood. The Phil has also provided a platform for me to lend my energy and voice for greater charitable causes in the community".
Khong Yuen (Yuanna) felt that her singing passion was lying dormant and was quite happy to find an outlet for it in The Phil. This effervescent individual is always dabbling in a host of pursuits including cooking, baking, fellowship and quick to lend her ear to those in need. “Lending my voice to The Phil and for charity is my favourite pursuit”.
Ginny joined The Phil in January 2011 after coming across a small written article in the papers calling for singers to join a non-auditioned choir.
Without any singing experience background except singing at karaoke parties, she finds that joining The Phil has given her great courage to stand on stage facing an audience. She was also part of The Phil's entourage for their first overseas trip to Perth, Australia in August 2011. She had also subsequently sang with The Phil on their 2nd overseas trip, on The Merdeka Friendship Tour to Chennai, India, on August 2015.
Apart from singing in the choir, she loves to experiment with her baking and cooking.
May was formerly a banker. Her last position was as a branch manager, but at the age of 40, she retired to focus on caring for her children. As they grew up, that gradually gave her more time to develop her interest in singing.
In 2012, she read about The Phil's membership recruitment in The Star newspapers and thought to herself: no audition required - perfect! Furthermore, the idea of performing on stage in a choir, with so many other singers, was enticing. No pressure! But she was to find out later that she needed to practice very hard for perfect timing, perfect counting, perfect pitch, perfect steps, perfect everything and memorise up to 5000 words in order to perform on stage. She even learned to read music scores!
She joined The Phil in 2012, but unfortunately, her sojourn lasted only three months as she could not fit in with the timing of the rehearsals.
Moving forward, in 2014, she re-joined The Phil again with more time, passion and commitment. She has met the most wonderful people here, who reached out, and saw her through her darkest moments when her husband passed away 6 months later. It was as though joining The Phil was her destiny as it provided the conducive therapy needed to ease her grief and loss.
In her own words, "I will always be grateful to The Phil for being there for me, and now it's time for me to give back."
Choo Cheng Lan joined the Phil in 2002. Even though her career is in Finance, music has always played an important role. Since her school days, she has participated in various community programmes. When she was overseas, she was constantly involved in various choirs. She also volunteered at various charitable organisations like the Red Cross, Cancer Society, etc. Through the Phil, she is proud to be part of an inclusive community that makes music accessible to people of all walks of life.
Judy has always been involved in singing activities in school choir from primary school days and later in church choir. Later with work and family commitment, it was singing in bathroom and together on family trips.
After her retirement from teaching and being a chef, she joined The Phil in 2016. It was her love for singing that prompted her to become a member, after watching the wonderful Phil's 2015 Christmas performance.
She was overwhelmed by how big the group was, but the focus and commitment of the members inspired her further. She has taken part in all the performance since joining and loved the participation and coming together to sing.
In 2019, she was not contented to be just an ordinary singing member but volunteered to serve in the committee. In her own words, "I just want to help where ever I was needed. I really want to help this caring committee to grow and realise its dream and continue to sing with joy."
Irene has been with The Phil since 2012. Her foray into music and singing started at a young age in school and church choir, and dancing. While her career path is in the construction sector, her passion has always been music. As a child, Irene benefited from public donation for a surgery; now she believes that through The Phil she's able to give back to the community.
After forty years working for the same accounting firm, Molly retired from her position as HR Manager in the year 2013. In her free time, she likes listening to all kinds of music more so country music and binge watch episodes of interesting series or shows.
In February 2017, her ex-colleague and close friend, Yen, introduced her to Phil. Game to try anything interesting, she signed up as a member after trying out. She performed on stage Heart & Soul in July 2017 and Music & Laughter in April 2018. Although the first performance was nerve wrecking, the friendliness and guidance from the more seasoned choristers put her mind at ease and thus, she overcame stage fright. The number of friends grew within a year and is still growing.
She has benefited a lot since joining Phil and the experience made her a more confident person. She learned to sing in unison with other parts of the choir of which she is in the challenging group Alto 2 and also to be able to sing with movements too.
Victoria Law, known by her Phil friends as Vickie, first joined the Phil in 1984 when she attended an audition for a charity show which was advertised through the newspapers. Subsequently, she auditioned and performed in other Phil-produced charity musicals like Hello Jerry and Guys & Dolls.
Her first passion is dance and second is singing, and they have led her to perform in many memorable shows. Some were corporate shows under Rhapsody & Rhythms, while others were TV shows and charity shows with Sayang Dancers under the Farah Sulaiman.
In 1992 she was diagnosed with Rheumatoid Arthritis (RA) that slowly affected her joints. RA is an autoimmune disease where the body's immune system – which normally protects our body's health by attacking foreign substances like bacteria and viruses – mistakenly attacks the joints. Sometimes joint deformities can occur. The disease affected her active lifestyle and felt that she could not perform anymore. As a result, she stopped being active with the Phil for awhile and concentrated on work and family.
But in 2009 she rejoined the Phil, attended The Phil's 50th Anniversary concert at Corus Hotel and realized how much she missed singing and performing in shows. The Phil's Community Choir helped her gain back confidence - and understood that even with RA, she's still able to give back to the community by performing in the charity shows. The music and singing were therapeutic in helping manage her sickness too. Since then she has performed in most of the major shows despite a few surgeries and challenges along the way. In the Phil's 60th Anniversary shows, she performed while sitting down as she could not stand for long.
Her family is also involved with the Phil. Her husband Jeffrey Ong, who is also a life member of The Phil, volunteers during the shows. Likewise, Luke and Lydia, her two wonderful children also support by volunteering or watching the shows.
In her own words" The Phil has given me such wonderful friendships since 1984 - I've gratefully maintained the old and new till today. They are like my second family, always giving love, compassion and empathy - such a wonderful support group! They are genuinely caring friends who look out for you when in need.
I always believe sometimes it is not what we do that is important but the reason we do it, so I shall continue to give my support to the community through The Phil and also another charity unit called Big Hearts as best as I can."
Emily Wong joined The Phil in 2013 after reading the orientation information from The Star. She sings in the church choir since she was a teenager until now. She retired from corporate life in 2012. She had participated in all the shows that The Phil had performed at KLPAC since 2013.
In her own words, "The work of memorising the songs, lyrics and dance movement was my challenge. On the plus side, this exercise has kept my brain cells active. The joy of preparing for our performance had helped me to bond better each year with the members. I come to realise The Phil family is a bunch of happy, singing people who love to take photographs and enjoy food. With this, how can I go wrong in joining The Phil!"
Swee Paik first got to know The Phil when she attended a Lassalian Gala dinner at Renaissance Kuala Lumpur Hotel in 2012 with her family. The Phil performers' energy on stage deeply impressed them. Her daughter quickly did some research about the Phil and joined the choir shortly. Swee Paik was later introduced into the choir by her daughter in 2014.
Without any music background, she soon realised that singing in a choir is not as simple as she used to enjoy. It was all tension and hesitation initially. However, all those worries were slowly overcomed by consistent practices and paying extra attention in class, as well as attending classes conducted by caring and helpful members. She first participated in the Phil's 2014 Music from Movies & Musicals 5 and ever since then has never missed any Phil concert performance.
In her own word, “Performing on stage can magically transform a person, and this is very true for me. Like many others, I enjoy the short moment of "glamour" on stage. In the process of getting ready to perform, I understand the importance of discipline and the value of team work. I totally enjoyed all my performances.
I am always proud that while enjoying a more interesting life, I can also play a small part contributing to the society as the proceeds of all our performances are donated to charitable organisations.
My life is enriched and I am a more confident person now. Thanks to The Phil Family!”
A furniture specialist by day and bathroom/car singer at other times, Danny began singing in high school choir, and subsequently as a young adult in church. His passion for music has been further nurtured in The Phil. Always ready to lend a hand, Danny believes in The Phil's philosophy of building a community in harmony and is grateful to be in this dynamic society.
Philip is a Civil Engineer who had been involved in the Construction industry since 1981. However, he has only sang in Church Choirs during Easters and Christmas and these events are all that can be managed during the halcyon building days. As soon as slower time beckons, with a bit of arm twisting from his daughter, he joined the Phil in 2017.
With little musical background to fall upon and no music knowledge to call on, his times in the Phil is one of unremitting fear of forgetting lyrics and being off pitch, followed by the terror of performing and leaping into the unknown week after weeks. What made it fun despite the roller coaster ride is the Phil's Community. Everyone is welcoming, from the communal note bashing sessions to SATB sectionals. It is great that all members are joined together by their love of singing and performing.
In his own words, "Being accepted as The Organisation's Auditor is a singular honour, and in a small way, for us to give back to the Phil for all the joy, music and friendships she had given."