Made it into the Daily Express...

Whoa, I ended up in the paper. A bit misquoted (Sorry NYC!), but a lot of positive things in the article.

Of course, they mispelled my last name. Ironically, this is the same paper that my late grandfather Lee Swee Ching used to be the editor of, with the Overseas Chinese Daily News (sister publication to the Daily Express).

"Urban development and other government initiatives are drawing in more expatriates and tourists to the State, and therefore, have high tastes that need to be satiated. "Good music is one of them," said Kenneth Chai, an American citizen, whose parents are originally from Sabah, but who have migrated to the US.

Chai, being one of the students at MMTC said there is tremendous potential growth here. "There's growth everywhere in Malaysia…here, in particular, it's quite fertile."

Hello from Kota Kinabalu, Malaysia!

As promised (late as always), I'm writing to let everyone know I'm safe and sound in Kota Kinabalu, Malaysia, if you didn't already know. :)

So far, I'm enjoying classes at Malaysia Music Teacher's Training College, where I'm studying Suzuki Violin and some Early Childhood music education classes.   Yes, I already have a master's degree from Indiana University, but I'm taking classes here because their education mission intrigues me.   Plus, you can't beat the really nice weather here!  

The violin classes are important to me because as a conductor with a woodwind background, I need to learn and experience what string techniques and pedagogy there is out there to become more effective in getting what I want out of the string section, which is the core of any orchestra out there.    

While Suzuki method gets a bad reputation in a lot of the music education circles I've been in the U.S., I think I've taken enough of the coursework so far to understand that it may have been taught improperly over there, or perhaps applied improperly to incorrect target ages (i.e. older students) without applying additional pedagogy techniques and philosophies to adjust for the different mindsets and learning stages (thus, the Early Childhood Development classes come in very handy).    I'll write more as I discover more.

Anyway, I'm getting back into the website admin swing of things, and will be applying some much needed updates to this website.  I'm trying out Disqus comments, for example.  

Talk soon.  Back to practicing. :)


First Student Recital! 12/1/2012 @ 7pm

It's been a long time coming, but I've FINALLY managed to get around to starting my first student recital!  

It'll be at the Community Church of Douglaston, at the chapel in the second floor.   ADMISSION IS FREE for the audience!    Showtime is December 1st, 2012 at 7pm.   

Community Church of Douglaston is located at 39-50 Douglaston Parkway, Douglaston, NY, 11363

There's ample parking in the lot, and it's also accessible via LIRR.

Those students that are playing with piano accompaniment will be accompanied by the excellent Gloria Shih.

Flyer is downloadable here.

Performing as part of New York Chamber Players 10/26/2012 @ 8PM

I'll be playing 2nd Flute with the New York Chamber Players orchestra in a concert at Christ and St. Stephen's Church.   Concert date is 10/26/2012 @ 8pm.    Suggested donation is $20, $15 for students, and children under 12 go in free.    It's possible you mention my name "Kenneth Chia" as the 2nd flute player, you can get in for $5.  

Sounds like a good deal, yes?

The program is as follows:

F.Schubert - Symphony no.8 in e min . "Unfinished"

E.n.Koenig - Concertino for Cello and Orchestra in a min.

Giacomo Franci Conductor,Kalin Ivanov Cello

S.Saens - Concerto for Violin and Orchestra no.3 in b min. 1st mov.

Noemi Gasperini Violin

E.Elgar - Concerto for Cello and Orchestra in e min. 4th mov.

Chase Park Cello

F.Chopin - Concerto for Piano and Orchestra no.1 in e min. 1st mov.

Darya Koltunyuk Piano