Drum Show

24 Festive Drum troupe of Foon Yew High School
performing at Tan Hiok Nee Heritage Walk recently
For the first time in the 24-year history of the 24 Festive Drums, national and international 24 Festive Drum troupes will be performing as part of the programme in the 9th Johor Baru Arts Festival. 

The 2nd International Invitation & National 24 Festive Drums Competition 2012 will bring together 7 international and 8 national drum troupes for a spectacular show in the Johor Baru Indoor Stadium on 15 September.  While the Malaysian troupes will be competing, the international troupes will present an exhibition show of their skills in this Johor-born art of drumming.

President of JB Tiong Hua Associaton, Lim Ik Kim [5th from Left] and Tan Chai Puan [5th from Right], one of
the founders of the 24 Festive Drums with Suzie Yap [3rd from Right], Festival Director of the JB Arts Fest,
and members of the JB Tiong Hua Association, at the official launch of the Drum show
At the official launch of the 2nd International Invitation & National 24 Festive Drums Competition on 13 August, Lim Ik Kim, president of the Johor Baru Tiong Hua Association, was proud to announce that this event is part of the association’s 90th anniversary celebration.

“In the first event held in 2010, fans came to Johor Baru from as far as mainland China and as far north as Kelantan and Penang,” said Tan Chai Puan who together with the late Tan Hooi Song founded the 24 Festive Drums in Johor Baru in 1988.  It was indeed a proud achievement when the 24 Festive Drums was listed as a national cultural heritage by the Unity, Culture, Arts and Heritage Ministry on 14 February 2009.  Since its introduction, this unique art of drumming has spread to Singapore, Taiwan, China, Thailand, Switzerland and the United States, with more than 300 troops worldwide now.

The M24D troupe performing the 24 Festive Drums
at half-time for NBA games, Oklahoma City in 2010
In 2008, Malaysian students in Oklahoma State University started the first 24 Festive Drums troupe in the United States.  It was a very proud experience for this M24D troupe who had the honour to perform at half-time for the NBA games in Oklahoma City in 2010.  The foreign troupes that will participate in the 2nd International Invitation include the M24D troupe from US, the University of Liverpool troupe from the United Kingdom, as well as troupes from China, Taiwan and Singapore.

Fans of this art of drumming will be thrilled by superior standards of performance by school drum troupes taking part in the competition segment of the event.  They can look forward to being wowed by troupes from Foon Yew High School Johor Baru, Foon Yew High School Kulai, Chung Hua High School Seremban, Jit Sin High School Penang, SMJK Yu Hua Kajang, SMJK San Min Perak and two troupes from East Malaysia.

This exciting event, held in the Johor Baru Indoor Stadium on 15 September, starts at 7.30pm.  Tickets at RM10 each are available from SMJKC Foon Yew, Foon Yew High School, Southern College and the Johor Baru Chinese Heritage Museum located at 42, Jalan Ibrahim, Johor Bahru, Tel: 607 – 2249 633, Fax: 607 – 2249 635 or email enquiries to: heritage_museumjb@jb-tionghua.org.my

A version of this article was published in The New Straits Times, Johor Streets on 21 August 2012

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