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Musica Felice choral concert fundraiser for arts education

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Performance of the Musica Felice charity concerts in Phnom Penh earlier this year. SUPPLIED

Musica Felice choral concert fundraiser for arts education

A charity concert organised by choir group Musica Felice will be held on the evening of October 9 at Sofitel 4:30 pm to raise funds to support two Cambodian art schools – Princess Buppha Devi Dance School and Yamada School of Art.

Miwako Fujiwara – a Japanese pianist and conductor and producer of Musica Felice – said the upcoming concert will have a group of 27 artists, six of them Cambodian, both professionals and non-professionals from around the world.

“Although we have different skills and backgrounds, we have one thing in common: a passion for classical music.

“More importantly, we have solo performances by Cambodian artists, such as a dance performance by the Princess Buppha Devi Dance School singing Champa Battambang by Sin Sisamouth. There will also be a joint performance by two young Cambodian artists – Muth Socheat and Kim Johan – with Korean artist Lee Jaehyoung,” she said.

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One ticket costs $25 for special seating for both adults and children. Regular seating for adults is $12 and $5 for children under 12-years-old. Cambodian student tickets are $3 and entry is free of charge for children under 3.

Miwako noted that the Musica Felice charity concerts were first established in 2017 with the aim of sharing classical music with the community and especially to give a creative outlet to a group of Cambodian artists who have skills or a passion for art, but are not able to support their families through it.

She said she is always interested in finding ways to help Cambodian arts organisations with their bottom line through ticket sales to Musica Felice’s choral concerts and the upcoming October show will be the group’s 10th charity event.

Miwako has been working and living in Phnom Penh for 10 years with her Japanese husband, who has been a UN official working for the Extraordinary Chambers in the Courts of Cambodia (ECCC), commonly known as the Khmer Rouge tribunal. She created Musica Felice Choir in 2017 and also started the first charity concert.

She said the proceeds from ticket sales have been used to support the arts community in Cambodia in various ways, including sponsoring young classical artists and talented musicians who could not afford to pay for school fees and by supporting schools or organisations working on teaching art to disadvantaged children.

In 2019, Musica Felice donated the proceeds to the Happy Chandara Vocational Training Centre and the Phum Pleng Music School.

In 2021, the group helped out NKFC Nginn Karet Conservatoire in Siem Reap and Phare Ponleu Selpak (PPS) in Battambang province.

“I hope to have 1,000 people attend this 10th charity concert. In the future, I also intend to organise events in front of Angkor Wat or one of the other temples in Siem Reap to contribute to arts fundraising and to attract tourists to visit the historical site and see the wonders of Cambodia,” she said.

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