A performing arts group from Denver, Colorado, is going viral on TikTok for their performance of an original composition in Malay.
Key details: The Colorado Children’s Chorale’s performance, which was reportedly held in April for its spring 2023 concert, only went viral this week after Malaysian choreographer Fairuz Fee Tauhid shared a video of the performance on TikTok on Sunday, where it has already amassed over 1.4 million views.
The beginning: Dr. Tracy Wong, an Ontario-based Malaysian choral conductor, music educator, composer, vocalist and pianist, shared in the description of the original video on YouTube that the Colorado Children’s Chorale’s artistic director, Emily Crile, commissioned her to write the song.
About the song: A nod to Malay folk songs, “Kira!” is a three-part treble choir that merges counting from one to eight in Malay and delivering sage advice through popular Malay proverbs like “sediakan payung sebelum hujan,” which is similar to the English expression “saving for a rainy day.”
Fairuz, who has over 247,000 followers on TikTok, revealed that he choreographed the performance with Wong during a workshop in February, as revealed in another TikTok video.
About Wong: A graduate of the University of Toronto with a doctorate in Musical Arts and a master’s degree in Music Performance (Choral Conducting), Wong is currently an assistant professor of Choral Studies at Western University in Canada. She also serves as the conductor of the Grand Philharmonic Youth Choir in Kitchener, Ontario.
Wong is also reportedly the first Malaysian composer to have two pieces published by Oxford University Press under its Songbird series.
Their reaction: After their performance went viral on TikTok, the Colorado Children’s Chorale thanked Wong and Fairuz on Facebook and Instagram.