SIX2EIGHT – THEN2NOW!

What is it?  SIX2EIGHT – THEN2NOW! is two sets of well known songs arranged and sung in the Rockappella style. THEN takes a retrospective look back through the twelve year catalogue of songs that the group has arranged and performed on previous outings. In this, some previous members of the group (Tunku Ivy Winter, Edna Tan) have been coaxed out of singing retirement to come back together on the stage. NOW showcases the newer repertoire and introduces the younger blood of a new generation of singers. All songs have been choreographed for the stage by Edna Tan.

Who or what is SIX2EIGHT? - SIX2EIGHT is a vocal harmony group of very talented Malaysians (and one occasional mat salleh) who work by day in various professions but who come together by night for the simple love of singing. Based in Kuala Lumpur, the group arranges and sings popular songs in the a capella style (ie voices only; no accompaniment of musical instruments or backing tapes). Since their formation in 1994 as Bubur Chacha and subsequent evolution into SIX2EIGHT, they remain one of the foremost groups in Malaysia performing this style of music (see below for biodata).

What is Rockappella? - It’s accapella singing with a kick. Think of Manhattan Transfer with a vocalised boom box and we’re getting close. We take songs that either have already been given the accapella treatment by other exponents of the style, or we pick songs that we like and rework them with voices. Often one voice will take the lead vocal whilst the others are arranged to create the backing for the song.   

Is is suitable for children? - Well, it’s not unsuitable, but maybe those below the age of ten might not get why we do what we do. At a previous outing where we did accapella arrangements of songs from “Grease – The Musical”, one guest said that he enjoyed the show but wondered why we didn’t use backing music…. The point of doing a song accapella is to try and give a different dimension to the song as originally written. Taking the song away from its instruments and deconstructing it for voices to see if it gains something in the process. This might mean that folks like the young who don’t have a lengthy music background of listening to songs might not get it. On the other hand, we’re doing voice only versions of songs like the Black Eyed Peas “Let’s Get It Started” and Avril Lavigne’s “Complicated” so we are covering a wide range of musical styles. Additionally, outside of one self- penned comedy song about the effects of taking fake Viagra, the show is pretty wholesome.  

How to get to KLPac?

What kind of songs will SIX2EIGHT be performing? Our usual eclectic range, and mostly uptempo songs. THEN will include perennial favourites such as “Stand By Me”, “Stupid Cupid” and “In The Mood” whilst NOW will, among others, showcase our arrangements of “Twist and Shout”, “Sway”, “Warisan” and “Pang Yau”. The full listing is:

SIX2EIGHT THEN
Singers: Anne, Marina, Ivy, Edna, Peter, Azneal, Zelda, Brian 

  • Let’s Twist Again                                           

  • Stand By Me

  • Stupid Cupid

  • Massachusetts

  • Quizas Quizas Botak  

  • Kokomo

  • Quando Quando Quando

  • Mr Bassman

  • The Fake Viagra Blues

  • Only You (Flying Pickets)

  • In The Mood

  • Blue Suede Shoes

  • YMCA

SIX2EIGHT NOW
Singers: everyone

  • Let’s Get It Started

  • Twist and Shout

  • More Than Love

  • Every Breath You Take

  • River of Dreams

  • Fire

  • Singapore

  • Complicated

  • Sway

  • It’s Now Or Never

  • Warisan

  • Pang Yao

  • Speedy Gonzales

The singers

Tunku Ivy Winter
My name is Tunku Ivy Muhsinah bt Tunku Daud but  now that  I’m married to a Brit  I am also known as Tunku Ivy Winter.  I was born in Negeri Sembilan and educated in England, Malaysia and Australia.  I have always been interested in music, singing in particular, and have sung in school concerts ever since I was 7 years old!  I am a member of the Philharmonic Society of Selangor, Cantus Musicus and was a member of the Baroque Choristers.  I ran a ladies choir called “The Hollies and Ivy”.  I was a member of Six2Eight for about 10 years.
   

Edna Tan
Over the years Edna has performed in many productions of the Philharmonic Society of Selangor as a singer, dancer, and tapdancer, including “Joseph and the Technicolor Dreamcoat”, “Rhapsody ‘N’ Rhythm”, “Hello Jerry” and “In The Mood”. Other outings include standby performer for “Nunsense” in September 2001 and the domineering Domina in Sondheim’s “A Funny Thing Happened on the Way to the Forum” in June 2002. Edna has also turned her hand to production, having produced the acclaimed “Yesterday”, a revue of song and dance performances from the 1960’s in 1993. In addition to having sung her tradmark “New York New York” and “My Way” at innumerable corporate and social functions, Edna has also appeared on television in “Each Other” and “Kopitiam” and took a lead role in RTM’s Christmas Special aired in December 2004. 

A founder member of SIX2EIGHT, Edna has come out of singing retirement to take part in THEN2NOW, though she still indulges her great passion for stage movement as choreographer for the group. Edna has also choreographed line dances, and performed demonstration and advanced level line dances with various groups before audiences across KL since 2002. Edna suffered a broken ankle in May 2003, but notwithstanding this she recovered sufficiently to compete in the Malaysian Line Dance Open Championship 2003 in September where she was crowned Champion in the Veteran’s Category. She later went on to compete in the United World Line Dancing Championship for Asia Pacific Diamond category in November 2004 where she was also crowned Champion.

Peter Wong
By day a Financial Controller with a factory in Nilai, by night a vocal wizard! Peter first found his love for singing in Form 6 and has not stopped since. A member of SIX2EIGHT since December 1999, Peter is a versatile singer in English, Malay, Cantonese and Mandarin languages and a regular participant in singing contests throughout the Klang Valley. Indeed, there are now over 80 trophies and medals proudly displayed at Peter’s home. These include 1st prize in The Phil's Songfest Contemporary Solo 2004, 1st Prize in YMCA Christian Music Talentime, 1st Prize in Bakat Calvary, 1st Prize in Bakat Cochrane School even 1st Prize in a Malay Song Competition and a 2nd Prize in Malay Hari Raya Song Contest

Besides his Calvary Church Choir, Worship Team, Yearly Singing Christmas Tree and Easter Productions, he has sung with The Baroque Choristers under Yap Kah Ming, TAPP company under Edna Tan and The Selangor Philharmonic Choir, with which he is regularly called upon to perform solo pieces. He was a weekly performer at the Selangor Coast Club, Klang for a number of years and remains the singer of choice by special invitation for weddings, dinner shows and other social gatherings. 

Azneal Azam
'Neal' has been an active performing member of SIX2EIGHT for 6 years now, mostly singing basslines but multi-toning with leads and vocal effects. Besides his SIX2EIGHT involvement, Neal is in demand as a backing vocalist in the Malaysian music industry. In this, he has performed with a ranged of renowned talents including Malaysian male singing sensation, Hazami and Tria, the multi talented songbird, winner of the 'Audition' reality TV program. Neal also runs his own network marketing and e-commerce business and sells his own home made delicious 'banoffee pie'. In whatever spare time he has left, he enjoys surfing the internet and playing squash, tennis and his PS2. Neal can be contacted at  azneal@gmail.com 

Lilian Boo
Lilian's musical journey started at age 7 years old with a solo performance at a school show and she hasn’t stopped singing yet! Whether as solo voice or in a choral group, this girl from Ipoh relishes every opportunity to show off her vocal pipes. By day a manager with an international recording company, by night Lilian has performed across a range of settings, either as a solo voice or in choral groups. Outside of SIX2EIGHT, her experience includes a special project choral performance for the 2003 production of "The Importance Of Being Earnest". Other experiences are performing 'live' over radio while being interviewed by RedFM station, recording jingles for advertisements and recording choral for a Malaysian produced movie. “I joined SIX2EIGHT in June 2000, and with them I’ve been hugely privileged to have performed at functions for ministers, royalty, two Prime Ministers, and a number of fund raising shows. I even joined them onstage when we did my own wedding!”
NB Lilian had to step down from doing the show as it was found that she was first trimester pregnant, and it was mutually decided that leaping around on stage was possibly not the best of ideas for baby Boo to be (sounds like some of the backing we do....).
 

Benjamin Cheong
Full time performer, part time IT consultant – no, not really but he likes to dream….  Benjamin started singing in high school for a class-room rock band. He continued his musical journey in Australia where he participated in choral and solo performances during his university years. Shortly after returning home to Malaysia, he joined the Selangor Philharmonic Choir for a number of performances before joining SIX2EIGHT in 2001. Just back from a two-year sojourn in Japan (where he met and recently married and is now a father-to-be), he took the opportunity there to hone his vocals using the mystical power of karaoke. Also ate a lot of sashimi and ramen noodles to compensate for missing his nasi lemak. Don't say he didn't warn you...

Lee Wei San
Wei San used be quite an industrious commercial lawyer working late into the night trying to make a living, but had a quarter-life crisis (she started early) that sparked off an assortment of unlikely jobs including stints in the FnB and event management lines. She can now be found at a women's NGO trying to convince others that gender equality is not just a catch-word, but a way of life. She has been with the Choir of the Philharmonic Society of Selangor since 2003, and joined SIX2EIGHT in August 2004. When not glumly contemplating the intersectional discrimination that women face, Wei San enjoys happily humming away at pop ditties and other assortments of music.

Zelda Mak
Zelda began her musical journey when she was only five, hitting at the piano keyboard. During her school days, Zelda performed across a wide range of musical genres; as a piano soloist in school concerts and music festivals, a vocalist singing in chamber choirs, and also as a member of the school orchestra playing the viola. After graduating from the not entirely musical London School of Economics she worked as a banker for some years before settling to became a full time mother to son Gavin and husband Alex. In addition to singing with SIX2EIGHT, Zelda is a music teacher for babies and toddlers, teaching them music in relation to body movements! Zelda joined SIX2EIGHT in August 2004, and she absolutely enjoys singing with this group of friends who share her passion – singing! “I love the creativity that singing accapella gives me. The harmonies that we develop are not only musical but personal as well. It’s a great ride!”

Anne Ng
A love of music and wanting to sing led Anne to join The Philharmonic Society of Selangor in 1998 to explore her musical interest. Since this time, she has sung regularly with the society especially during Christmas and also in the fund-raising performances such as for Kiwanis, NASAM, and most recently, the National Cancer Society. Anne came on board SIX2EIGHT in August 2004 and quickly established herself as a versatile singer able to hear and fill in the various harmony gaps as and when they arise. When not singing, Anne holds a full time job in a recruitment company in Petaling Jaya.


Marina Aris Tan

An ex-reporter, former HR consultant and now intrepid kindergarten teacher, Marina has enjoyed musicals all her life – the happier and more hokey, the better! Aside from school and university choirs, she is an alumna of Operafest Children’s Productions (playing a bearded old man in The Flower Drum Song) and The Acapellas of SMSJ, Subang Jaya. Recent outings include the Philharmonic Society of Selangor’s “Music from Movies & Musicals 2” (2003) and “In the Mood” (2004). A singer with Six2Eight since August 2004, Marina puts her first-soprano pipes to good use, yowling it up onstage as the group’s resident rock queen. 

Marina is passionately in love with her life of singing, dancing and daily storytelling to her kindergarten audience of three- and four-year-olds. In her spare time, she enjoys hiking, learning phrases in new languages, and writing and illustrating for children. Aside from children, she enjoys the company of cats, dogs and snakes.

Stephanie Khoo
Stephanie's love for music and singing started at a very young age when she joined a church choir and participated in church musical productions. Her love for singing continued to grow whilst studying abroad to pursue her Bachelor of Arts degree, leading her to join the St Thomas More Catholic Student Parish choir in Michigan, USA, performing with them in various events across the State. Upon her return to Malaysia, she began performing with a number of choral groups, including The Philharmonic Society of Selangor, The Choristers and the Chorale Dewan Filharmonik Petronas (DFP).
 

As a full time communications consultant with an oil and gas conglomerate, Stephanie enjoys music as a personal hobby. She is the baby of SIX2EIGHT, having come on board in September 2005, and is enjoying the unique challenge that rockappella continually offers. “It’s different. With choirs we’ve all got the sheet music and the parts and we follow the notes in their timing. With SIX2EIGHT we develop the songs from scratch. It’s very organic, and the sense of achievement once a song gets nailed is tremendous.”

Johnathan Sia
Johnathan is a relative newcomer to SIX2EIGHT, coming on board in October 2004. Vocally his focus is on singing bass and drum parts. “I’m not a trained musician, but through repeated listening of the intricate harmonies contained in my Beach Boys albums I learned how to listen for the individual parts and pick out the bass line to sing to.” When not singing, he spends his time promoting Laura's Selections (his family Belgian chocolate business), writing, church, football, and bowling.

 

 

Brian McIntyre
A native of Cardiff, Wales in the United Kingdom, this ex telephone engineer/law lecturer and recent MBA Graduate has been treading the boards in some shape or form for over twenty years. Performances with various rock bands throughout the 1980s on the South Wales circuit paved the way to landing the role of Koko in the Philharmonic Society of Selangor's 1989 production of "The Mikado". He subsequently played Charles Condomime in "Blithe Spirit" and both Jailer and Teacher in "Stand and Deliver" (both 1989). Between 1993 and 1996 he took various lead vocal and dance roles in fund raising productions by The Dance Society and The Selangor Philharmonic Choir before getting back on the stage as Mr Jim in Jit Murad's "Storyteller" in 1996. A five year Musical singing/acting hiatus ended with him taking the roles of El Gallo in Music Theatre's May 2001 production of "The Fantasticks" and Erronius in Sondheim’s “A Funny Thing Happened on the Way to the Forum” in June 2002 and “In The Mood” in June 2004 for the Philharmonic Society of Selangor. He has also made cameo TV appearances as a French chef in “Each Other” (2002) and a British Expat MD in “Kopitiam” (2003) and his voice has been recorded for retail instore announcements and educational CD ROM purposes. He is regularly called upon to perform Master of Ceremonies duties for a wide range of both work related and social functions such as Fashion Shows, Annual Expatriate Balls, Corporate Events and food and wine matching dinners. Theatrical outings in this include “The Merry Widow in Concert” for Music Theatre in May 2003 and “Music from the Movies and Musicals II” in October 2003 for the Philharmonic Society of Selangor. Beside his daytime work as copywriter, webmaster, email marketeer, Powerpoint wizard and marketing consultant for Metrojaya, he is the comedy/corporate lyricwriter for SIX2EIGHT.

Nicole Ann Thomas
Living and breathing the performing arts, Nicole has been involved with the Selangor Philharmonic Choir since 1994, performing classical works like Haydn’s The Creation and Carmina Burana, to popular show tunes in Music from Movies & Musicals 1 and 2 and In The Mood. Eventually she was asked to join Six2Eight in August 1996 and the rest as they say is… history, in the making. Having been a part of this group for almost 10 years now, with a hiatus since 2004 in order to expand her horizons in the other branches of the performing arts, she feels no less than totally privileged to have been a part of this group. She always tells herself that one must never forget where one began. “When they asked me to come in to sing a few songs for this concert, I thought why not?” She has relished all her performances with this group, whether for the Queen’s birthday, or a high society dinner where the Prime Minister is present, to more low key charitable organizations for a good cause. It is always a learning experience for her.
 

Among her other accomplishments as an all round master of all trades as she would like to be known as, Nicole’s other credits include Turandot in 2003, and played Clo Clo in The Merry Widow (2004). She has been classically trained under baritone Cha Seng Tiang. With Rivergrass Dance Theatre since 1998, her dance credits include When They Dance 3 and Seven Deadly Sins, and has completed the Intensive Dancers Training Course Certificate under Mew Chang Tsing where she performed her own graduation piece, Jaded Innocence. Her foray into acting began in 2001, with Rep21's Mountain Language/One For The Road. She has been with Christopher Jacobs since 2003, training intensively in Meyerhold’s acting training technique called Biomechanics, and continues to train weekly as a member of his ensemble, The Ensemble Theatre of Kuala Lumpur. With Masakini Theatre, she was in Lady Swettenham, played Daisy in Eugene Ionesco’s Rhinoceros and was a triple threat in My Bollywood Summer. She played the role Flipote as a dog in Tartuffe to rave reviews (2005). She was also one of the chorus girls in KLPAC’s musical version of Pygmalion last year. Her last stint was in the most anticipated M! The Opera under Saidah Rastam and Jo Kukathas, which just completed its run earlier this month, where she played numerous roles and pushed her boundaries further in movement, acting, song and dance.

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