“Charity . . . is the opium of the privileged.” ― Chinua Achebe, Anthills of the Savannah.
Tonight certainly made that old adage crystal clear, as A Cut Above Group of Salons was set to deliver a night of love, music and kindness in its finest grandeur.
I was honoured to be invited to this philanthropic celebration, known as 'A Musical Evening for the Children' in Sunway Resort Hotel & Spa's Grand Ballroom.
My look tonight is influenced by the grace of Greek goddesses.
I was aiming for purity, grace and elegance and attended the evening donning white and gold
Here's what I wore to the event:
Accessories in gold & the white sequinned toga dress is from a boutique in Melbourne, Australia
I arrived the venue and was already amazed by the first thing I saw; the decorations of the building!
All set for an ethereal night ahead!
Upon entering the Grand Ballroom
The moment I arrived, Winnie dearest, the Chief Creative Director & Founder of A Cut Above had just begun giving her welcoming speech.
Great! Just in time
Winnie Loo addressing all her guests
She spoke of her aims of this ball & ultimately wanted us to enjoy our evening with her.
Just by listening to her speak, I knew she had high hopes for tonight and I could also forsee that it will be a successful evening; leaving us with beautiful memories and warmth in our hearts.
I was ushered to my table and took my seat
The celebrity emcees of the evening – Chui Leng and Baki Zainal
He had a really epic hairdo!
It was all shaved around the sides but had some sort of dreadlocks tied up in a long ponytail.
Before gala began, there was a cheque presentation to the Malaysian Children's Aid Society (MACAS)
As expected, the contributions, donations & sales from the charity was a success!
If you can't see from the mock cheque above, the amount was an impressive figure of RM312,000!
That's an amazing figure, don't you think? But that's not all.
An auction for an exquisite piece of jewellery was held at the end of the gala! More on that shortly!
The main VVIP table
The very first entertainment of the night was a graceful performance of ballet dancing!
The children were decked in adorable animal outfits dancing in a nimble, yet sensual & languid motion
Moving to the rhythm
These lovely children were from Karen Barnes Dance Studio, who danced to 'Symphony of the Forests'
Their moves were smooth, synchronized and executed in perfect harmony. Well done, kids!
Next up, was our favorite nine year old songbird Crystal Lee!
She belted out several renditions of popular songs, ranging from the oldies/classics to the contemporary.
It was wonderful to see her wide range of vocals at such a tender age!
This little songbird wowed us all with her confidence and melodious voice.
She actually looked really tiny singing her solos all alone on the huge stage!
See what I mean?
But she wasn't going to be alone any longer.
Her mentor, violinist Dennis Lau joined her onstage and performed an incredible duet with his prodigy!
They brought down the house with a mind-blowing version of Jessie J's Price Tag!
I couldn't help but to bop my head to the rhythm & sing along with them too!
A photo with Dennis and Crystal
A stark contrast of musical entertainment soon followed.
Heavy bass filled the air! All produced not by the speakers or the sound systems of the event, but by the mere sounds coming from one's throat.
I'm sure you've heard of beatboxing
Koujee the beatboxer amazed the crowd with his remarkable and rather rare vocal talent.
He then burst into a duet with Dennis Lau who once again, made his appearance on stage.
Their breathtaking combination of both vocals and instrumental talent got the crowd roaring for more! It was a very peculiar medley of beatboxing & electric violins but it worked so well!
Koujee & Dennis Lau performing a duet
Among the tunes I managed to catch were Black Eyed Peas' I Gotta Feeling, Benni Benassi's Satisfaction, PSY's Gangnam Style and several more others all mashed up together in a seamless duet.
They even got down from the stage towards the crowd and personally entertained some of the main tables
We were next serenaded by Enfinity Academy's 14 student choir group of all ages!
After their heart-rending choir, the Glitterama Ladies Charity Group then stole the limelight.
They were dressed to the nines in embellished and flamboyant ball gowns with decollete necklines!
The 24 beautiful ladies stood before us, ready to sing their hearts out in unison
Winnie was part of it too! I loved her ravishing mustard-yellow ruffled and bowed ball gown
It reminded me of Belle from Beauty and the Beast
These stunning ladies dazzled with us with not only their alluring beauty, but also their diversely distinct vocals in belting out various alto and baritone/soprano notes
Singing with passion
We were captivated by their renditions of 'Phantom of the Opera' and a Whitney Houston medley of 'Greatest Love of All', 'Saving All My Love for You' and 'I Will Always Love You'.
Award winning ballroom-dancers, Cecilia Yong & Alfred Choo complemented the Phantom of the Opera moment
It was plain to see that all the guests of the evening were having a ball of a time.
What could be better than an exclusive gala of friends, food, music all in the name of good faith?
Sipping on my 3rd pint of Kronenbourg amidst all the chattering and catching up
The next two notable singers to steal the show and wow us with their impressive voices were Vic Teo and Dina Nadzir of Malaysian Idol (Season 1) fame.
He had a very Michael Buble-cum-Il Divo vibe about him when he sings!
His deep and velvety voice worked the soul, swing and jazz numbers in perfect harmony
Dina performed a very cheeky Malay classic song & vocal pop
She executed it so well, befitting her bubbly personality!
I would know! As I religiously followed Malaysian Idol and loved her voice and demeanour since 2004
I was getting even more and more captivated by the line-up of entertainment for the night.
It was such a luxurious and sophisticated ball of magnificent talents!
Dama Orchestra soprano Rachel Tan performing the symphonic 'Think of Me' and a classical 'Time to Say Goodbye'
Just when you thought the next act would be another fine vocalist, the night surprised us with a twist
Next up, was a special appearance by the 16 finalists of the Miss Universe Malaysia 2013 pageant.
They strutted down the runway in a catwalk featuring the elegant, chic and feminine fashion designs of Bill Keith's latest collection.
Sashaying down the stage
The winner of the Miss Universe Malaysia 2013 was Carey Ng (left) by the way!
She will be representing Malaysia in the Miss Universe pageant next year to compete with other winners from other 89 countries. All the best, and make us proud, girl!
A bright red expression
The next highlight of the evening was a one-of-a-kind, show-stopping hair & fashion show.
Not even a slight hint of exaggeration! See it for yourself
I held my breath when they walked precariously on those killer sky-high heels!
The eccentric hairdos I saw left me shell-shocked. They were very unconventional and was certainly a bold prophesy of future fashion conventions and standards.
This could very well set the bar!
This avant garde fashion showcase left me feeling like I was in some alter-universe of a galactic fantasy.
It was bold, and many never-seen-before gender-bending styles were brought to life.
The MCs of the evening then announced the results of the silent auction
Throughout the dinner course, a silent auction of an 18K Gold South Sea Pearl Necklace Set With Diamonds from Flower Diamond were being bid for.
I don't have the exact photograph of the resplendent pearl neckpiece in question, but it looks similar to this
The final call of RM34,800 by Dato’ AK Nathan won the bid,
contributing another immense amount of money to the proceeds!
He was personally called up on stage by Winnie as she publicly acknowledged his kind, colossal contribution
Winnie's & MACAS' gratitude towards him was expressed with a warm bear hug
Spread the love!
Here are some photos of the night with friends and associates
We had a superb time catching up over dinner and the stellar entertainment!
Edmund and I
Ben and I
Leo and I
Gim Ean and I
Joshua and I
Leo, Casey and I
A night of music, talents and merriment steeped in love, kindness and compassion, was all what I had expected from A Cut Above's 'A Musical Evening for the Children' charity ball & gala dinner that night.
And true to its aims, the night was, hands down, certainly a memorable one.
Here's a short video I made of the night! Watch it
“It's not how much we give but how much love we put into giving.”
― Mother Teresa
Winnie dearest and I Doesn't she look stunning?!
(She's wearing the same pearl necklace auctioned for RM30K+ earlier)
I'm so glad all her hard work & efforts with her team was well-worth every sweat & toil for the past few months in planning, coordinating and executing a spectacular night for us all to commemorate
Tonight was elaborately celebrated, but its sole aim was simple, charitable and remained truest to the heart.
Congratulations to the A Cut Above Group for raising RM346,800 in total,
instantly catapulting this charity gala ball to greater success!