The Second Time Around
Miclen LaiPang shares his talent at two GC sessions
t started with a 3-year-old begging his parents for a violin of his very own. He wanted it because he wanted to be just like his big brother, Sherwin Thia, a first violinist with the Malaysian Philharmonic Orchestra. Now, 11 years later, 14-year-old violin virtuoso Miclen LaiPang has taken the stage at his second General Conference session, having already performed in St. Louis at just 9 years of age.
LaiPang, an energetic teen with an iPhone always at the ready, calls Redlands, California, home. As a toddler he finally got that precious violin and started on the road to what promises to be a stellar career as a professional concert violinist. LaiPang performed at Wednesday’s spiritual emphasis afternoon meeting and will hold a mini concert Monday afternoon, June 28, as well as another performance July 1.
CHILD PRODIGY: Violin virtuoso Miclen LaiPang, 14, took the stage Wednesday afternoon during the spiritual emphasis convocation. He first performed at age 9 in St. Louis. [Joel D. Springer/Adventist Review]
“I’m inspired by my brother, Sherwin,” he says. “Actually, all my siblings, because they are all successful, and I want to be successful.” But LaiPang, at just 14, is clearly well on his way to achieving that goal. Currently, he is co-concertmaster of the Claremont Young Musicians Orchestra, concertmaster of the Loma Linda University Young Musicians Ensemble, and first violinist of the Loma Linda University Church orchestra. LaiPang is also a recipient of a full scholarship for the Colburn School of Music under the tutelage of Chan Ho Yun. “I’ve had the privilege and honor of being taught by the best mentors in the world, and they include Ruggiero Ricci, Dr. Lyndon Taylor, and Linda Rose,” he says.
Though LaiPang had previous experience playing at a GC session, his invitation to play at this year’s event came about the traditional way: he submitted a demo nearly two years ago, and received acceptance then, as well.
LaiPang already has an impressive résumé in the secular music world. He was a contender on NBC’s America’s Got Talent in 2009 and has performed in Carnegie Hall, in the Walt Disney Concert Hall, and for the Indonesian ambassador and consul general to the United States. At the age of 9, he was even invited by the pilot and crew of the Southwest Airlines flight he was on to perform on board. LaiPang has also taken his talents internationally, performing with the New England Youth Ensemble on tours to Europe and Jamaica, and in Sydney Town Hall, at St. Andrews Cathedral, and at the University of New South Wales.
However, some may be best acquainted with LaiPang from his 2004 taped performance of 38 sacred songs from memory for 3ABN and a live telecast on the same channel in 2007. The homeschooled teen can also be found on YouTube.
“Ever since he was a baby, I felt God had given him a very special gift for music. I actually sought any opportunity I could to practice my violin in front of him, and even try to sing for him. He seemed to enjoy it and catch on very quickly,” says LaiPang’s brother, Sherwin. “I’m excited to see what else God has in store for my little brother, and I hope he will continue to put his trust in God and to depend on Him.”
To Miclen LaiPang, participating in this gathering of a worldwide body of faith is really special. “It’s inspirational, really,” LaiPang says of sharing his music at GC session. “How everyone comes [to session] and shares the same faith.”
A glimpse of heaven, perhaps?