Vale Sonny Chua
by Josie Thomas, VMTA President
16 September 2020
Last week we heard the very sad news that we have suddenly lost another highly regarded pianist, composer and music educator. Most of you will have heard of Sonny and piano teachers everywhere have used his innovative unique compositions with their students.
Sonny, who was also a VMTA member, had an amazing knack of choosing topics that children could relate to easily such as A Day in the Life of Dog and Assorted Fairies. Many of his compositions are an option for examinations.
Sonny’s friendly and easy-going manner when delivering presentations, made it simple for teachers to use his ideas and further expand children’s imaginations through his works.
Born in Penang Malaysia, Sonny moved to Australia with his family and studied piano with Stephen McIntyre at VCASS. While completing his Bachelor of Music at the University of Melbourne, he studied piano with Ronald Farren-Price AO, Alexander Semestky and Max Cooke, and composition with Peter Tahourdin, Barry Conyngham and Brenton Broadstock.
Sonny held teaching positions at Melbourne High School, was Music Coordinator at The Mac.Robertson Girls High School and Keyboard Co-ordinator at Carey Grammar.
Our thoughts and deepest sympathy go out to his wife, Melinda Ceresoli, and their two young daughters. We know Sonny’s music will live on.
Here is one of my students playing Dog Hungry by Sonny Chua (with permission):