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Asia Pacific Choral Summit 2019

Date: 21/07/2019

  • 21-25 July, 2019 - To celebrate the 50th anniversary, The Hong Kong Children's Choir (HKCC) kicked off its first large-scale choral event in Hong Kong - Asia Pacific Choral Summit in Hong Kong 2019. The Summit is supported by the International Federation for Choral Music (IFCM), which was established as an appointment of UNESCO and is the official representative of choral music on the International Music Council.

    The Summit attracted more than 10 choirs with over 1,600 participants. Ms Emily Kuo Vong, President of IFCM, described the Summit as a major achievement in the Hong Kong choral community and believes it will play a major role in cultivating a new generation of music talents in the Asia Pacific region.

    The five-day Summit includes 18 workshops, 6 concerts, Final of the Hong Kong Choral Conducting Competition and a Music EXPO. As the host organization, HKCC invited choral elites from the United States, Australia, New Zealand, Singapore, Mainland China and Hong Kong to conduct high-calibre exchanges, workshops and repertoire reading sessions.

    Elite choirs and musicians including Asia Pacific Youth Choir; Diocesan Girls' Junior School Choir; Heartgrey, National Beatbox Champion; Gordon Lee, one of the world's foremost harmonicists and Yat Po Singers, Hong Kong first professional a cappella choral theatre company, performed in the Opening Concert and delivered the world-class level music and choral performance to audience from around the globe.

    Lau Kong-wah, Secretary for Home Affairs of HKSAR, officiated the kick-off ceremony with Dr Darwin Chen, Honorary President of HKCC; Ronald Yam, Chairman of Board of Directors of HKCC; Lau Kong-wah, Secretary for Home Affairs of HKSAR; Walter Lee, Chairman of HKCC 50th Anniversary Preparatory Committee; and Kathy Fok, Music Director & Principal Conductor of HKCC, during the Summit Opening Concert.

Notable guest speakers include Mr Chen Guanghui, national first-class honor choral conductor in Mainland China, Mr Philip Brunelle, the recipient of Michael Korn Founder's Award for Development of the Professional Choral Art, Chorus America's highest lifetime achievement award, and Mr Darius Lim, President of the Choral Directors' Association of Singapore and recipient of over 40 awards in choral and composition competitions. The Summit provided valuable learning opportunities for musicians in Hong Kong as well as the Asia Pacific region, who had the rare opportunity to directly exchange their experiences and views with distinguished musicians. 13 representatives from the IFCM Asia Pacific Choral Council also convened in Hong Kong during the Summit to develop strategic plans and share knowledge and experience, so as to raise the level of choral music in their respective locales.

A Choral Showcase was held in the afternoon on 23 July, provided a non-competitive platform for choirs with a varied repertoire and unique singing and interpretation style to appreciate and learn from each other. The Showcase Panel: Mr Philip Brunelle, Mr Masashi Kishimoto, Ms Sandra Milliken and Mr John Winzenburg commented on the choirs' performance with encouraging awards to them. The seven participating choirs include Diocesan Girls' Junior School Choir, Methodist College School Choir, ONE Chamber Choir, Panya Xinghai Children's Choir, Philharmonic Angel, Sheng Kung Hui Choi Kou Secondary School Choir and Zhuhai Opera House Children's Choir.

The Asia Pacific Youth Choir (APYC), an elite choir comprising 42 top choral musicians selected from 9 territories in the Asia Pacific region, also made its Hong Kong debut during the Summit. Its members come from Mainland China, Indonesia, Japan, Malaysia, New Zealand, the Philippines, Singapore, Taiwan and Hong Kong. Although the members of APYC speak different languages, they transcend these barriers through music. Under the leadership of the Hong Kong conductor Ms Vivian Ip, they rehearsed intensively for the premiere of two Hong Kong composers' works at the concert: Black by Austin Yip, music lecturer at the Hong Kong Baptist University, and A Parting Wish, from "Three Tang Chinese Poems", by Dennis Yu. They also performed a number of choral works reflecting the culture of different countries, fully embodying the spirit of cultural exchange through music.

  • Consuls specially attend the concert and show their support for the choral community. (6th from left) Ms Germinia V. Aguilar-Usudan, Deputy Consul-General of the Republic of the Philippines in Hong Kong; (10th from left) Mr Hadtamizi Abu Bakar, Consul (Admin & Finance) of Malaysia in Hong Kong and Macao; (8th from left) Mrs Yuni Suryati, Consul (Information and Socio Cultural) of the Republic of Indonesia in Hong Kong; (9th from left) Mr Kenneth Lim Zhong Yi, Vice Consul (Information) of the Republic of Singapore in Hong Kong. They congratulated the choir members at the backstage.

The Final of Hong Kong Choral Conducting Competition, the first of its kind tailored to local young conductors, was held during the Summit as well. It provided an opportunity for young conducting talents in Hong Kong to showcase their talent on a global stage and gain invaluable experience from it. Five world-class choral conductors are the final adjudicators: Prof Chan Wing-wah, Chairman of Composers and Authors Society of Hong Kong (CASH); Mr Chen Guanghui, first-class choral conductor in Mainland China; Ms Saeko Hasegawa, Vice President of Japan Choral Association; Ms Lim Ai-hooi, renowned choral conductor in Singapore; Prof Johnny Poon, Head of Hong Kong Baptist University Department of Music. They decided the winners after a thorough examination on the five finalists' performance, in both the rehearsal and the Closing Concert on 24 July.

Prof Johnny Poon, the representative of the adjudicators, concluded that all the five finalists are talented conductors with their own unique style. An overseas adjudicator is very glad to see the exceptionally high standard of Hong Kong's conductors and feel happy to Hong Kong choral community. Apollo Wong, the winner of the competition and Ms Vivian Ip, conductor of APYC led the mass singing of HKCC 50th Anniversary Theme Song I Just Want to Sing at the end of the Closing Concert, at the same time brought a splendid ending to the Asia Pacific Choral Summit 2019.

  • (4th from left) Wong Yet-hang Apollo won the 1st Prize and the APYC Award; (1st from right) Lau Cheuk-hey Sanders won the 2nd Prize and (2nd from right) Cheng Chi-shan Chris won the 3rd Prize.

Documentary Asia Pacific Choral Summit 2019

Documentary Hong Kong Choral Conducting Competition