As we embark on our 7th year, I am once again in awe of the continuous growth of the Hong Kong Inter-School Choral Festival (HKICF), as it reaches more and more choristers and conductors of school choirs in Hong Kong through our diverse programmes.
Looking back at the memorable moments of HKICF 2023, I wish to share a few stories that beautifully embody the core values of HKICF:
Competition cum Masterclass: One conductor shared that her gold-award-winning students were so inspired by the feedback received from the adjudicators during the competition cum masterclass that they took the initiative to re-record a piece that they had previously prepared for an online competition. Witnessing the students’ newfound zeal and motivation to bring their music to an even higher artistic standard was truly remarkable. At HKICF, we strive to instil the values of continuous learning and improvement.
Showcase Concert: A newspaper reporter shared that she accepted our invitation to attend the showcase concert out of courtesy and was not planning to report the event. However, the collaborative spirit of the performance won her over. The concert brought different school choirs and students and teachers together in a way that deeply moved her, and she ended up writing an in-depth account on the concert the following day. We are gratified that our core value of collaboration did not go unnoticed.
Hong Kong Inter-School Choir: Those who attended the Hong Kong Inter-School Choir concert in July would surely remember this scene. At the end of the concert, after all choir members, conductors, accompanists, and staff members took their final bow at the curtain call, the adults left the stage but all student choristers lingered on and started singing and dancing one of the theme songs again with unwavering passion. Their impromptu performance truly exemplified the friendship built during the year-long training and the love for music we hope to foster at HKICF.
Virtual Choir Project: We had a collaborative partner for our virtual choir project in 2023: the Children’s Cancer Foundation. During the recording session for the students from the Children’s Cancer Foundation, a parent came up to share how the singing project had brought joy and encouragement to her child. She thanked us for the genuine love and care we put into organizing the project, and told us how the experience was empowering for the child as well as for her as a parent. Spreading love and care through music is a core value we uphold at HKICF, and we, too, felt empowered by this feedback.
I am reminded through these accounts that the process of music-making yields wonderful “side effects” and is far more important than the results. I wish to extend my deepest gratitude to every student, teacher, and conductor participating in the Hong Kong Inter-School Choral Festival 2024. My sincere hope is that we continue to witness positive changes in the inter-school choral culture in Hong Kong as we do our small part in nurturing the love and passion for choral music among all our Festival participants. May the HKICF be a blessing to each and every one of you.