Schools Music Festival Finals

After 64 years, the annual Hong Kong Schools Music Festival has its grand finale last month again in an evening that crowned the best choirs in the territory.

One of the most prestigious events among Hong Kong primary and secondary schools, the Hong Kong Schools Music Festival occupies one month of the annual calendar featuring a wide array of competition from solos to big group.

The event culminates in the final competition, when the overall winner is announced and the competing teams are at the climax of spirit and top-most performance.

This is the first final that I have ever witnessed. Having been active in music of various levels and different institutes, I have been strangely absent from this climatic event. I know how it is from the hearsay — charged atmosphere, unmatched confidence, and fine performance from the young singers of unexpected perfection.

Yet, this climatic evening happens every year, with dwindling attention.

Why? There was a time when the competition was covered in major press, and there was reverberation among the general public. A winner is someone of importance and prestige.

Now, even it is broadcast on radio, it receives only routine attention, just like every last year and last-last year and last-last-last year.

I am not to blind guess the reason behind my own subjective and, maybe faulty, impression. But I urge you to listen to the young music makers performance, purely on their efforts and strengths. Music is an art that requires time and practices. Every single person, be in solo on the limelight or one of the great crowd, has received and endured some tough times on doing the music over and over again to make it as good as it is.

We may think this is good, or this is bad, mediocre or wonderful; the music makers effort should be reckoned nonetheless. I even think that with discussion after a recorded performance may even further the appreciation of a performance and, in turn, the attention towards performance.

I hope that at a moment that the music registers some influence to you.

As a producer, I have recorded the piano final and choral final this year for RTHK Radio 4 and you may listen to the performance of all finalists on air from May to June.

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