High-flier says music can give you a lift

PUBLISHED : Monday, 29 June, 2009, 12:00am
UPDATED : Monday, 29 June, 2009, 12:00am

For Lily Fenn, who sponsored a Hong Kong Philharmonic Orchestra performance on May 22, playing music is just like flying. As a Grade 8 pianist and helicopter pilot, she would know.

As a way of celebrating the 25th anniversary of her legal practice with her staff and clients, Ms Fenn chose to sponsor a music concert featuring at least one pianist and to donate funds to the Hong Kong Air Cadet Corps.

She ideally wanted something 'special' that would be memorable for her clients and guests.

'When I was asked which concert I would like to pick, I saw that both a pianist and an organist would be playing in The Organ Symphony in May. In the Hong Kong Cultural Centre, the organ is used only once or twice a year, and it's rare to have a pianist and an organist play together. I knew this was the performance for me,' she said.

The Hong Kong Air Cadet Corps has a history of more than 38 years and is dedicated to developing aviation education to cope with the fast-growing aviation industry in Hong Kong and on the mainland.

Ms Fenn, the first woman in Hong Kong to have both a fixed-wing aircraft and helicopter pilot's licence, said it was rewarding to support such a cause.

'I've been flying for more than 14 years now and can fly eight different types of aircraft,' she said. 'I know that the flying instructors check out the backgrounds of their top pilots and have found a strong correlation between musical ability and flying ability. They think it is the co-ordination between the eyes, ears, hands and feet. Many pilots play music and sometimes trainees are given preference if they have played instruments.'

Ms Fenn said she hoped the funds raised at the performance would go to encouraging young people to play music.

'The legal flying age is 17, but young people looking to get into aviation could start learning to play music from a young age to get themselves ready to learn to fly. Music also helps to develop students' brains, and listening to or playing music can help everyone from youngsters to professionals manage their stress.'

After the success of the event, Ms Fenn hopes to work with the orchestra again. 'Perhaps we can organise another concert for my firm's 30th anniversary celebrations,' she said.


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