TO say Perry So Pak-hin is a gifted musician is an understatement. He lives and breathes music - and creates it. Not only does he play an assortment of musical instruments, he also composes.This is an impressive achievement for any musician, especially for one so young. Pak-hin is only 13 years old. Some people might describe him as a prodigy. While most secondary students who take music as a subject would be happy to play one musical instrument competently (mostly because their parents want them to learn music), Pak-hin can play more than five, and plays them well. The Year Nine student of King George V School is now in the thick of a major project - writing a musical. Titled The Seahawk, the work is adapted from a story called True Confessions of Charlotte Doyle which Pak-hin found in one of the school English readers. He was so enchanted by the tale of a sea journey that he ended up making a musical of it. He has been hard at work on the musical for the past 10 months, composing and polishing. 'It all started as an English assignment,' said Pak-hin. 'I was asked to set some of the scenes to music. But I got so caught up in the story that I was soon setting the whole thing to music.' Let us mention here that Pak-hin plays the piano, violin, viola, pipe organ and several percussion instruments. He adores musicals. He has already seen about nine, including the three he caught in London this summer - Miss Saigon, Sunset Boulevard and Starlight Express. He is also a great fan of the American composer Stephen Sondheim, who writes both the lyrics and the music for his hit musicals. 'Sondheim writes everything for his shows - the lyrics, the music and the dialogue,' says Pak-hin admiringly. Note: the musical is not a school assignment. The English 'homework' covered only those few scenes he wrote earlier. He is writing it purely to please himself. The Seahawk is his pride and joy. He has already written 28 pieces, some are songs and the rest is background music. Most of the lyrics have been written. Asked what is his favourite song in the musical, Pak-hin picks up his viola, plays a haunting melody and explains. The two main characters in the musical are the mean Captain Jaggery and the aristocratic Charlotte. England's traditional class differences cause conflict between them.In the song, Captain Jaggery recalls his childhood and what turned him into a 'mean old guy'. The melody is wistful and could easily bring a tear to the eye. Pak-hin is a highly creative person who knows that discipline is an absolute must in any art. 'I started writing The Seahawk in January, and I forced myself to finish the first draft by May, which I did. Now I am pushing myself to finish the second draft by the end of the year.' He describes the musical as a 'trial piece', and has no intention of 'pushing' to have it performed on stage. He said he only wants to 'write and learn'. 'While working on The Seahawk I have been asking teachers and friends for suggestions. One of my classmates is very good at lighting and is giving me lots of advice on the stage set.' Once The Seahawk is out of the way, Pak-hin plans to work on another musical, using an original story idea. He said it would be on an adult theme, exploring the lives of two married couples and their problems. Is there an outstanding student in your school you would like us to write about? If there is, drop us a line with a summary of his or her accomplishments. Write to: Spotlight, Young Post, GPO Box 323, Tai Po, New Territories., or fax us on 2660 5378.