MORE than 150 parents and friends of the children from the English Schools Foundation would probably not hesitate to take their hats off for the performers of Musical Hat Parade presented by five primary schools. The parade, held recently in the school hall of Bradbury Junior School, was one of colour and fun, quite unlike any typical parades that usually boast of orderly line-up contingents of uniformed groups and institutions. Quite the opposite, in an appealingly messy fashion, 135 hat-wearing children from the schools came together to share their musical experiences with the audience. They were students of Sha Tin Junior School, Quarry Bay School, Clearwater Bay School, Kowloon Junior School and Bradbury Junior School. Together, between the ages of eight and 10, they formed an orchestra performing pieces from Broadway musical, West Side Story to all-time favourites such as Colonel Bogey and Those Magnificent Men and Their Flying Machines . While enchanting the audience with the renditions, they also attracted smiles and little delightful squeals from proud mothers and grinning fathers with the hats they wore. There was a huge flutter of excitement when the children wearing hats with musical theme marched in a higgedy-piggedy manner into the hall when the parade commander (the school's deputy principal) announced its start. Left, right, left, right, left, left, right ... the excited and giggling children marched into the hall to take their places in front of the hall. Almost all 135 of them wore hats to highlight the theme of the afternoon. The deputy principal, Mr Geoffery Lambkin, said the hats were ''for fun''. ''And the children designed them themselves,'' he added. A few of the hats were made from stiff cardboard and drawing paper. The not professionally produced hats gave their wearers a bit of their time; they had to push their head gears away their eyes or prevent them from slipping off. Other hats had music notes and musical-related elements hanging or stuck on to them. And when the children marched in with these hats, the hanging pieces readily fell into steps. Mr Lambkin described the parade as an ''arts adventure weekend''. ''It was organised to improve the children's musical playing and to draw the five schools together to share the enjoyment for the weekend,'' he said. Despite the music teachers' and children's enthusiasm for the parade, Mr Lambkin said it was likely that it would be a ''once a year'' type of event. Meanwhile, judging by the smiling faces and the loud applauses from the audience, the parade had definitely hit the right chord. It did not matter whether the clarinets squeaked or the flute was flat, or even when not every one of the children was playing in tempo. Most importantly, everyone, including the audience, had a good time. The audience enjoyed the music. And the children discovered the enjoyment of making music together, even if all of them did not end at the same note.