Classical music

Music to their ears: MedArt beneficiaries make trip to Hong Kong for special concert

Boy who was adopted by American family after receiving live-saving care from charity will be in the audience for Sunday’s performance

PUBLISHED : Saturday, 11 November, 2017, 5:39pm
UPDATED : Saturday, 11 November, 2017, 10:48pm

An unusual concert that highlights the life-saving and connecting power of music and charity is set to get underway in Hong Kong.

MedArt Charity Concert, a biannual event to raise funds and awareness for those in dire need since 2003, features a special work with a special family in the audience at this year’s performance on Sunday night.

“We want to tell moving stories we came across and build and strengthen a community of like-minded people to remember and help those in need,” Dr John Ngan Hin-kay, a urologist and founder, told the Post.

“Jian Guo was just an infant when he was suffering from hydrocephalus and abandoned in Zhengzhou,” Ngan, a Hong Kong University graduate, recalled.

“We took him here and performed a surgery to remove the blockage and returned him to a foster home in Henan province,” he added.

Now a seven-year-old boy and a member of the Martin family in Illinois in America, Jaden, as he is now known, returned to the Chinese soil for the first time since he was adopted in early 2016.

“He would have died without the surgery during his infancy and one act from MedArt made the difference,” said Tammy Martin, who was in town with her husband Barry and their first adopted son Nathan.

“Jaden’s now perfectly healthy and very smart, getting straight A’s and just one B in his schoolwork. We are very grateful to have him,” she added.

How a tiny orphan boy beat medical odds and is now hoping for adoption ... and a life

The couple, respiratory therapists by profession, said the trip to Hong Kong took some persuasion.

“He feared that we were taking him back, and we assured him that the paperwork we signed makes us his mummy and daddy forever,” she said.

“We felt the trip was important for Jaden to see those who saved his life and for the doctors to see the result of their time and donation,” the couple said.

His own story aside, Jaden will be in the audience watching the healing hands play out the story of Ah Dong, an inmate serving life-sentence, who composed Missing You in memory of his late father.

“He is the lead singer of the prison band and he grieved that he was not able to be with his father,” said May Wu, head of MedArt music outreach.

The five-minute work will be performed with sand painting in lieu of the lyrics. Ah Dong’s family will present flowers to arranger and conductor Gerard Salonga from the Philippines and trumpeter Paul Archibald from London, who both volunteer their services, like everyone in the orchestra.

“Playing while having in mind the children you are raising money for gives you a mindset and satisfaction different from a paid concert,” said Laurent Perrin, a cellist of the Hong Kong Sinfonietta.