Hong Kong schoolgirls show excellence is more than exam grades at anniversary show

PUBLISHED : Monday, 13 July, 2015, 6:01am
UPDATED : Monday, 13 July, 2015, 6:01am

Musical prowess at one of the city's oldest schools shows that education is more than just exam grades.

At a concert last weekend to celebrate the 155th anniversary of the Diocesan Girls' School, teachers and parents witnessed how far teenage students can go in the high arts. The challenging repertoire posed no threat to the young women, who played with impressive energy and focus.

The concert began with the school hymn. The heart-warming feel soon gave way to a spectacular orchestral sound when the concert band took over. Led by music teacher Dorothy Hui, the 50-member ensemble of woodwind and brass played Persis by James Hosay with such fine orchestral layers and balance that it could have put some professionals to shame.

The large percussion section was also precise but not overbearing, and there was a lovely solo passage on the oboe.

With the school's symphony orchestra led by director Leung Kin-fung, a top player with the Hong Kong Philharmonic, five soloists took turns to showcase their talents.

The exquisite musicality of harpist Christy Leung in Handel's Bb Major concerto explained why she will soon have a date at Carnegie Hall in New York. Soprano Bernice Pang's excellent voice in Menotti's Monica's Waltz aria was a spectacle to behold for her depth and the high notes she handled with ease. Abbie Wu's nearly flawless technique in Kabalevsky's Third Piano Concerto was awe-inspiring. Violinist Luen Long-yuet and cellist Sharon Pak were also not deterred by the difficulties in performing Prokofiev's and Elgar's concertos.

The grand finale was Ravel's Bolero when the dance team, including the primary school juniors, joined in and brought the house down with a collective gig that was as captivating for the eyes as for the ears.