The MTR Corporation is getting more than it bargained for with its crackdown on students carrying large musical instruments on trains, as professional musicians are fighting back. Yesterday, the head of Baptist University's department of music, Professor Johnny Poon, sent a letter to the railway operator urging it to address their concerns about student Ho Ka-yeung's unpleasant experience with MTR staff while carrying his cello in its case. READ MORE: MTR staff 'follow and intimidate" cellist "Hong Kong is not a cultural desert as some people say but when things like this happen one cannot but wonder: where is culture in Hong Kong," said Tung Hiu-lo, Ho's cello teacher and the principal gehu , or Chinese cello, of the Hong Kong Chinese Orchestra. "All I can do to comfort my student is to wait and see if the principal cellist of the Hong Kong Philharmonic Orchestra will be stopped in the MTR for his cello case." Laurent Perrin, assistant principal cellist of the Hong Kong Sinfonietta, said he had never had any problem with his instrument on board the MTR since he came to Hong Kong 17 years ago. "This is something unheard of in any part of the world. I find it hard to believe," the Frenchman said. "What would happen if all the cellists can't make it to rehearsals and concerts because we are not allowed to carry our instruments on the MTR?" Richard Bamping, principal cellist at the Philharmonic, said the MTR's "draconian bureaucracy" was bad for the city's image. "I really think the MTR should use a bit of common sense," he said. "[They] are going to discourage young people from taking up large instruments. I think that is very sad." Bamping, whose colleagues travel to work by MTR, said he had called the firm's hotline and was advised to leave his cello at home when taking the train. Ronald Chin, percussionist at the Hong Kong Chinese Orchestra, also wrote to the MTR to express his concern. "I don't want to resort to protest," Chin said. "But I do hope the management will understand our concern and come up with a workable solution." Classical music presenter and producer Calvin Lai suggested inviting composers to write a piece about the instruments banned from the MTR and organising a flash mob performance at the company's headquarters in Kowloon Bay as a form of protest. "I hate when our instruments are called luggage," said Ray Wang, cello professor at the Academy for Performing Arts and former cello player at the Hong Kong Philharmonic. One Philharmonic double bass player told the Post he would try taking the train with his instrument at Tsim Sha Tsui station tomorrow. "I am not mad at the MTR staff," said Ho, the student who set off the storm. "I am mad at the regulations."