SOTY 2019: Performing arts finalists hope to inspire city’s youth through song and dance

By Donna Ma
  • Students had to prepare a video performance for the judges this year, as they could not meet face-to-face, and prove their commitment to art
  • Finalists include singers, Latin dancers and pianists
By Donna Ma |

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Performing arts covers a spectrum of activities, such as singing, playing an instrument or dance.

Students shortlisted in the Performing Artist category of this year’s Student of the Year (SOTY) Awards prepared a video performance for the judges, since they could not meet in person. Each candidate proved their commitment to their art, rising to the challenge and shining through it.

Nominated for the second year in a row, Lorraine Chan, a Form Five student at Good Hope School, started taking violin and piano lessons soon after attending her first classical concert at age three.

She began singing in her primary school choir and has been on musical exchanges to Busan, in South Korea, Singapore and Bulgaria as a solo vocalist and as a choir member. She has also taken part in and won awards at the Hong Kong Schools Speech Festival.

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Music is Lorraine’s passion and she encourages others to incorporate it into their lives, especially for its health benefits.

“Playing a musical instrument or singing helps relieve stress. You also feel powerful after you have mastered a piece,” she says.

Talking about her previous SOTY experience, Lorraine says she was happy to have had the chance to get to know nominees from all categories through the outdoor activities organised to bring them together. She appreciates that the programme provided opportunities for students to meet people with different interests and interact with leaders in the community.

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Having started taking Latin dance lessons in Primary Three, Chan Pak-tsun, a Form Four student at Concordia Lutheran School, was thrilled to have his hard work recognised by his inclusion on the list of finalists.

At his school’s 50th anniversary celebration, Pak-tsun stood out as the only male dancer to perform a self-choreographed piece, incorporating a mix of dance styles including Latin dance, ballet and jazz.

For SOTY, he also performed a piece that he choreographed himself, saying he is dedicated to his craft. “I hope to continue promoting Latin dance and to open my own studio in the future.”

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“In recent years, I’ve noticed that there has been more promotion of Latin dance, but people are still not aware that the samba and the cha-cha are Latin dances.”

Pak-tsun plans to study at the Hong Kong Academy for Performing Arts or to earn a degree in Physical Education and continue bringing the joy of dance to people through his performances and through promoting Latin dance in Hong Kong.

Sherri Lun, a Form Five student at Diocesan Girls’ School, started learning the piano at four and the viola at five. She has taken part in major piano competitions, including the Zhuhai International Mozart Competition for Young Musicians and the Asean International Chopin Piano Competition.

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When she was 11, she joined a one-week chamber music exchange programme in the US city of Chicago, organised by the Lang Lang International Music Foundation.

She says this year’s awards theme of “Leading for a Better Society” encouraged participants to reflect on how they can contribute to society and help make it a better place.

Sherri has always dreamed of becoming a concert pianist, and although it may be difficult to be a full-time performer in Hong Kong, she hopes to give it her best shot. She wants to share her love of chamber music with more people, especially the city’s youth.