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  Performing Groups
 
Music Office Youth Choir

The Music Office Youth Choir was established in 1980 and made its debut at a Christmas concert with the Hong Kong Philharmonic Orchestra in December of the same year. With a repertoire that spans from sacred to secular, classical to popular, and Chinese to Western, the Choir has performed regularly in local concerts and collaborated with many visiting music groups, among which were the Kagoshima Senior High School Choir (Japan), College of Saint Benedict-Saint John’s University Choral Arts Ensemble (USA), Pittsburgh Youth Symphony Orchestra (USA), as well as the reputable Bach Choir from the UK, with whom the Choir collaborated in a memorable performance of Bach’s St. Matthew Passion and Berlioz’s Grande Messe des Morts under the baton of Sir David Wilcocks. Other highlights include a recording of the winning composition in the UNESCAP-WMO Typhoon Committee songwriting contest and a recording of the National Anthem for a civic education television production with the Hong Kong Police Band.

Embarking on its first overseas tour to Malaysia and Singapore in 1997, the Music Office Youth Choir has, in 2002, concluded another highly successful tour to Kagoshima, Japan, where their performances under the auspices of the Kagoshima Prefectural Government were met with critical acclaim. Winning further recognition in a return visit to Penang, Malaysia in 2009, the Choir was awarded not only a gold diploma in both the Chamber Choir and Mixed Choir Open Category competitions in the “A Voyage of Songs” International Choral Festival, but also the Category Winner Award in the Mixed Choir Open Category and the Jury Award for outstanding artistic achievement.

With a total of 89 members between the age of 15 and 25, the Music Office Youth Choir is currently trained by Dr. Angelina Au and Mable Siew. Recruitment is held annually through open audition.
 
Hong Kong Youth Strings

The Hong Kong Youth Strings was established in 1985. It provides advanced training for young string players who have completed their term in district string orchestras of the Music Office. Since its establishment, the Hong Kong Youth Strings has participated regularly in the annual Hong Kong Youth Music Interflows and the Music Office Annual Gala. Besides their weekly rehearsals, members of the Orchestra have opportunities to attend masterclasses by eminent artists such as Gary Karr, Yeh Tsung, Peter Wilson, Kumi Sugiyama, Beaux Arts Trio, members of Philadelphia Orchestra and Nash Ensemble.

The Orchestra also takes part regularly in international youth music exchange activities including joint concerts with Cincinnati Junior Strings in 1992, Shenzhen Music Lovers’ Chamber Orchestra in 1996, Lincoln Youth Orchestra in 1998 and Beijing City 101 High School Orchestra in 2000. In 1997, the Orchestra went on a concert tour to Singapore and Malaysia. The Orchestra collaborated with renowned violinists Wong Sze-hang and Kumi Sugiyama in performances of Vivaldi’s Winter and Autumn Concertos in 2000 and 2001 respectively. In 2001, the Orchestra joined the Hong Kong Institute of Education Orchestra and Choir in the institute’s presentation of Carl Orff’s Carmina Burana, under the baton of Yip Wing-sie. In 2004, the Orchestra was invited to Kagoshima, Japan for cultural exchange and concert performances. The joint concert of the Orchestra with Kagoshima Wind Ensemble at Kirishima International Concert Hall had been acclaimed by some of the local audience as one of the best musical presentations of the year in Kagoshima. In order to gain more performance experience, the Orchestra took part in an interflow with the Youth Orchestra, Chinese Youth Corps of New York in 2007. In July 2012, the Orchestra went to Austria and Czech to participate in the Summer Cum Laude International Youth Music Festival Vienna and earned a place in the category of “Outstanding Success” in the Competition held in the Golden Hall of Vienna.

The Hong Kong Youth Strings currently has 78 members and is trained by Ng Ka-ming, Simon Li and Lui Wing-ka. Recruitment is held annually through open audition.
 
Hong Kong Junior Chamber Ensemble

The Hong Kong Junior Chamber Ensemble was established in September 2000 to provide ensemble training for young instrumentalists. Its debut at the Hong Kong City Hall in November 2000 was well received by the audience and echoed with appreciation from local music professionals.

The Ensemble has participated in many Music Office and local activities, such as “Youth Music Extravaganza”, “Music Office Spectacular”, “Eastern District Community Concert”, as well as charity concerts held by UNICEF. Its demonstration performance in the 2006 Hong Kong Youth Music Interflows – String Orchestra Contest was also well received.

The Hong Kong Junior Chamber Ensemble has at present a membership of 45, aged from 8 to 16 years, and is trained and managed by Dr. Joseph Kam and Lau Yeung-chit. Recruitment is held annually through open audition.
 
Hong Kong Youth Symphonic Band

The Hong Kong Youth Symphonic Band, trained and managed by the Music Office, was formed in 1978. The Band has successfully nurtured several generations of young musicians, creating a wider interest in and reception of band music in Hong Kong.

In 1978, the Hong Kong Youth Symphonic Band gave its debut with the visiting County of Avon School Orchestra. Since then, the Band has had the privilege of performing with a number of distinguished guest musicians and bands both in Hong Kong and overseas, among which included the Central Band of the United Kingdom Royal Air Force, the Tanunda Band of Australia, the Regimental Band of the Green Jackets, the Scots Guards of the United Kingdom, the Narashino Girls’ High School Band from Japan, the Baden-Württernberg Youth Wind Ensemble, and a number of youth bands from Canada, Japan, Australia, Philippines and Singapore. Noted conductors like Bruce Pearson, Dr. Vondis Miller and Robert Lutt from the USA, Eric Banks from the UK, Felix Hauswirth from Switzerland, Russell Hammond from Australia and Li Fang-fang from Beijing had also contributed much to the refinement of the Band.

In 1986, the Band went on a highly successful concert tour to Japan. In 1990, the Band was invited to participate in the Fifth Pacific Basin Festival in Hawaii, USA. In 1993, the Band visited Australia to give a number of performances in concerts and music exchanges. In 1994, the Band was invited by the Hong Kong Outstanding Young Persons’ Association to perform in the “Arts in the Park”. The Band participated in the 2001 Jeju Summer Band Festival organized by the Jeju City of Korea and won high acclaims from critics. In 2008, the Band was invited by the Kagoshima Prefectural Government, Japan to go on a concert tour for cultural exchange.

The Hong Kong Youth Symphonic Band has currently a total of 75 members between the ages of 12 and 25 and is trained and managed by Pak Wing-heng, Lee Sing-wan, Kevin Ling and Henry Cheng. Recruitment is held annually by open audition. This year, members from Kowloon Youth Symphonic Band, New Territories Youth Symphonic Band, Hong Kong Children’s Symphonic Band and some wind trainees of the Music Office will join in the performance.
 
Hong Kong Youth Chinese Orchestra

Formed in 1978, the Hong Kong Youth Chinese Orchestra is one of the most sophisticated ensembles under the management of the Music Office. Since 1980, the Orchestra has taken part in numerous local performances and major festivals like the Hong Kong Arts Festival, the Festival Fringe, the Hong Kong International Youth Arts Festival, the Celebration Concert on the 47th National Day, the 1997 Reunification Spectacular at Happy Valley, the 1998 International Arts Carnival, the Millennium Music Carnival and the “Music of the Dragons” concert for the celebration of the 5th Anniversary of the HKSARG, etc. On its 20th anniversary, the Orchestra invited former members and conductors to perform in the Anniversary Concert – including Tong Leung-tak, Dr. Joshua Chan, Wai Shing-fat, Wong Chi-chung, Chu Siu-wei, Loo Sze-wang and Ronald Chin. In celebrating it’s 30th anniversary, the Orchestra invited renowned musicians, Tong Leung-tak and Ronald Chin to participate in a special reunion concert in 2008.

In addition to giving local concerts, the Orchestra has also gone on a number of highly successful overseas tours – from neighbouring Macao (1979 and 1984), Singapore (1986 and 1995) and Malaysia (1995) to the UK and France (1979), Australia (1988), the USA and Canada (1990). Outstanding members of the Orchestra have also formed ensembles to perform abroad. In 1980, the group ‘Hong Kong Elites’ comprising selected members of the Orchestra toured Cyprus and Israel. Selected members of the Orchestra joined the 5th Australian Youth Music Festival in Melbourne, Australia in 1981, and performed in three different folk arts festivals in the UK in 1982 and 1983. In 1987, an eight-member ensemble performed to critical acclaim at the 3rd Hong Kong-Mantua Friendship Festival in Italy. In 1992, another ensemble of the Orchestra gave a distinguished performance at the Festival Hong Kong 1992 held in Toronto and Calgary, Canada. The Orchestra’s performances in the exchange programme “Tour to the Ancient Cities” in Beijing and Xian in 2000, together with the concert tour to Jiangsu with three dynamic concerts staged at the folk music festivals in Nanjing, Wuxi and Jiangyin in 2007, were highly acclaimed. In 2011 the orchestra embarked on a Taiwan premiere tour and received high acclaims in the concerts of Contemporary Chinese Orchestra Festival.

With a current membership of around 90, the Hong Kong Youth Chinese Orchestra is trained and managed by Tsui Ying-fai, Kwok Kin-ming, Tse Tsz-chung, Sam Kan, Chin King and Lee Ka-him. Recruitment is held annually through open audition.
 
Hong Kong Youth Symphony Orchestra

Founded in 1978, the Hong Kong Youth Symphony Orchestra is trained and managed by the Music Office of the Leisure and Cultural Services Department.

Over the years, many of its former members have pursued a career in music and become eminent performers or music educators. Guest conductors and soloists worked with the Orchestra included names of international acclaim, such as Sir Yehudi Menuhin, Fou T’song, Georg Tintner, Sir David Wilcocks, Tang Muhai, Kenneth Jean, Yeh Tsung, Yip Wing-sie, Timothy Landauer and Edward Grach. In May 2010, the Orchestra, at the invitation of UNICEF, jointly performed with the world-class pianist Lang Lang at a fundraising concert.

The Orchestra has also played the role of music ambassador of Hong Kong and completed successful concert tours to France, Israel, Cyprus, UK, Australia, USA, Singapore and cities in the Mainland. The Orchestra went on another concert tour to Shanghai and performed for the Hong Kong Week of Shanghai Expo in 2010. Apart from that, the Orchestra also participated in exchange programmes with Shanghai young musicians.

With a current membership of 96, aged 11 to 25, the Hong Kong Youth Symhony Orchestra is trained and managed by Ng Ka-ming, Pak Wing-heng, Dr. Joseph Kam and Yeung Tak-man. Recruitment is held annually through open audition.