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Japanese girl ensemble to perform with toy instruments

     Toy instruments evoke memories of childhood in all of us. The nostalgic yearning for those bygone days and their whimsical music come together to create a musical world of fairytales, of dreams and the yearning for happiness in us all.

     The Toy Magic Orchestra from Japan will perform two "Magical Forest Concerts" in May, featuring soundtrack music and themes from animation classics by Joe Hisaishi. Special guest will be nine-year-old Nara Yuria, who gave Ponyo her voice in "Ponyo on the Cliff by the Sea". Yuria will sing the theme and two other tunes from the animation at the concert.

     Founded in 2009, the Toy Magic Orchestra is the only ensemble that makes music with toy instruments like toy piano, miniature recorder, playful triangle and tinkling celesta. Members include Noguchi Anri, Yagitani Yuri, Kyoya Hitomi and guest member Sawada Akiko. The orchestra has released its first album, "Toy's Ghibli", which features many popular tunes from Joe Hisaishi's animation classics. It was followed by a public performance at Shanghai's Times Square.

     "The Magical Forest Concert" is the closing programme of the "Family Fiesta" series presented by the Leisure and Cultural Services Department. It will be held at 7.30pm, May 1 (Saturday) at the Auditorium, Yuen Long Theatre, and 7.30pm, May 2 (Sunday) at the Auditorium, Tsuen Wan Town Hall.

     Tickets ranging from $100 to $170 are now available at URBTIX outlets. Senior citizens aged 60 or above, people with disabilities, full-time students and Comprehensive Social Security Assistance (CSSA) recipients may have 50% off (limited quotas for CSSA recipients on a first-come, first-served basis). A maximum discount of 20% is offered for group booking and "Family Fiesta" series schemes. Please refer to the programme leaflet for details.

     Other attractions in the series include "Far-out Physical Fun" by The Tweaksters (March 19-21), "International WOW Magic on Earth" (March 20 and 21), "Concert by The Hong Kong YWCA Chinese Orchestra" (March 21 and 27), "Letter's End" by Spoon Tree Productions (April 2-5), "Melodious Piano Moments Concert" by Hong Kong Children's Symphony Orchestra (April 10 and 11), "Concert by the Hong Kong Music Lover Chinese Orchestra" (April 11, 17 and 24), "Seasons of the Sweet Gum" by Fantasy Puppet Theatre (April 16-18) and "A Musical Zoo" by Made in Hong Kong@Four Gig Heads (April 24 and 28).

     For details of the programme, please call 2268 7323 or visit . Ticketing enquiries and reservations can be made on 2734 9009 and credit card telephone bookings on 2111 5999. Tickets can also be booked online on .

Ends/Thursday, March 18, 2010

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