Last month, Hong Kong hosted the 6th Winter Band Festival from 25 – 29 November organised by Rave Group, Hong Kong Band Directors’ Association and supported by Hong Kong Disneyland. This programme is one-of-its-kind in Asia – not only focusing on competition, but workshops, Disney Performing Arts performance and exchanges to enhance the musical learning and performing experience.
Dr. Tim Lautzenheiser, VP Education from Conn-Selmer, Inc., Dr. Paula Holcomb from New York State University of Fredonia and Prof. Toru Miura from Kunitachi College of Music are the panel of jury and clinicians for the 6th edition. Their contributions through the jury panel and workshops have benefitted many students. “This may be one of the best organised festival and most important for the Asia Pacific rim – with a jury workshop organised after the competition allowed us in continuing the learning process of music making for the students and conductors!” said Festival Director, Dr. Lautzenheiser.
Despite the challenges faced this year by the organisers, the festival was participated by 23 concert bands from Hong Kong and Singapore. Without a doubt, 2014’s most popular Disney animation, “Frozen” has been the favourite choice for set piece! Their appearance last year shocked and propelled the primary school band’s standard through the roof… once again, Ying Wa Primary School Band topped the Junior Division with an excellent performance of Where Eagles Soar by Steven Reineke. Notable performances by Ying Wa College Band conducted by Mr. Danilo Delfin and Heep Yunn College Symphonic Band conducted by Ms. Chau Wing Kam, their Reed’s Armenian Dances Part 1 have received positive reviews from the jury. Also, PLK No. 1 W. H. College Band’s performance of Grainger’s Lincolnshire Posy (selected movements) conducted by Mr. Lam Wing-Tsan marked the highlight of this year’s competition. “For a student group, this may be one of the best performance and interpretation by the conductor and his band,” said jury, Prof. Miura.
“The festival has gained much momentum in the region and to-date has been participated by more than 8,000 young musicians from primary school and college bands from China, Hong Kong, Malaysia, Philippines, Singapore and Thailand. We will continue to work closely with our partners to provide this unique platform to bands who wish to have an unique music learning journey for many years to come!” said festival organiser, Mr. Steven Phua. He added that there will be slight changes in the competition format for the 7th edition so keep a look out for details!
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A contributing editor at TBP.