CityU choirs showcase their talents at an international choral festival

Ellen Chan



Forty-seven members of the CityU Choir, Alumni Choir and Staff Association Singing Group participated in the Busan Choral Festival and Competition from 31 October to 4 November. This represented the first time the three choirs had formed a team to take part in an international choral competition. The trip was a rewarding experience for all of the participants.

The Busan Choral Festival and Competition, organised by Korea Choral Institute, marked the first time CityU Choir had participated in an international musical event. This year there were 30 choir groups from different countries participating in the event. The Festival consisted of both a competition and concert. The selected members from the three CityU choirs competed in two categories: Classical - Mixed Voice and Popular. The choir members not only participated in the competition but also attended workshops to improve their vocal skills before performing in the concert.

Professor Lilian Vrijmoed Kwan Lee-ping, Dean of Student Learning, is a member of the Staff Association Singing Group and the troupe’s captain. She said she appreciated the efforts of the Korean government in organising this kind of activity. It enabled the youths involved to broaden their horizons and learn more about the different musical cultures. “I hope the choir members can learn more about the international standards of music through this competition. This experience may provide the incentive for them to seek to improve their vocal skills,” Professor Vrijmoed said.

Professor Vrijmoed said the students who participated in the event not only had a sound training in discipline but also learned to accept the opinions of others. “I requested that the students set up the outcomes-based objectives in advance and choose a method to fulfil their objectives. The students will conduct a self-evaluation so they can improve further,” Professor Vrijmoed added.

Ada Wong Wing-sum, a Year 3 student of the Department of English and Communication, is the President of the CityU Choir and the assistant captain of this troupe. She learned a lot by organising this event. Ada had to work hand-in-hand with the other two assistant captains to arrange different props for the performance and manage the manpower. It was really a great challenge as the preparation time was very limited.

“We had to manage everything within a limited timeframe, thus the three assistant captains distributed the workload among ourselves. Other choir members also volunteered to help and this really impressed us. We learned that team spirit within a group was very important,” Ada said.

Ada said they needed to work with the other two choirs, which necessitated negotiating with different parties. This enhanced their communication skills and taught them to be considerate.

“Moreover, we have widened our horizons by meeting with choirs of international standard and this helped improve our vocal skills,” Ada added.

Mrs Yu Chan Wan-kam, one of the troupe members, believed organising such a large-scale event was an invaluable opportunity for the students. “This is a refreshing experience for the students. They have improved their organisational skills and become more confident in trying different things,” Mrs Yu said. She was deeply impressed by the students’ passion and appreciation for music. She hoped the University could organise more activities of this kind and encourage more students to participate.

The troupe is performing at the Bi-Annual Performance organised by the CityU Choir. This will be held on 13 November, at 7:30 pm at Wei Hing Theatre. For those interested, please contact the CityU Choir for ticket reservations.


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