HKUGA College 10th Anniversary Concert: Jubilation
With the beautiful voices of Ashira meaning “I will sing” in Hebrew resonating in the Grand Hall of the University of Hong Kong, the concert, Jubilation, literally ended on a high note to mark the commencement of the 10th Anniversary Celebrations of HKUGA College on Sunday, 11th October.
HKUGA College was founded in 2006 by the Hong Kong University Graduates Association Education Foundation (HKUGAEF). This year marks the decennial celebration of the College, and the year-long celebrations have started with the grand opening of Jubilation, a concert presented by the College Choir and Orchestra, together with the special guest performers, the world-renowned Vienna Boys Choir.
The university’s Grand Hall, designed by Jaffe Holden, was opened in 2013 with a capacity to house 834 concert-lovers, and it has been praised for its world-class acoustics for chamber music in the territory.
Hundreds of hours of preparation and rehearsal, and the efforts of more than two hundred performers and backstage crew members helped orchestrate this memorable night of music and harmony. The College Choir and Orchestra staged performances of a number of pieces, including a strings ensemble of a Bach piece, and an enchanting A Cappella performance of a Disney medley. The HKUGA Primary School Choir lightened up the occasion with their joyous performance of a medley of songs from The Sound of Music. Then, before the intermission, the teachers' stirring performance of Below the Lion Rock, a nostalgic Cantopop song about the spirit of perseverance and solidarity, awed the audience with their perfect vocals, the lyrics reflecting on the journey of the College's establishment.
The highlight of the concert was the anticipated special guest performance by the Vienna Boys Choir led by the Hong Kong born choirmaster, Jimmy Chiang. The quintessential boys choir of choristers aged nine to fourteen has undertaken nearly 1,000 tours in over 100 different countries and Jubilation was one of their shows in Hong Kong. Almost half a million spectators around the world have been impressed by the gift and wonder of their vocals. The audience of Jubilation was no exception, immersed in the choirmaster’s beautiful arrangement of songs from all over the world, including a Chinese lullaby, The Moonlight Lullaby. The boys’ pure and pitch-perfect voices brought the audience to their feet on several occasions and earned thunderous applause.
All the choir groups were welcomed again to perform the final song When You Believe, which brought a jubilant climax to the finale of the concert. "Who knows what miracles you can achieve when you believe. Somehow you will; you will when you believe" - this key note in the final harmony echoed perfectly the belief of the HKUGAEF when, years ago, they founded the College, now a flourishing success in shaping stars of future pillars of society.
It was indeed an unforgettable night. The event would not have been possible without the generous support rendered by the University of Hong Kong, patrons and guest of honours, Prof. Paul Tam, Provost and Deputy Vice-Chancellor, HKU; Prof. Ian Holliday, Vice-President and Pro-Vice-Chancellor (Research), HKU; and Mr. Douglas So, Vice-President and Pro-Vice-Chancellor (Institutional Advancement), HKU.