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HK Youth Symphonic Band to stage enchanting concert with guest soloists (with photo)

     The Hong Kong Youth Symphonic Band (HKYSB) of the Music Office will jointly perform with guest trombone soloist Guo Zheng and guest drum set soloist Choy Lap-tak at the band's annual concert.

     Under the batons of the Music Office instructors Pak Wing-heng, Lee Sing-wan, Palas Chan, Florence Au and So Hon-tou, the HKYSB will play a varied repertoire ranging from an "unusual" concert march to pop music and animation soundtracks. The Hong Kong Children's Symphonic Band will also perform, making for a very colourful concert.

     Organised by the Music Office of the Leisure and Cultural Services Department, the Hong Kong Youth Symphonic Band Annual Concert - An Enchanting Band Music Programme Full of Colours will be held at 7.30pm on May 21 (Saturday) at the Auditorium of the Kwai Tsing Theatre.

     Guest trombone soloist Guo Zheng will perform Appermont's "Colors", which was originally a solo work inspired by the colours yellow, red, blue and green. Guo's rich and colourful mastery of the trombone will be enhanced by the varied backing timbres of the symphonic band.

     Choy Lap-tak, the guest drum set soloist, will play Tyzik's "Riffs", which consists of fast swing, heavy medium swing and an Afro-Cuban finale. This piece will transform the band into a big jazz ensemble led by the jazz drum soloist. An optional cadenza in the music allows the soloist to work out a "call and response" section with the percussionists.

     Other programme highlights include Mackey's unusual concert march "Xerxes" and Arnold's "Four Scottish Dances", with the first dance in the style of a slow strathspey, the second dance a lively reel, the third dance an impression of sea and mountain scenery and a lively fling in the finale. Famous pop pieces by John Tesh, including "Garden City", "Concetta", "Road Made for Animals", "April Song" and "Barcelona" will be featured in "John Tesh: Live at Red Rocks". For animation enthusiuasts, "Animation Songs Medley, Joe Hisaishi Works" comprises four popular soundtracks: "Carrying You" from Laputa, "Bird Person" from Nausicaa of the Valley of the Wind, "The Bygone Days" from Porco Rosso and "Path of the Wind" from My Neighbour Totoro. "Vilia" from the opera The Merry Widow and the music from the war film "The Longest Day" will also be featured.

     Guo Zheng received music training from his father at the age of five. At twelve, he came under the tutelage of trombonist Guo Hao from the China National Symphony Orchestra. He served as principal trombonist for the Jiangsu Symphony Orchestra in 1993 and joined the Guangzhou Symphony Orchestra in 1997. In 2000, he obtained the highest award of the Society of the Hong Kong Academy for Performing Arts Non-local Scholarship and was thus able to further his studies. As the principal trombonist of the Guangzhou Symphony Orchestra, Guo has performed at many prestigious music halls around the world, including the Concertgebouw in Amsterdam, Netherlands, Musikverein in Vienna and Brucknerhaus in Linz, Austria. He is currently an associate professor at Guangzhou Xinghai Conservatory.

     Choy Lap-tak started learning western percussion at the Music Office in 1980. In 1990, he studied percussion at the Hong Kong Academy for Performing Arts (HKAPA) with Dr Lung Heung-wing. Choy was awarded the Hong Kong Jockey Scholarship to further his studies at the Royal Northern College of Music in Manchester with Ian Wright and Dave Hassell in 1995. As an active percussion and timpani soloist, Choy has performed with the Hong Kong Philharmonic Orchestra, the Hong Kong Sinfonietta and Macau Chamber Orchestra and gave performances in Sydney, Singapore, Shanghai and Guangzhou. Choy is currently teaching at the HKAPA and has been the Hong Kong consultant for the Trinity Guildhall Drum Kit Syllabus since 2009.

    Formed in 1978, the HKYSB currently has around 70 members aged 12 to 25. The band has performed with distinguished guest musicians and bands, including the Central Band of the Royal Air Force (UK), the Tanunda Band of Australia, the Regimental Band of the Green Jackets, and youth bands in Canada, Japan, Australia, the Philippines and Singapore. The band has also performed under the baton of many noted conductors including Bruce Pearson and Vondis Miller from the United States, Eric Banks from the United Kingdom and Felix Hauswirth from Switzerland.

     In 1986, the HKYSB made a highly successful concert tour to Japan and was invited to participate in the Fifth Pacific Basin Festival in Hawaii, USA, in 1990. In 1993, the band visited Australia to give performances in concerts and undertake music exchanges. The band also participated in the 2001 Jeju Summer Band Festival organised by Jeju City in Korea. In 2008, the band was invited by the Kagoshima Prefectural Government of Japan on a cultural exchange concert tour.

     Tickets priced at $80, $60 and $40 for the concert are now available at all URBTIX outlets. Half-price concessions are available for full-time students, senior citizens aged 60 and above, people with disabilities and Comprehensive Social Security Assistance recipients. Credit card booking can be made at 2111 5999, and Internet booking can be made at

     For programme enquiries, please call 2796 7537 or 2582 5311 or visit the website,

Ends/Thursday, May 5, 2011
Issued at HKT 11:01


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