The weeks before the performance of the Hong Kong Children's Choir, I got to know about their show here in Kota Kinabalu through the several banners hung around town. I had never heard of them before, but I supposed the fact that they were performing internationally at our shores meant that they were probably good enough.
I had no intention of attending the performance, but just last week my neighbour had been talking about it to my wife saying how her daughter had been wanting to go and watch the performance. At the same time, the organisers had been promoting the tickets for the show at my wife's school as well, and that sort of got my wife interested and she in turn got me interested. So, in the end we decided to go and brought along Adelle as well. Our neighbour's daughter came along as with us as well.
We arrived at the Star City Exhibition Hall just after 7 pm without having taken our dinner because we thought we were running late. We bought our tickets and proceeded to take our seats. We sat at the second row from the front so that we could have a pretty good view of the choir. But since there were no signs of the show starting yet, I took the opportunity to have a bite together with Adelle. My wife had packed some food for us to eat so Adelle and I looked for a suitable place to eat. By the time we finished about 15 minutes later, the show still hadn't started. In fact, it didn't start until it was 8 pm. That was a whole hour delay from the time printed on the tickets.
Despite the hiccup, when things started it was smooth sailing all the way. The emcee got things rolling with the usual reminders - silencing handphones, no flash photography, too keep to our seats during performance until intermission - and then invited several VIPs and their spouses to come up on stage to do a ribbon-cutting ceremony. With that out of the way, the choir came in followed by the conducting to enthusiastic applause and my surprise. The troupe is called the Hong Kong Children's Choir so I was expecting to see children. But, the first thing I noticed was that these people didn't look like children - more adolescent than primary schoolers. But it was a small matter - semantics one might say.
We were given a programme sheet for the evening's performance and it'd say we'd be treated to both English and Chinese songs with the intermission dividing the two. The first two songs were hymns and they were followed by several more secular songs. The song selection for the first part of the performance was a mixture of slow and upbeat songs which kept things interesting. But, what proved outstanding were the quality of their voices and the well-choreographed movements. No, they didn't just stand still while they sang, they were moving all parts of their bodies and at certain times, even walking about exchanging places and in what looked like utter chaos! It's a wonder they didn't bump into each other and fell onstage!
Here are some of the photos I took during the performance.
|The host for the evening, a Rotarian.|
|The choir's opening act.|
|Noticed this girl crying - wonder why...|
|The group's largely made up of girls.|
|Singing and movement - perfectly synchronized.|
|Action during one of the more upbeat songs.|
|Sometimes, choir members would say something to introduce a piece or provide information about their group.|
|They dance as well!|
|Reminds me of a scene from the Sound of Music.|
|Awaiting their turn to come in - all eyes fixed on the conductor.|
|You get some really funny actions in some of the songs!|
|The crying girl becomes a happy, graceful girl.|
|Different parts of the choir would be doing different actions - all perfectly polished!|