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Kelvin Lau
Artistic Director, Hong Kong Inter-School Choral Festival
Founder & Conductor, The Hong Kong Virtuoso Chorus

From Kelvin Lau, Artistic Director

“What are the benefits of singing in a choir?” Every now and then, I get this question from parents. While I had no trouble reciting a solid list of merits of being a chorister, I knew that some of these benefits can only be realised if the choir is given the right training and opportunities. For instance, if a child feels defeated each time her choir loses in a competition, or if he is constantly criticized during choir rehearsals, such demoralizing experience may negatively impact instead of boosting a child’s confidence.

It was against this background that the idea of Hong Kong Inter-School Choral Festival (“HKICF”), an educational platform that sets high standards for but is encouraging to its participants, was conceived a number of years ago. Thanks to the generous support from Hong Kong Arts Development Council, Calvin Chan Foundation, The Tung Foundation, and Lee Hysan Foundation, HKICF can continue to expand, providing student choristers and teachers in Hong Kong with opportunities that are comparable to an international choir festival.

This year, in addition to our regular HKICF programmes of choral competitions cum masterclasses, workshops, clinics and exchanges, we kicked off an initiative to develop local choral repertoire by commissioning Mr. Leon Ko to write a theme song for the 5th anniversary of HKICF. We also launched a couple of new HKICF Plus programmes, targeting to help selected choral educators and student choristers on a more long-term basis.

Putting together a choral festival is not for the faint of heart. Doing so under the constraints and uncertainties of the pandemic was arduous and at times frustrating. For this, I must express my heartfelt gratitude to the HKICF organising committee for their hard work and dedication. My thanks also go to the choral and conducting experts from all over the world who join the HKICF Artistic Team as adjudicators, speakers, composers, coaches, and clinicians. You may read more about them in the biographies below.

Last but not least, I must thank every music teacher or conductor who takes part in HKICF. Whether you are enrolling in a workshop, or bringing your choir to one of our masterclasses, I want to thank you for joining hands with us to invest in choral education in Hong Kong.
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