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Tour to Estonia and Finland 2018

Date: 27/07/2018

Tour to Estonia and Finland 2018

27-07-2018 

The Hong Kong Children’s Choir Tour to Estonia and Finland was held successfully from 27 July 2018 to 9 August 2018. Led by our Music Director and Principal Conductor Ms Kathy Fok, members participated in the choral festival “EUROPA CANTAT” in Tallinn from 28 July to 4 August. Organized by The European Choral Association, “EUROPA CANTAT” is held once every three years and it has attracted thousands of choir members, conductors and composers from all over the world. The organizer offered a wide variety of ateliers to participants every morning during the festival. Our members attended the ateliers that covered different kinds of knowledge such as “Vocal games”, “Estonian Music”, “Music of America and The Caribbean”. The ateliers took place in Tallinn University in the morning and members watched concerts or performed in the concert in the afternoon. After the festival, our members headed to Helsinki for two concert performances in Finland.

27 July 2018 Day 1

55 members from Concert Choir gathered at Hong Kong International Airport at 6:30 am and departed for the 14-day Tour. By making a transfer at Helsinki Airport, they arrived at Tallinn, Estonia in the evening.

28 July 2018 Day 2

After attending the atelier in the morning, members visited Kumu Art Museum which displays the best national art from the 1700s until today such as Estonian classics from the 18th century until the end of World War II. Members got to know more about how the 20th-century occupation period, socialist movements and other political occurrences have affected art in Estonia.

29 July 2018 Day 3

Members gave a concert with another choir from Switzerland, Choeur Laudate at Rae Cultural Centre in the afternoon after the atelier session in the morning. Members performed a number of Chinese and Hong Kong works including Kung Fu by Dr Steve Ho, HKCC’s Composer in Residence, Big Fish and Flower of Four Seasons. To amaze the audience, members performed one of the festival songs, An Irish Blessing with Choeur Laudate. At night, members watched a concert – Estonian Atmospheres.

30 July 2018 Day 4

Members presented a concert with Estonian choir, Ellerhein Children’s Choir at House of the Blackheads in the afternoon. Members performed a number of Chinese and western works including the world premiere of Children of Light, sequel of Echoes of the Lost World by the Singaporean composer Darius Lim. Our performance received a loud applause and standing ovation from the audience. To thank the enthusiastic audience, Concert Choir sang Joiku as an encore. At night, members had another outdoor concert performance at Square of Towers. Some of the audience came there in support of Concert Choir after enjoying the concert in the afternoon.

31 July 2018 Day 5

After the atelier session, members took pictures in front of the landmark of Town Hall Square, Tallinn Town Hall. After that, members visited St Nicholas’ Church which is located in Tallinn’s historical centre. Members spent the afternoon exploring hundreds of year of religious arts in this beautiful medieval building.

1 August 2018 Day 6

Members watched a concert – Estonian Highlight 2 at Estonia Concert Hall of Estonian National Opera after attending the workshop in the morning. At night, we performed at Blackbox Studio of Tallinn Creative Hub. Members sang the first song Let Music Flow while entering the stage from both sides of the auditorium. Members then staged Children of Light with various instruments. The performance received a standing ovation from the audience.

2-3 August 2018 Day 7-8

On 2 August, members spent the afternoon visiting Kadriorg Palace and Arts Museum which specializes in foreign pieces from the 16th to 20th centuries and the famous concert venue Tallinn Song Festival Grounds.

On 3 August, members went to The Alexander Nevsky Cathedral for sightseeing. This late 19th-century orthodox cathedral was built in the Russian Revival style and is known for its large size and iconic black turrets. It’s located at the Toompea Hill in the heart of the Old Town district. After that, members took a stroll at the upper town of Toompea, exploring winding cobblestone streets and enchanting architecture.

4 August 2018 Day 9

It was the last day of the festival. Members attended the atelier session in the morning. In the afternoon, members put on the last concert performance at Russian Cultural Centre. They delivered three western works including Laudate Dominum, Tundra and Volta do Mar Largo with Djembe and guitar, bringing the audience into members’ angelic voices. In the second half of the performance, members focused on Chinese works including Flowers of Four Seasons and Song of Four Seasons. Members brightened their performance with Chinese instruments and dances, giving the audience visual enjoyment. The concert hall resounded with cheers and applause. The finale of the concert epitomizes the end of our journey at Talinn, Estonia. They will travel to Helsinki, giving two full concerts in Finland.

5 August 2018 Day 10

Members enjoyed their last lunch meals at Tallinn. To express gratitude, they sang a song to the waiters and waitresses. After lunch, members headed to the next destination – Helsinki, Finland.

6 August 2018 Day 11

In the afternoon, members staged a concert at Temppeliauko Church. Built into the rock face, the church is among the world’s most extraordinary religious structure. It is constructed inside a rocky outcrop and has a lavish modern interior. The excellent acoustics there makes it a desirable place for holding concerts. It‘d been the second time HKCC held a concert there since Tour to Europe 2012. Members performed a number of Chinese and western works including Cries from a Distant World and In Search of Plum Flowers in the Rockies. The performance met with loud applause.

Members went to Helsinki Hall of Finlandia Hall for rehearsal right after the concert at Temppeliauko Church. The concert, namely HKCC Towards 50th Anniversary -“HKCC & Friends”Concert Series: Tapiola and HKCC, was co-presented by The Hong Kong Economic and Trade Office, London. We are honoured to have two guests of Honour Mr Yam Tak fai, Ronald, Chairman of Board of Directors of HKCC and Ms Priscilla To, Director-General of the London ETO. The concert started after they had delivered their speeches. The music comprised a repertoire of songs from East and West. The first half of the concert focused on Western works including Laudate Dominum, Tundra and Children of Light. The concert also featured the renowned guest choir Tapiola Choir from Finland who performed The Ritual Dance which amazed the audience. They sang together in a mass choir alongside the HKCC and Yuen Long DAC Treble Choir. They performed The Ritual Dance which amazed the audience.

The second half of the concert focused on Chinese and Hong Kong works. Members first performed Kung Fu with dances that resembled Chinese martial arts moves, illustrating the song vividly. Then members performed Flowers of Four Seasons and Song of Four Seasons with Chinese instruments and dances. At the end of the concert, members sang HKCC’s 50th Anniversary theme song I Just Want to Sing with Tapiola Choir.

7 August 2018 Day 12

All the concert performances had come to an end and members could finally spend some time enjoying the beautiful scenery in Finland. In the morning, members took the ferry ride to Suomenlinna. Members strolled along the cobbled path and relished the stunning view of the sea. In the afternoon, members took pictures in front of Helsinki Cathedral which features brilliant façade and impressive Corinthian pillars. Then, members visited National Museum of Finland which preserves the permanent collection of many interesting items and features interactive exhibits for adults and children. After that, members spent a relaxing afternoon walking around Sibelius Park.

8-9 August 2018 Day 13-14

Members visited Porvoo, enjoying the scenery of the colorful and charming city by strolling along narrow cobbled streets and seeing clusters of wooden houses in the afternoon. At night, they took the flight back to Hong Kong.

The Tour wouldn’t have been successful without the generous support of London ETO, the care from Chairman of Board of Directors of HKCC Mr Ronald Yam, Music Director and Principal Conductor Ms Kathy Fok, conductors Mr Dominic Lam and Ms Vivian Suen, accompanist Ms Lin Ching, and all the touring staff. A special thanks also goes to all the members and parents from Concert Choir. HKCC will continue to serve as the “Little Goodwill Singing Ambassadors”, striving to spread the message of love and peace in different parts of the world!