In October 2008, I and several TCO members arrived in Hong Kong for the first HKIFCO event, where representatives of Chinese orchestras from over 10 different countries and regions were invited together to play, perform and exchange ideas. The HKIFCO was jointly organized by the Hong Kong Chinese Orchestra (HKCO) and the Hong Kong Chinese Instrumental Music Association. TCO combined with members of the BC Chinese Orchestra and Edmonton Chinese Philharmonica to represent Canada. During this 8 day event, we were able to meet and establish connections with many orchestras from China, Hong Kong, Malaysia, Singapore, Taiwan, and Australia. Everyday, there were concerts and rehearsals taking place all over Hong Kong – it was amazing! The main organizer, Mr. Tony Lai, worked tirelessly to make it a thoroughly enjoyable experience for everyone.
One of the many highlights of the festival was being able to play and perform with the HKCO, fulfilling one of my childhood dreams. We performed with the Hong Kong Juvenile and Youth Chinese Classical Orchestra, and the Wang Kwong Orchestra. As well, we joined with other orchestras to play with HKCO for two concerts. The final performance had musicians from many of the orchestras perform en masse. As there were hundreds of musicians, many were performing from the balcony too! It was a sensational experience.
I learned a lot from this trip. I saw what we, TCO, can aspire to. There was much passion and energy from all the musicians there: to learn, grow, and share this beautiful music with others. Here in Canada, we can do so much in our multicultural society to teach others and most importantly, the next generation about our music and culture. There is so much potential here! With determination and commitment, our orchestra will continue to flourish. Music has helped connect me to my culture and my wish is to pass this priceless gift forward.