A total of 1,282 arts ambassadors from 673 primary, secondary and special schools attended the 7th Arts Ambassadors-in-School Recognition Ceremony today (11 July) at Queen Elizabeth Stadium to make a pledge showing their commitment to the arts and to share the joy of arts with others.
The Hong Kong Arts Development Council (HKADC) launched the Arts Ambassadors-in-School Scheme (AAiSS) since 2008 to recognise students with artistic excellence and enthusiasm and encourage them to contribute their arts talents to the community. This is the seventh year of the Scheme, more than 6,700 students have been appointed as arts ambassadors.
Co-organised with the Radio Television Hong Kong Radio 2, the Recognition Ceremony was officiated by Mrs Lai Chan Chi-kuen, Marion, Permanent Secretary for Education; Dr Wong Ying-wai, Wilfred, Chairman of the HKADC; Vice-chairman Ms Yan Hau-yee, Lina and Ms Tai Shuk-yiu, Leonia, Deputy Director of Broadcasting (Developments). Singers Hins Cheung, Joyce Cheng, Jay Fung and local music band Lil’ Ashes also performed at the ceremony to show their support.
Speaking at the ceremony, Dr Wilfred Wong, Chairman of the HKADC, noted that the Scheme has not only broadened the ambassadors’ horizons since its inception, but more importantly, gathered the young people who are passionate to arts and built an exchange platform, in which they can learn from each other and grow up together, forming a new force to arts development.
Following the inauguration ceremony, there were an array of performances staged by the arts ambassadors and artists. These included:
1. Percussion Duet
Harmony defines a duet. Arts ambassador Justin Chow and local musician Louis Siu are certainly on the same musical wavelength to bring out the surprising harmony in percussion music and delight audience with the strong beats of snare drum and a clear-tone marimba.
2. Dance Alive
22 arts ambassadors inject their passion for dancing to choreograph this ground-breaking Hip Hop performance with local Hip Hop veteran Rock Fang. Set to strong rhythm, the power-fused show will sure drive up the temperature and ignite your dancing instincts!
3. Harp and Violin Duet: Intermezzo from Cavalleria Rusticana by Mascagni
Originally from Pietro Mascagni’s well-known verismo opera Cavalleria Rusticana, this beautiful Intermezzo is introduced to popular culture as the score of many famous films. Two outstanding arts ambassadors, tutored by revered musician Leung Kin-fung, will give their own unique interpretation of the piece and take audience to a magical music journey.
4. Music Jam: Price Tag
Two arts ambassadors together with local beatbox artist RX Wong and music band Lil’ Ashes will refresh your senses with a newly arranged Price Tag.
5. Sheng, Xiao, Yan Qin and Claborate-style painting animation: August Nocturne
Composed by arts ambassador Wu Kwan-yu, August Nocturne was one of the selected pieces performed at Music from the Heart series organised by Hong Kong Chinese Orchestra. The crossover of Wu’s original score and animation gives audience unprecedented auditory and visual stimulation and lift them all the way to artistic infinity.
6. Musical: Seussical Excerpt
Adapted from world famous children literature series by Dr Seuss, this Broadway musical packages life lessons in fun and entertainment. A selected scene from this family musical is brought to you by 19 talented arts ambassadors and local singer Joyce Cheng.
7. Mini Arts Stage
Four mini stages are set up for arts ambassadors to showcase their artistic talents; performances include Chinese ink painting, sketching, paper-cuts and origami.
The ceremony came to a finale with a declaration ceremony. Led by Mrs Marion Lai and witnessed by parents, teachers and other guests, the ambassadors made a pledge showing their commitment to the arts and to share the joy of arts with others.
Over the past few months, the arts ambassadors participated in various arts activities including arts workshops, “Meet-the-Artists”, and sharing of arts experience through newspapers, television and radio programmes. To encourage ambassadors to demonstrate their imagination and creativity and spread the joy of arts creation, “Community Arts Maps” Visual Arts Publication Project is organised this year. Teacher workshops are organised to foster their knowledge to the community, ambassadors went on a community treasure hunt under their teachers’ guidance, meandering through streets and corners of the districts their schools located to dig up interesting stories and history to create their unique arts map. The curating team will work ahead to compile these original works into Hong Kong’s first community-oriented maps collection, expecting to publish in August.
To further nurture ambassadors with potentials, elite ambassadors are selected to participate in the “Cultural Leadership Youth Camp 2015” which is a joint initiative with The University of Hong Kong’s Advanced Cultural Leadership Programme. Local and international arts and cultural practitioners are invited to share with 18 ambassadors their experiences in cultural management and arts administration.
In its 7th edition, the Scheme in collaboration with arts institutions will co-organise a series of Summer Workshops on different art genres including drama, Cantonese opera, photography, visual arts, puppetry, musical and dance, so that ambassadors may gain more expertise and open up the path of artistic creation in the future.
For ambassadors’ listing and details of the Scheme, please visit www.aaiss.hk.