Hong Kong – The Hong Kong Drum Festival, an event marking its 20th anniversary, organized by the Hong Kong Chinese Orchestra and proudly presented by Chinachem Group, concluded in a crescendo of rhythm and enthusiasm, aiming to convey the uplifting power of drumming and reaffirm Hong Kong’s standing as the “events capital.”
Professor Yan Huichang, the Artistic Director and Principal Conductor for Life of the Hong Kong Chinese Orchestra, affirmed, “HKCO will continue to bring musical feasts to the public and promote fine Chinese and Hong Kong stories.”
The festival’s pinnacle event, “One Beat, One World: Connecting Through The Drum” Drum Carnival and 5G Live Music Concert, unfolded at the iconic West Kowloon Cultural District Art Park, captivating audiences with an array of exhilarating activities and extraordinary performances.
Key highlights included the installation of a towering 3.47-meter-tall Peace Drum accessible to everyone, captivating stage presentations by the victorious teams of the Hong Kong Synergy 24 Drum Competition, and a vibrant parade featuring drumming teams recognized as Intangible Cultural Heritage of China. These included the Yan’an City An’sai Waist Drum Troupe from Shaanxi province, Chengnan Zhongjing Yingge Team from Shantou, Guangdong province, and the Shanxi Jiangzhou Drum Troupe.
Admission to the event was entirely free, allowing visitors to immerse themselves in an array of attractions, including drumming workshops, interactive game booths, and a variety of food and drink stalls, offering a delightful weekend for families and friends alike.
The grand finale, a 5G live concert, brought together remarkable drum performances from across the globe. Artistic Director Yan Huichang led the Hong Kong Chinese Orchestra in collaboration with esteemed virtuosi from various corners of the world, including Dori from the Republic of Korea, Yosuke Oda from Japan, Azaguno from Africa, Abbos Group from Uzbekistan, and the world-renowned Anthony Fernandes.
Each performance was a testament to the rich tapestry of drumming traditions from diverse cultures, weaving an unforgettable symphony of sound and cultural exchange. The Japanese drumming ensemble, Taiko, delivered a powerful and emotionally charged performance that resonated deeply with the audience. Samul nori, a mesmerizing traditional Korean percussion genre, stood out with its dynamic rhythms, lively body movements, and spirited execution. The Abbos Percussion Group from Uzbekistan engaged the audience, heightening the overall ambiance. An erhu player even treated the crowd to a segment of Cantonese Opera, “The Floral Princess,” a delightful surprise for all.
The concert was broadcast worldwide via 5G technology, attracting 16,000 viewers both in the live audience and online, who immersed themselves in the passionate and exhilarating world of percussion.
The pulsating beats on stage uplifted spirits, creating a thrilling atmosphere. Live audience members were provided with Brown Drums for interactive play with the orchestra and percussionists, leaving a lasting impression on the concert with the most fervent and dynamic conclusion.