by David Wong, Concert Chair

This year’s concert was held on Saturday October 21 at the Berkeley Chinese Community Church (BCCC). Sponsored by BCCC this time, it was the third grand concert organized by OAACUHK(NCal) following the ones in 2013 and 2015 in Oakland and BCCC respectively. We also had mini-concerts held in the even years since 2012. As on previous occasions, the goals are mainly to promote the interest of our alumni, their families and friends in a variety of Eastern and Western music including religious, classical, folk/art and contemporary/pop songs sung by soloists, small groups and choirs; and to introduce such music to the general public. Our East Meets West “fusion” band led by Amien Lau has also accompanied many songs, and for the first time it has accompanied the joint OAA+BCCC choir. Overall, we’ve received substantial good feedback from the listeners on all performances, music selections and arranging. Our OAA choir and band have excelled over previous concerts to a large extent. Moreover, the Rhumba dance by the Chuang couple and the a cappella (unaccompanied) male quartet in singing an old Chinese warrior song have added much color and excitement to the concert. Thanks for all your participation!

Our utmost gratitude goes to the BCCC for their hospitality in opening up such a nice church venue for our use, as well as their choir’s participation (led by Kovick Chan) in our program which has rendered their great support for the event. On our side, apart from the rehearsal efforts of all performers especially choir members and the band, I am most grateful and thankful to a team of dedicated, efficient and hard-working task coordinators and helpers in contributing to the concert’s success – including our Floor Manager/Logistics Coordinator and Program Pamphlet producer (George), Stage Manager (Joseph), PowerPoint producer (Cecilia), Receptionist (Florence and others), Food Coordinator (Karen), Photographers (Roland and Helen), Assistant Conductor (Sum) for helping in the choir rehearsals, and many other behind-the-scene helpers and volunteers, including PhD student Nicole. We must also thank Marisa and Vem for opening up their home for our choir practices since February, and Cecilia for her nice desserts after rehearsals. While we’re building on our past experiences, the CUHK team-work spirit in such big event is indeed overwhelming and unforgettable. One thing which I do cherish is working humbly, amicably and selflessly with team-mates who can mutually consider others’ viewpoints and not always insist on those of their own – apart from “two (or multiple) heads are better than one”, there is always wisdom in other people’s ideas.

In organizing future concerts of such magnitude, perhaps we may need to cast our publicity net somewhat wider to, say, also extend our invitation to other university alumni associations and notable cultural/music organizations in the Bay Area to attend, with a view to sharing good music with more members of the community at large and obtaining more feedback from listeners on how we can do better. And as mentioned before, we need to continue mobilizing the “silent majority” of many talented alumni, their spouses and children to rise up and perform, especially in choir singing and band playing.