Tuesday, October 25, 2005

Another day of harmonica activities.

It is only a week since I last documented the practice sessions on Blog, and yet it seemed that I have lived a month. Not that the day passes slowly - it's the contrary. In 5 of the last 6 days, we had 4 practice sessions and 1 performance. The practice sessions were evenly divided between HKHA and YMCAHO. And then there is paper work that I am involved in.

Today is a luxury. I can rest for the whole day. But the coming few days will be like a repetition of what happened last week - 4 practice sessions and 1 concert; the only difference is that the concert is held by YMCAHO instead of HKHA. Well, actually, there is another mini-concert I am involved in: Art in MTR, another chance to go on stage before we set off for Germany. And in the next night following these hectic activities, we fly off.

So, I have spent the bulk of today uploading the photos to this new Blog. The process has taken longer than I like - Blogger randomly selected this Blog as a target of anti-spam, so that I have to go through the word verification processing each time I create a posting.

Most of the photos taken indoors were done without using flash, in order not to disturb other people. Because the environment is quite dark most of the time, I set the camera to ASA400. So, don't be surprised if you see poor resolution or blurs. On the other hand, the effect of some of the photos is quite nice, especially the one for the trio rehearsal which I selected for display in the delegation's Blog.

When I arrived at KC at about 1:40pm yesterday, the other guys had already moved all the equipment out to the street. I felt a little guilty of being late, but the morning was really busy for me.

While we waited for the lorry, we took a couple of photos. In the spare time, I examined the camera to get more used to its functions. I have never owned a DC, and this one was borrowed from my in-law. Then camera was pointing down and I noticed an interesting sight, so I took one with all of us standing in a circle. The photo showed nothing but our shoes and trousers, and we all laughed after seeing it.

So much was the fun; we continued to chat, and chat, and chat. The lorry was so late that we were all silently cursing the driver. When we arrived at the Run Run Shaw Hall, it was already 4:05pm. A good number of people had already arrived before us.

Tony showed us to the dressing rooms to unload our personal belongings. I took the opportunity to take some photos of the almost unoccupied dressing rooms. We then went to the auditorium. Wesley and ACL was rehearsing their duet, so I wasted no time to shoot a few photos, as a warm up exercise and also start documenting. The rehearsal started with duets and solos, then trios, then ensembles. The Hall was very nice. I thought it was comparable to the Hong Kong City Hall.
At 5pm we started the rehearsal for orchestras. The time was so tight that for the WAGUIHK piece, we were unable to run the entire piece once.

At 6pm all of us had to leave the auditorium. When went back to the dressing rooms, the rice boxes were already delivered, thanks to Tam Sir for taking care of us. I took a few shots of supper process.

The last shot was a coincidence. Louisa told us we could use the ladies dressing room because very few people were there. So some of us moved there. Then we noticed that 4 of the 5 second treble players of the Rossini piece were practicing in the same area, and we had a picture of ourselves taken. This explains why we were holding up two fingers with our hands.

For many of us, the Pre-tour Concert was a very good experience. It uncovered areas for improvement so that we would be doing better in the competitions and concerts in Germany.

Pictures taken in front of the KC building. Posed with the large instruments and amplifiers that are to be transported to the Hall.

We have no tripod. We don't feel like asking a stranger to take a picture for us. So how can we all appear in the same picture? Here's the solution!

Moving the timpani from the lorry to the back stage.

Above: This area, near the entrance door, is akin to the sitting room of a house, except that the TV is hanging from the ceiling.

Above: On the other side of the sofas are two changing rooms .
Below: Performers do the make-ups here.

This dressing room is big. It takes 3 photos to cover the entire place.

Tony and Vincent testing the pair of walkie-talkies which will be used in our upcoming German trip.

Wesley and ACL

ShuPei and the HT girls listening to the duet.

This hall can accomodate an audience of over 1000 people. It has a balcony.

View of the stage from the right most seat of the last row.

View of the audience front seats from stage-left while a duet is being rehearsed.

HP speaks to the stage worker as HK plays his solo piece.

Yeah, yeah, yeah, ...

A view of the performers from the back of the stage, with the control room in sight. The chord player (on the right) does not need to read the scores!

The HT Ensemble Group rehearsing. The group has 11 players and some of them have not arrived. Near the middle are 6 secondary school girls. Today is their sports day and they are off for the afternoon, so they came early and have been patiently waiting. Poor Pinky on the left stands as a "dummy" - She is not one of the group members but is asked to be there, probably for checking the visual effect.

Getting ready for the Rossini piece. About 1/4 to 1/3 of the players have not arrived. They are probably have just left their offices and are now rushing to the Hall.

Bass Mel. player Louisa; D. Bass players Grace and Crystal

Getting ready for the WAGUIHK piece. While most of us wait patiently in our seats, David is discussing with Wesley and HP talking to the wood-wind group and a stage worker.

Practicing versus eating - which is more important to you?

ShuPei multi-tasks between eating and advising the duet players Wesley and ACL.

A little relax while we eat.

These whistles are used in the WAGUIHK piece.

The secondary school boys ensemble group gathered for a final practice chance before going on stage.

This is taken after the concert has already started. Four of the 2nd Treble players for the Rossini piece happened to be practicing in the same area, so we posted for this shot.