Choir Immersion Learning Journey, Guangzhou & Hong Kong
The Dunman High School Choir, comprising of 39 students and 5 teachers, went on a 7D6N cultural and academic immersion to Guangzhou and Hong Kong from 24 November to 30 November 2016.
As part of the academic immersion, the choristers were privileged to be able to visit the Guangdong Experimental High School (广东实验中学) in Guangzhou, one of the two key high schools directly administered by the Department of Education of Guangdong Province. During the academic immersion, it was clear how the students of Guangdong Experimental High are motivated to develop themselves holistically in the areas of art, sports, as well as science and technological innovation. The choristers also interacted with the students from the school’s Chinese Orchestra (民乐团) by performing for one another and through games to better understand their CCA. Though the interaction time was short, the students from both schools mingled well and many made new friends.
Guangzhou also offered many cultural and historical sites for cultural immersion. These sites include the Yuexiu Park with the Stone Statue of the Five Rams, whose legend had since become an emblem of the city. At the Mausoleum of the Nanyue King, the choristers had a first-hand experience of going into the tomb itself to witness for themselves the whole layout and the many chambers that the Nanyue King, Zhao Mo, had planned for himself even after death. There were many intricate details and artefacts that could be seen in the museum, especially the silk-jade garment that was worn on the King when he was buried. At the Chen Clan Ancestral Hall, the choristers saw intricate microscopic carvings on ivory through a magnifying glass, as well as live demonstration of Chinese watercolour paintings being done by an artist using only his bare hand.
Over in Hong Kong, the choir competed in the 2016 Asia Cantate Choral Festival which was held at the Youth Square. The choir participated in the Mixed Voices Choir (Senior Youth) and Folklore categories, competing against more experienced youth and adult choirs from the Philippines, Indonesia and Hong Kong. Despite the strong competition, the choir is proud to have attained two Gold B awards in these categories. During the choral festival, the participating choirs also attended workshops in singing techniques conducted by the adjudicators, as well as a special Cantonese opera cultural workshop. To wrap up the overseas learning journey, visitors to the renowned Ocean Park were enchanted when the choir performed a selection of Christmas carols, contributing to the festive spirits of the year end.
The choir would like to thank the teachers who have lived and breathed with us through this overseas learning journey – Mr Adrian Ong, Ms Low Siok Hong, Mdm Tan Mei Qiang, Ms Geraldine Joseph and Mr Ian Zhao. The choir would also like to thank our conductors – Ms Jennifer Tham and Mr Albert Tay, whose tireless efforts and strokes of musical genius have groomed the choir to what it is today.
“During the OLJ, I learnt more than just how to do well in pen-and-paper tests. The trip deepened my understanding on the culture and history of both Guangzhou and Hong Kong. I also learnt to be more independent. Being away from my parents and family, I had to depend more on myself. The OLJ also taught me to be more responsible. Being a rather careless person, I would often leave my personal belongings lying around. Thanks to the help from those around me, I can say that I am much more aware of my surroundings than I was before the OLJ.”
16Y1E Darius Deng Yang
“This OLJ has taught me what a DHSChoir family is. When everyone is travelling abroad away from their families, the only people we could rely on are our friends and teachers, this makes everyone more bonded as we see each other every day and eat, talk, play, sing along with each other, like family. It is really heart-warming to see everyone enjoying themselves, as I see the ice between my juniors, seniors and batch-mates disintegrate. I think this is what makes DHSChoir special, even in the toughest times during the OLJ.”
16Y2F Krystal Chiang Zhen Zhen