Leadership for a better world
Characters Unlocked by Cici Zhang (Y13, Smith)
Harrow Hong Kong’s Prefects Team 2015-16
When I went around and asked people what they thought of when they heard the word “Prefect,” many replied with positive adjectives such as “genuine,” “helpful,” “inspire,” “friendly,” and “leadership.” However, when I asked them what role the Prefects play in the School community, the response I received was a subtle mix of confusion and cluelessness. As a member of the Prefect team myself, I have decided to explore deeper into the team and give an insight to who we are, and what we do. The Prefect body has only been running since 2013; this year’s student group is composed of 12 Prefects, who are either assigned to a Head of a Senior or Prep House, and managed by the Head Boy and Girl under the Deputy Head, Mr Bolderow. The process of selecting this student group began way back in June 2015, when application forms for any students in Year 12 who wanted to have a position of leadership in the School community were handed out. All applicants had to fill in a two-page application, with the exception of the candidates for Heads of School, who had to go through an interview with the Senior Leadership Team followed by an interview with the Head Master and the Deputy Head. It’s been a while since the School term started; everyday you can catch a Sixth Former with a bold, striped tie in the rec room and on the astro during break, and monitoring pupils in the dining hall during lunch. However, these duties are only a small part of our responsibilities as Prefects; it’s more about playing a pastoral role in the School; interacting and closing the gap with the younger ones. The Prefects chat to them to find out what they enjoy and where changes could be made. In our weekly meetings we discuss our upcoming plans, most recently the launch of the Academic Societies, and review the potential challenges pupils have in the Houses, acting as a key communication link between the student body and staff. The door of opportunities that being a Prefect opens is far more than just being able to write it on our CV; this role pushes us to become more open minded and improve our leadership, management, communication and teamwork skills.
When I asked Katie Ip (Y13, Head of Tutt House) what being a Prefect means, she said, “I’m thankful for the opportunity to widen my social circle in the School community; the responsibilities I have allow me to get to know the Prep School students better. The best part is the sense of personal reward I get when I help someone, making the role all the more worthwhile and it encourages me to accomplish even more.” Our main aim this year is to find different ways of strengthening the bonds within the School community. As the School grows in size, we believe we can be a positive factor making more effective links between the Upper and Lower school to forge a stronger close-knit community. We want to be a positive daily presence for all students - after all, it’s the simple things that count.
A Taste of Teaching Myra Tong (Y3, Dragon) The Lower School teachers arranged for some Year 11 pupils to teach and work with some Lower School mathematicians. After lots of waiting, at last they arrived - the big Year 11 boys and girls. At first they looked scary because they were so big, but they turned out to be really nice! They helped us to improve our maths skills in lots of ways. My class 3G had Victor and Jason to work with. I worked with Victor. Victor taught us vertical multiplication. Victor was an excellent teacher who made the lessons hugely entertaining. Victor also taught us how to multiply numbers together by place value. (For example: 2456 in place value would be 2000+400+50+6.) It was a really nice experience that helped us get to know and learn from some of the older students in the School. Kari Lam (Y11, Tutt) My first assignment was to teach the students a dice problem, a problem which I found quite challenging! I was surprised at how well all the students did, as they were very patient and enthusiastic. Since they were very keen on Maths, I had a fun time teaching and solving the questions with them. I had two
very talented students and they solved the first question in less than ten minutes. They even figured out another method to solve the problem and it actually worked! This programme is a great opportunity for all of us because it will improve our patience and the ability to work with different people. Courtney Lam (Y11, Ward) Eager. Energetic. Exceptional. The Year 4s have been a pleasure to teach so far! It was very intimidating at first because doubts just couldn’t stop rushing into my head when I first landed in the Lower School, anticipating our students’ arrival. How am I going to teach them? How am I supposed to make them listen to me? How should I explain things to them? All these ‘how’s’ were instantly wiped away by their diligence and dedication to Maths.
Joanna Byrant (3G, Ox) At first it is a little bit scary because you don’t know anybody. Fortunately, you soon get used to the School and it becomes really fun as you have lots of new friends. The teachers are really kind and helpful, and PE is brilliant. We do so many new, exciting things in lessons like drama and card and gift making which is fantastic. I really enjoy swimming and the indoor pool is so nice and warm! I feel really lucky to be a Harrow Hong Kong student.
What’s it like being a new student?
Lexi Hui (4M, Snake) It’s strange being new at the School. I felt both excited and very anxious. I didn’t know if I would make friends or if people would like me. I was quite overwhelmed at the start because the School is so big! Mr Moss has made the lessons very enjoyable and he has assigned me a buddy to help me settle in. I have enjoyed all of my academic and sports lessons so far and all of the teachers have been very helpful. At times, I miss the small friendly atmosphere of my old school and of course my friends and teachers. If I were to give any advice to another new pupil it would be to try your best, be brave and try to make new friends and try as many new things as possible.
Rowing at Harrow Hong Kong by Hamza Apabhai (Y11, Waterman)
Rowing Team at the Shek Mun Rowing Centre
Over the last two years, rowing has been integrated into the Enrichment programme, and this exciting sport will hopefully become one of many traditions at Harrow Hong Kong. With a team of just under ten, we rush to gate 3 every week to board our bus to the Shek Mun rowing centre, where we depart at 5pm and arrive back at school by 7pm. Between those times, we work on our technique and develop our teamwork. Although we all have very different experiences, our coaches help us develop towards our potential level and give expert advice on how we can improve and advance. The major event that happens in the season is the Inter-Schools’ Regatta during the Spring Term. Rowing is great if you love three things: 1. Being out on water 2. The people in your team 3. Improving and learning new skills One of the big challenges for everyone involved is the timing, coordination and most importantly remembering the technical aspects of each stroke. I have really enjoyed learning how to row at the School, and highly recommend trying it out if you think this sounds like a sport that might appeal to you.
Sports News Cross Country
Frans Otten (Y11, Lloyd)
On Tuesday 8 September, 41 Harrow Hong Kong students participated in the Ma On Shan cross country race hosted by Renaissance College, which is near Sai Kung. Alongside Renaissance and Harrow Hong Kong, Australian International School, American International School, YCIS and Hong Kong Academy also raced. The course was along the open and flat Ma On Shan promenade, which called for quick racing albeit facing the challenges of the hot, sunny and humid Hong Kong weather. When we arrived, Henry Luise (Y12, Waterman) and I took the U12 boys and girls for a short warm-up, as they were the first group to race. Their race consisted of a 2.5 kilometre run along a sector of the Ma On Shan promenade. Both the boys and girls teams ran tremendous races, with a few podium finishes. Xavier Leboeuf (Y6, Fox) finished second while Max Smith (Y6, Fox) came a well-deserved first with a time of 12m.47s. As for the girls, the results were just as good, with Asia Peel (Y7, Matthews) finishing third and Annika Klaus (Y8, Keith) second.
Next to start were the U14s, who needed to cover a distance of 3 kilometres along the same promenade. Although the boys struggled to keep up with the fast pace set by Renaissance, they managed to get five top ten places, with Tom Leslie (Y8, Morris) coming a solid fourth place. Although the girls were hit with the same fate, Tanami Penfold (Y9, Smith) was a standout runner who managed to secure a podium finish in third place. The U16 girls then ran their 4 kilometre race and there were some excellent performances, with a fifth place finish for Eve Caplowe (Y11, Smith), and a first place win for Anika de Blank (Y9, Ward) with an impressive time of 18m.30s. The final race of the day was the U16 and U20 boys. Combined, the U16s and U20s started the 5 kilometre race at a fast pace and within no time a group of Harrow Hong Kong boys were at the front. There were some outstanding results, in particular Jesse Swan (Y9, Lloyd), who ran himself into a first place for the U16s and second overall and myself, as I was both first in the U20 category and overall, with a time of 19m.21s. Overall, it was a very well organised event and there was a real sense of Harrow Hong Kong pride as there were tremendous efforts from all the students involved who are surely looking forward to the next race. Well done to all the competitors. U14 Boys’ Football Pierce Duffy (Y9, Lloyd)
The U14 football team have had a challenging start to the season, but they are improving with every match. The first match was against Australian International School at Wu Chan Recreational Ground. The A team’s game started out badly with the team trailing 3-0. However, Mr Thomson rallied the team and despite a determined fight back to draw level at 4-4, unfortunately a last minute goal resulted in their defeat with the final score at 4-5. The B team had a better game winning their match 2-1 so congratulations to them. The A team’s next match was a home match against Island School. Although the team was level at half time, they conceded two more goals in the second half resulting in a 3-1 loss. U14 Girls’ Football Amberly Ying (Y9, Ward)
Unfortunately, in their first match, the team lost 10-0 to Australian International School. It was a disappointing result but they tried hard throughout, and after more time training, looked forward to their second match of the year. In a heated and exhilarating match, Harrow Hong Kong won 2-1 against Discovery Bay International School on the 7 September. Star players of the match were Holly Luttrell (Y9, Ward) and Lea Leboeuf (Y9, Ward) who both scored a goal each. The attack was strong, and the defence virtually impenetrable with Venezia Ogden (Y9, Ward), and Poppy Otten (Y8, Keith), both playing extremely well as defenders. Within the next week, the team improved even more, winning 4-1 against Discovery College on the 21 September. Lily Haik (Y7, Duffner) scored a hat trick whilst Holly Luttrell (Y9, Ward) scored one goal. The team improved notably in their playing skills, largely thanks to training more together as
a team at extra enrichment sessions after school. On 23 September, the team played against Christian International School. Lily Haik (Y7, Duffner) scored a goal in the first half, but the other team scored 3 goals. However, during the second half of the game, Lily Haik scored two more goals for a second hat trick in three days and the match ended 3-3.
Football Team: Sam Allardyce Visits the School Cooper Swan (Y8, Morris)
On 25 September, those of us participating in the Prep Football ECA had the privilege of meeting the legendary Sam Allardyce. Big Sam, as he is affectionately known, has taken on the role of both a manager and player for a number of Premiership English football teams, most notably West Ham United and Bolton Wanderers, where he was both a player and later the manager. He has recently been appointed as the new Sunderland manager. On his arrival to the School, he watched us play for about half of the session. We took the opportunity to show off our individual skills as well as our camaraderie as a team. This was followed by a “Question and Answer” session where we were able to ask about his career in professional football. Questions ranged from who was his least favourite manager to which team he grew up supporting. He answered all the questions with humour and he demonstrated his passion for football. He inspired all of us and I am grateful that I had the opportunity to meet, listen to and learn from him. U20 Boys Rugby Ed Cazzoli (Y12, Cale)
The U20s enjoyed a good start to their season. On the 10 September we played in a 7s tournament against West Island School and Chinese International School. The first game against West Island School was gruelling. Despite the early try scored by Justin Chan (Y13, Lloyd) and then a try from WIS to equalize, they then scored again in the last minute of the game, which led to the unfortunate loss. However, our style and intensity showed great promise for the next game and for the future. The game against Chinese International School was a little bit easier, although they did play with great drive and passion. We managed to make Mr Finch proud with a good win. Jonathan Billow (Y13, Nightingale) scored two well taken tries and Johnathan Ip (Y10, Lloyd) scored as well. Although the opposition scored one try, they did not convert
it so the final score was 17-5. We were very happy with our performance and so now it was time to prepare for the 15s. Our first 15s game was on 17 September against Island School. It was a highly anticipated game due to the fact that they defeated us last year. We wanted to show that we had improved and achieve a win. Unfortunately that was not the case; we lost by 3 points despite playing very well. After some good team work early in the game, a try was scored by Oliver Duffy (Y11, Lloyd) who cut through the back line and sprinted to score in the corner. They responded with two tries before Oliver Duffy ran the length of the pitch and after some fancy footwork, scored a very stylish individual try. This made the score 10-10. In the last couple of minutes of the match they got a penalty and then went on to convert to get the 3 points needed to secure the match. Once again both Mr Finch and Mr Hamon were very happy with our performance as a team and we look forward to the next match. The match against KGV on the 24 September was an interesting one. We weren’t really sure what to expect going in and we were evenly matched. Although we were better in some areas, our tackling was not strong at times, which let some of their better runners through and score. Oliver Duffy scored two great tries and kept us in some sort of contention, but in the end the final score was 10-29 to KGV. An unfortunate loss but again, the team’s structure is good and we look forward to the next matches and further improvement. Girls’ U20 Rugby Eve Caplowe (Y11, Smith)
On 10 September, the U20s Girls’ rugby team played our first ever tournament as a team after only two hours of training. It was always going to be tough. We lost twice and won once. Our first match was against KGV and we lost 4-0. The second game was against Shatin College, a team full of experienced DEA Tigers players, and we lost 2-0. We didn’t score, but there were some positive signs with try scoring threats from Magdalene Ho (Y12, Tutt), Alexa Fung (Y11, Smith) and our captain Anabel Lee (Y13, Smith). Our last game was against CIS, a relatively new side, and we seemed to be evenly matched at the start with both teams possessing a couple of fast players. In the end we managed to dominate possession and play mostly in their half to end the tournament with a 3-0 win.
The Perks of Being A Sporting Wallflower by Matthew Leslie (Y11, Waterman)
It’s not easy accepting that you’re no longer the sporting warrior you once used to be. Although I still may be able to walk with no discomfort - and you wouldn’t notice anything unusual - I felt so disappointed when the doctor told me I was off sport for six months to a year. It was just the act of running: I would do 50m, and would be forced into limping on after that. Given that it made up the large majority of my commitment and extra-curricular life at Harrow Hong Kong, the absence of sport left me overwhelmingly lost with what to do, both at school and in my personal life.
One of the first things I had anticipated, with a degree of resignation, was the response from the rugby and badminton teams. I did (and still do) receive friendly bitterness and scorn from both the squads, with the same people forgetting that they asked me the same question last week: ‘why aren’t you playing today?’ The rugby players see me as making excuses, but I go along with it - such is the etiquette of sports teams. Yet one may perceive this discontentment from the players with a more heartening view. The evident frustration is indicative of the collective sense of pride in a team, which has amazingly been born amongst teams who have been together for hardly 3 years. I reluctantly turned away from the sports pitch, and was struck by the concept of ‘free time’ which had now sprung into existence. I found myself with lunchtimes, break times, and enrichment periods now freed from the timetable, not to mention the myriad of ECA choices I could now choose from. At first I found it surprisingly difficult: coming back to the House after school and realising I didn’t need to be anywhere - I was quite frankly lost by what to do. And so I decided to invest more time with the Art and Music departments. It’s incredible to discover what an hour here and there does for your experience for a subject you enjoy. In the music wing, I managed to spend more time practising the cello, and sometimes went into the recording room to work on my music composition. I also signed up for Orchestra on a Thursday for ECA and enrichment. In the Art department, having all the materials readily available allows me to work more freely with assignments, and means either Ms Cases or Mr Stratton is always on hand to help. Being more exposed to the notes on a stave or the acrylics of the art room develops a genuine passion for a subject you already appreciate - in my experience anyway. This I believe is one of the most valuable aspects of enrichment: the genuine freedom to take advantage of the School’s facilities. To be able to go into a practice room and play for enjoyment, to be able to meet up at lunchtimes to rehearse as an a cappella group, to be able to go into the art room and continue with a piece of work, or to be able to have a game on touch on the astro after school. It is this freedom that allows people to develop in whichever area of school life they are most interested, and with investing time comes a real enjoyment for what you want to do.
It’s All Greek To Me by Madeline Duperouzel (Y13, Ward)
Why do we bother with Ancient History? There’s a particular question that I’ve had to consider a lot recently: Why on Earth do we still learn about Ancient History? Everyday, as I read history books, prepare for University applications and interviews, re-check my History syllabus, I am reminded of the fact that Ancient History is slowly becoming a niche market. Not only “real” Ancient History, either, but pre-Industrial Revolution History. It seems that in an increasingly technological and fast-paced world, we are inclined to forget the slower way of life, before the “turning point” year of 1750. At first glance, perhaps this can be understood. Does it really matter why or how the Vikings created the Danelaw in 886? Do we need to know that in 312 the Roman Emperor Constantine I had a “vision” which caused him to convert to Christianity? Should we actually be concerned with why the Mediterranean civilisations of 1200 BC collapsed dramatically and suddenly? And finally, who cares why Henry VIII had so many wives? The answer is simple: all of these events in Western History are defining reasons as to why the world today functions the way it does. If we were to look to the East, we would see many similar events – the collapse of the Song Dynasty in the 1100s is a particularly fascinating event. As is the exploration of Admiral Zheng He to Africa before Christopher Columbus had even begun his journey to the Americas. What about the period of time before the European Renaissance in which Eastern Civilisation, from Baghdad to Beijing, dominated world culture and influence, as the West was left largely in the dirt and squalor, trying to figure out how to tie their own metaphorical shoelaces? I would argue, that post-1750, the differences between East and West become all consuming. Even today, the biggest topic on the lips of economists, anthropologists, policy-makers, monarchs, and us, ordinary students, is who will come to dominate the global stage in the coming years? If we only look back to 1750, we may see a fairly grim picture – only one society will prevail. As soon as we look back further, we can begin to unravel the patterns that have shaped history. These patterns, as argued effectively by Ian Morris in his phenomenal book Why The West Rules – For Now, can give us some indication of what will happen, and it isn’t as grim as we first thought. We can see that civilisations have often fallen, but have also brought themselves back from the brink. Furthermore, we can observe the development of “states” and “economies” and begin to understand why these concepts have such a profound meaning today. Why did the development of the Tudor State, coinciding with Protestantism in England, help shape the British Isles? Why did Western Europe divide into a series of warring, competitive states, and China, equally as large, become a united Empire? What does this say about the way we govern today – was communism in China an inevitability? Was the growth of the free market in Europe a precursor to the Industrial Revolution and 200 years of technological dominance? Unless we can look back to the distant past, these questions seem completely unanswerable. It isn’t all complex political, social, and economic ideas, however. The Middle Ages are enthralling for their
wars and feuds – look no further than the War of the Roses and you’ll find the inspiration for George R.R Martin’s Game of Thrones. There is a kind of humour in the way that China frequently rebuffed Europe’s advances before the Opium Wars, graciously accepting gifts and not hesitating to remind the West of their self-sufficiency and general cultural superiority. It is interesting to speculate over what may have happened if this hadn’t happened or that had. “Ancient History” is a challenging subject. There is no doubt that historians must be more persistent in their search for and analysis of sources the further back into the past we look. It is key to remember, that while people so far back may seem like numbers on a page, a random assortment of letters to spell a name you’ll never be able to pronounce, they were alive once upon a time. Their stories are just as personal, touching, hilarious, sobering, and real as those of anyone who lived beyond the Industrial Revolution. To understand history is to understand human development, and that didn’t just begin in 1750.
Community Updates by Kalina Milenova (Y11, Ward)
Sponge-ing for Laos On 16 October 2015, ten Harrow Hong Kong students will be embarking on a service expedition to Laos alongside the World Volunteer Organisation, accompanied by Miss Delaney and Mr Fleming. The aim of the trip will be to aid locals in building an eco-bungalow to encourage sustainable tourism in a remote village in Luang Prabang. The Laos team has been working hard to raise the money for the trip and on 23 September they held Harrow Hong Kong’s first ever ‘sponging’ event. This involved students from both the Pre-Prep and Upper School voting through donations for the teacher they wanted to see sponged over the course of a week, after which the brave, ‘winning’ teachers were chosen to be sponged. The event was a big success and was definitely an exciting point of the week for many. This was followed by the Prep School Movie Nights which took place after dinner on the Wednesday. Prep School boarders were invited to watch new Disney movies with snacks provided to help raise money for the service expedition. Thanks to the support of the students the outcome of the two events raised an impressive $22,000HKD. The Laos Expedition team is extremely thankful to everyone who took part and everyone involved is looking
A Helping Hand On 21 September, Harrow Hong Kong’s community service working party visited the Lai Yiu Bradbury care home for the elderly in Kwai Chung. The home is run by the Hong Kong based organisation Helping Hand, whose objective is to meet the continuously emerging needs of senior citizens in Hong Kong as quickly, effectively and imaginatively as possible. When we arrived at the home we were warmly greeted and briefed about the structure of the home, as well as the situation of some of the people living there. After this, we were given the opportunity to walk around and meet a few of the residents, which for me was the highlight of the visit. We were warmly greeted by everyone and despite the language barrier between them and many of the students, including myself, we were able to briefly chat to them, with the help of the Cantonese-speaking Harrovians amongst us. The home was very quiet and peaceful and we were kindly welcomed by everyone we met. The residents we spoke to were happy to tell us how long they had been living at the home (which greatly varied) and interesting stories about their lives. The women we met briefly described the close-knit nature of the community and their favourite activities, which included listening to the radio late at night and watching television with their friends. It was inspiring to see how the organisation had provided a home for them and could accommodate for people at varying stages of their lives with differing health problems. This was the first of many more visits to come, as we hope to build a long-lasting bond with the people working and living in the Bradbury care home and help in any way that we can. I personally look forward to getting to know the residents and starting to work alongside the organisation.
The Globe’s Hamlet by Afifa Ansari (Y13, Tutt)
At the beginning of September, 45 students from years 7 to 13 took part in a trip to attend a production of Hamlet, performed by the renowned Globe Theatre Company. Hamlet is a story of vengeance, deceit and madness. Set in Denmark, the play begins on a cold, misty night, as two of Hamlet’s friends encounter the ghost of the recently deceased old King, Hamlet’s father. The ghost later appears to Hamlet, revealing that he was murdered by Hamlet’s own Uncle Claudius. Hamlet must then avenge his father’s death, and employs a troupe of actors to put on a play that will help determine whether Claudius really did commit the crime.
Additionally, Hamlet takes to feigning madness, in order to grant himself freedom to examine Claudius’s guilt. The play quickly spirals in to a complex network of subordinate plots and themes, touching on political intrigue, love, and mortality, to name a few. Seeing the play performed live really highlighted the complexity of the characters, whilst also allowing me to understand them a little better, as they became three dimensional individuals rather than names on a page. I gained an insight into some famous lines, and realised that many of the plays’ messages are still relevant today. There was also a great deal of humour involved, communicated effortlessly by the actors. The cast of less than a dozen performed short folk songs between acts, which helped to establish a change of setting and also provided some light relief from all the death and fighting! Hamlet contains, in its entirety, roughly 4000 lines, so to be able to cut it down whilst retaining the essence of the play is a big task in itself. The Globe Theatre troupe delivered an insightful arrangement of Hamlet, making the trip a very valuable and enjoyable experience.
Anthro-what?! by Nia Milenova (Y13, Ward)
When I tell people I want to study anthropology at university, the most common response is: ‘is that where you dig stuff up?’ What they’re thinking of is archaeology. Indeed, upon opening a university ‘Undergraduate Prospectus’ last summer, I was bewildered by the sheer number of courses I was unfamiliar with. The challenge of exploring each of these disciplines was daunting in itself, let alone finding one which I was ‘passionate’ about. Nevertheless, with some research and guidance from teachers, I discovered anthropology, an inter-discplinary subject which seemed to incorporate everything I am genuinely passionate about. Anthropology derives its name from the Greek word anthropos, meaning ‘human’ and –logos meaning the ‘study of’. Thus, anthropology is the study of humans, and more specifically what it means to be human. Traditionally, the discipline has studied the ‘otherness’ of people and societies and researchers would embark on ethnographic fieldwork to exotic destinations across the globe. Although this is still a focus of the discipline, latterly, the unprecedented movement of people and subsequent transmission of cultures is narrowing cultural diversity. An anecdote about a tribe of transhumant camel nomads in North Africa clearly depicts this; the tribes’ annual migration had taken place in March since the dawn of time. Recently their migration was delayed by several months, the reason being that they did not want to miss the final episodes of Dallas. Whether this tale is true or not, is not the point, rather it is the message conveyed – the world is no longer what it used to be. Reading around anthropology has opened my eyes to the scale of diversity in the world, and it is easy for one to be intimidated, particularly considering how sealed we are in bubbles of familiarity. On the contrary, we must acknowledge our ignorance and open our curiosity to the intricacy of the unknown. This is what anthropology teaches you – to be open minded, to be tolerant and inquisitive in finding the meaning of what makes us human, no matter how different we are.
To me anthropology goes even beyond that – it’s a mirror that makes you reflect on your own experiences, beliefs and culture. Ultimately, the subjects you study now are not your only options - there is a vast array of disciplines one can choose from. They do, however give you some insight into what you may want to study and university will give further structure and direction to your interests.
Ask the Scholar
This month’s topic:
What does it take to be a top musician? by Benjamin Wang (Y11, Nightingale)
Interviews with Katrina Tse (Y9, Smith) and Victor Hui (Y11, Waterman) Victor, commander of clarinets! Why do you like music? I like music because it is full of emotion, you can express how you feel. Also, you get to cooperate with friends that you don’t really have a chance to work with usually. It’s fun, especially when you lead a band - it’s quite exciting. What in your opinion is the most important when it comes to learning music? Practice. I practise a lot. That’s what you need to do. If you want to get really good at something, you need to practise it. It’s the only way. Also, you need a passion for music. If you do something that you don’t like, it doesn’t matter however much you do it — you won’t remember what you learnt. You won’t have any aim or direction . What sort of musician do you want to become? I don’t know, I just wish I could lead a band because I like the thrill of taking on a lot of responsibility, and leading people, making people do things. What sort of band do you like to play in? Jazz, and maybe classical. From what I’ve experienced, jazz bands and saxophone ensembles are the most fun.
Katrina, the illustrious principal violinist in the Orchestra! Did you grow up with music always in your life? I heard a concert when I was three or four and the music sounded really nice. I enjoyed it a lot and I started playing instruments at four and a half. It is very hard so a lot of determination is needed to do it well. But the hard work soon turns into success and a sense of achievement and satisfaction. What motivates you? My motivation comes from the fact I want to get really good at music. And we all know that everything comes after hard work and you can’t just say you want it and then it comes. So that’s my motivation for practice. The aim to do as well as you can is also important and that’s what you need to pursue your passion. Tell us about your greatest ups and downs in your musical life. Am I supposed to recap my whole life now? I guess there are no such things as greatest ups and downs, it’s really how you face your so-called “failures” in your musical life. To be honest, there is also no such thing as failing music, what you have to do is try to improve yourself. So instead of thinking what you can do and can’t do, you should push yourself to try even harder. If you fail once, you try again so you get up where you fall down. And finally, any words for aspiring musicians? Aim high, follow your passions, follow your dreams and practise hard, of course. Always remember, there is no such thing as getting music perfect nor is there such a thing called mastering music. There is always room for improvement.
Musical Instruments by Agnes Fung (Y13, Smith)
Ask any student in any school if they’ve learnt how to play a musical instrument; the answer is almost always a yes. From a young age, parents encourage their children to explore different artistic talents and express themselves through sound and rhythm. This is especially the case in Hong Kong, where the most common instruments played are the violin and the piano. Unfortunately, unlike school subjects, some children tend to lose interest in their instrument while growing up, or become more interested in other activities such as sports, leading to a higher “drop out” rate for music lessons. In my opinion, one can never excel at playing something, unless they are truly passionate about it. Music is a very personal process; an instrument is simply an extension of the human body to change the tone and quality of the sound. Just as speech and movement are produced by the action of muscles, music is produced by physically vibrating string, metal or wood parts. Good music has a soul and can only come from within. At Harrow Hong Kong, the Music Department provides a varied range of music lessons for all students from beginner to advanced levels. Here is a short introduction. The western orchestra is split into four families: strings, woodwinds, brass and percussion. The arguably most well-known family is, for lack of a better phrase, the group of wooden boxes with strings stretched across a vertical piece called the bridge. Yes, these are the over-publicised violins, violas, cellos and double basses. To be fair, the strings were invented earlier, and were what started large musical groups.
the history behind the development of the instrument, and the way traditions affect the way they are played. Here at Harrow Hong Kong, we have many school ensembles that make full use of musical talents within our community. Moreover, we also have student-led groups such as the newly formed Popsical – an all-girls acapella group focusing on pop songs. With this wide range of genres and level of expertise, I’m sure you can find the instrument or group that is right for you! Not everyone is born with musical talents, but as they say, “practice makes perfect”! As long as you are committed to learning, you’ll grow to love and A marimba (NOT a xylophone!) being played with four mallets
The violin, in particular, can be heard playing a melody line in almost every single classical piece ever written. The next family is misleadingly called woodwinds; they’re actually made of metal alloys of nickel, silver, copper and gold. Only the reed, located in pipe instruments like the clarinet, oboe and bassoon, is made of a remotely-related material: cane. Some woodwinds don’t have reeds at all; these are the flutes and piccolos. The third family is called the brass. You’ve probably heard the loud honks, rather like angry ducks, of trumpets, trombones, horns and tubas. They are often used to portray a majestic air within orchestral works, such as signifying the entrance of royalty. Since a young age, I’ve always wanted to learn the trombone. It’s rather like a trumpet, but the length of the middle pipe can be changed to alter the pitch of the note. (Fun fact: “Trombone” means paperclip in French, and a paperclip is shaped like a trombone! It’s pure coincidence, but that’s how I like to remember it.) The last family is mine. You’ll have to excuse me if I go on at length about how percussionists are overlooked, because they often are! Orchestral percussion doesn’t feature many percussion melodies; the occasional cymbal crash or the steady snare drum rhythm is used only to accompany the existing melodic texture or to build suspense. Nevertheless, percussion itself can be so much more than five shady figures standing at the back of the orchestra. Having been in a competitive percussion band myself, the deafening build-up of rhythms and pitches is enough to send anyone’s heart pumping with excitement. Percussion is split into two parts (it’s simple, I promise): pitched and unpitched. Most pitched percussion looks like a piano keyboard: the wooden xylophones and marimbas, the metal glockenspiels and vibraphones… There are even glass harps: wine glasses filled with different levels of water to produce a ringing sound when the rim is rubbed gently. Unpitched percussion consists of the bass drum, cymbals, triangle, maracas etc. A reason for my love of percussion is perhaps the fact that it combines creativity and logic: there is much precision to how complex rhythms fit together. It really is uplifting when everyone in the band plays their notes in exactly the right place! Obviously, there are a multitude of instruments outside the Western orchestral families. The multi-cultural city of Hong Kong has exposed me to many Chinese instruments: such as the guzheng, erhu, and yangqin. The principles of physics that operate the instrument are the same; but what gives music of different cultures their unique soul is
Humans of Harrow Hong Kong
A photographic census of the Harrow community, one story at a time. Inspired by Humans of New York. by Sophie Yau (Y13, Tutt)
Great memories from the Summer Term! A K1 student giggles in delight at the Early Years Sports Day.
Meet the Newspaper Team! Agnes Fung (editor) Benjamin Wang Cici Zhang Eve Caplowe Hamza Apabhai
Kalina Milenova Madeleine Duperouzel Matthew Leslie Nia Milenova Sophie Yau (photographer)
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