Dragon Boat Festival Stanley Music Outreach 2023

During the past three years, MedArt's prison outreach seemed to have come to a halt due to the pandemic and social unrest, but as the situa:on slowly eases, Correc:onal Services Department begins to relax rules for visita:ons. To start with, Band Day resumed in April this year, and MedArt is able to go work with the two prison bands in Stanley on a monthly basis since then.

With the con:nual easing of pandemic measures, MedArt also put in a request to resume our annual Dragon Boat Fes:val Stanley Outreach, and lo and behold, thanks to the hard work of many at CSD headquarter, we were granted the opportunity to make this long- awaited visit. We were told that we were the first group to hold a performance since the pandemic which would not have been possible without the help of colleagues from headquarter and Stanley. Members of 'Time' (one of the Stanley bands) were also overjoyed about this event as they were able to finally perform some of the pieces they had been prac:cing for the past three years to a live audience, together with the backing of a string orchestra.

Our sixteen team members arrived Stanley at 7:30am that morning so we could start the security check process as soon as possible, so as to leave us plenty of :me for rehearsal. We were really impressed by the efficiency and well coordinated effort of the officers who performed the security check, an evidence of the many hours of prepara:on work beforehand. Excellent team work was demonstrated by our team members as well under the direc:ons of our team leaders. As a result, we were all set up on stage to start our rehearsal in no :me while the sound crews con:nued to work on the microphones and tes:ng of equipments. Our rehearsal consisted of three parts: instrumental, instrumental and singers, instrumental and Stanley band to be conducted within an hour or so.

MedArt did four performances on the day: two in the morning and two in the aTernoon. Our music ranged from Toccata and Fugue (rearranged to be played with drum), to sacred music (Amazing Grace), to Cantopop (Charmaine Fong's You are your own legend,, AGA's Tomorrow and Jacky Cheung's Love is eternal), to popular pop songs (Josh Groban's You raised me up). The band also performed two pieces on its own and we ended each performance with MedArt playing alongside Stanley Band in Dear Jane's What happened and Kindle your fire. In our last performance, our drummer Jeremy and the Stanley bassist extended their solo and the whole audience was so cap:vated by the exci:ng intercourse that everyone stood up cheering. Thus our last performance of the day received a standing ova:on from the en:re audience which was the biggest reward for us all who chose to spend Dragon Boat Fes:val behind bars.

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