A talent for helping the needy

A talent for helping the needy

When funds were needed for a life skills room and a space for expressive arts, students took the stage for a cabaret

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Students who took part in the ESF fundraiser
Students who took part in the ESF fundraiser

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Sorcha Jackson of West Island School sang Hallelujah by Leonard Cohen. Despite her crowd-pleasing voice, Sorcha says she'd rather study law.
Sorcha Jackson of West Island School sang Hallelujah by Leonard Cohen. Despite her crowd-pleasing voice, Sorcha says she'd rather study law.

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Rhian Anderson of King George V School taught herself to play both the ukulele and the guitar.
Rhian Anderson of King George V School taught herself to play both the ukulele and the guitar.

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Singer/songwriter Samuel Mok of King George V School, who says he wants to teach because "education ... never dies.
Singer/songwriter Samuel Mok of King George V School, who says he wants to teach because "education ... never dies.

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The scene at Grappa's Cellar, where the show took place.
The scene at Grappa's Cellar, where the show took place.

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One for the performances during "ESF's Got Musical Talent", which was organized by the Jockey Club Sarah Roe School.
One for the performances during "ESF's Got Musical Talent", which was organized by the Jockey Club Sarah Roe School.

English Schools Foundation (ESF) students from King George V School, Renaissance College Hong Kong, South Island School and West Island School rocked the stage at Grappa's Cellar last month for a good cause.

The event, "ESF's Got Musical Talent", was part of The Hong Kong "Jazz Family" Fest 2014, a fundraiser whose proceeds went to the development of an independent life skills room and an expressive arts space to meet the needs of children at Jockey Club Sarah Roe School, a school for special-needs students.

Both the student performers and audience experienced a real club-style environment, and our junior reporters were in the audience and interviewed three of the performers.

Sorcha Jackson, West Island School

The emcee introduced Sorcha Jackson as a shy girl who isn't used to performances of this kind. However, her voice is certainly not something to be shy about.

While many of the performers chose recent pop hits, Sorcha impressed the audience with a well-known piece from the '80s, Hallelujah by Leonard Cohen. Sorcha sang the song beautifully.

The clapping and cheering from the audience showed how good it was, and the emcee claimed it was his favourite song. So, it came as a big surprise when Sorcha said she's not interested in pursing singing as a career, and instead wants to become a lawyer.

Doris Lam and Jennifer Tang

Rhian Anderson, King George V School

Rhian Anderson started her performance full of confidence, possibly because she had one extra fan out there: her father was the emcee.

The 16-year-old sang three songs - Hey Soul Sister and Love Somebody by Maroon 5, and Skinny Love by Ed Sheeran - while playing a guitar or ukulele. She taught herself to play both instruments.

Despite her confident performance, she said he was nervous before the show, but the jitters disappeared once she began to sing. It showed.

Rhian is comfortable with playing music because she finds it relaxing and therapeutic, which is how anyone would feel if they played that well. It's surprising she started singing seriously only three years ago for a school competition, which she won.

The reason for her success is simple: "practice, practice, practice." "I practise almost every day, even when there's schoolwork, because this is what I love to do," said Rhian.

Stacey Chan and Daniella Dizon

 

Samuel Mok,King George V School

Many talents were on display that night, but one student stood out. Dressed in a down-to-earth, white, long-sleeved shirt with a grey waistcoat, Samuel Mok wowed the audience like a superstar.

The final-year student showed his astonishing range and ability to hold high notes. Even more impressive were his songs - At Last and Never Give Up - which he wrote himself.

He wrote At Last for his mother, who had to raise him alone. "She's a single mum, and I would like to dedicate this song to her because she put a lot of effort in giving birth to me without any support from my biological father," said Samuel.

Never Give Up is a shout to the Lesbian, Gay, Bisexual and Transgender community, encouraging them to stay true to themselves despite the hardships they'll face, especially in high school.

One would think, with a voice like that, surely Samuel wants to become a singer. But he's yet to make a decision about his future, and says that even if he does become a singer, he doesn't want to perform for too long. "I don't want to see myself getting old," he said.

What he is sure of is his desire to teach one day. "As time passes, our appearance and voice won't be as good as [when we were young]," Samuel said, showing maturity. "Education, on the other hand, never dies."

Giselle Chan Cheuk-ying and Winnie Lee Wing-yee

This article appeared in the Young Post print edition as
A talent for helping the needy

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