Hong Kong Harmonica Association
協會之主要架構為理事會，現有十一位理事，分別來自不同的口琴團體或獨立人士，務求集思廣益，令協會在口琴藝術發展上取得更有效之成果。創會會長為何百昌醫生、副會長關文豪先生；兩位榮譽音樂顧問為李尚澄先生及何頡勳先生。協會又邀請到香港著名作曲家許翔威先生及梅廣釗先生出任榮譽駐會作曲家，致力推廣原創口琴音樂。協會之互聯網站於2002年6月開始啟用, 網址為： http://www.hkharmonica.org。
The Hong Kong Harmonica Association was established in the Hong Kong Special Administrative Region in early 2002 in accordance with the Company Ordinance (Chapter 32 of the Laws of Hong Kong) as a company limited by guarantee, and was granted the status of charitable institution on 15 July 2002 according to the Inland Revenue Ordinance (Chapter 112 of the Laws of Hong Kong). The objectives of the Association are to promote, develop, and advance the art of harmonica playing and performance in Hong Kong and elsewhere. The Association maintains linkage and representation in interaction with other international harmonica bodies through active participation and organization work and hence promotes international cultural exchange with focus on harmonica music.
The main structure of the Association is a board of directors, currently consisted of 11 members from different harmonica organizations and individuals, with the goal of gathering the best experiences among them to facilitate the development of harmonica. The Founding Chairman is Dr. Ho Pak-cheong. The Vice-Chairman is Johnny Kuan. Mr. Lee Sheung-ching and Mr. Ho Kit-fun are appointed Honorary Music Directors. In addition, renowned Hong Kong composers Mr. Hui Cheung-wai and Mr. Mui Kwong-chiu are appointed Hononary Composers in Residence to strengthen the promotion of original compositions for harmonica. The website of the Association was put in place since June 2002. The address is http://www.hkharmonica.org.
Since its establishment, the Association has organized one large-scale concert and 8 master classes on performing skills of chromatic, tremolo, chord, 10-hole blues harmonicas, harmonica trio and workshops on harmonica maintenance, hosted by masters like Mr. Yasuo Watani from Japan, Mr. Yang Jing-min from Guangxi, China, Mr. Lee Hsiao-ming and Judy's Harmonica Ensemble from Taiwan, Adler Trio from Israel, Mr. Robert Bonfiglio from USA, Mr. Chang Ah-kow from Malaysia, Mr. Juko Saito from Japan and Mr. Rick Epping from USA, with a total audience of over 1800. These events have greatly escalated the local level of harmonica playing and appreciation. During the same period, the Association has been invited for a total of 29 public performances, some of them are charitable in nature, and has contributed to the production of 3 television programs of TVB and RTHK on promoting harmonica, attracting millions of viewers. In 2004, the Association collaborated with RTHK Radio 4 to produce 6 episodes of educational programs, which served as a prelude to the 5th Asia Pacific Harmonica Festival and re-established the channel with the audience on air.
The Association has also gained glamorous achievements and reputation in the scene of international harmonica events. During 30 July to 4 August 2002, a delegation of 64 people, led by Mr. Ricky Fung, participated in the 4th Asia Pacific Harmonica Festival held in Atsugi, the hometown of harmonica in Japan. 49 elite members made 35 entries in 8 categories and grabbed a record-breaking total of 30 awards: 6 gold, 11 silver and 13 bronze, and achieved the highest awards "Atsugi Mayor's Prize" in the orchestra, duo and free-style categories, ranking Hong Kong just behind the host country in the overall results. Particularly encouraging is the fact that most prize-winners are at their youth, indicating the forthcoming forces of the harmonica community in Hong Kong. Since the advent of international harmonica competitions, this is the first time that local harmonica players compete as official representatives of Hong Kong against more than 1,000 distinguished players from various Asian countries and make a name for Hong Kong. The accomplishment cannot be understated as it was achieved in Japan, one of the most advanced countries in harmonica development. This view is supported by the commentary of a Taiwan harmonica magazine, "the advancement of Hong Kong in chromatic harmonica is astounding..."
Another attainment of the Association is the organization of the first-ever Hong Kong Harmonica Festival during 3 ??5 October 2003 together with the Leisure and Cultural Services Department. Under the leadership of Mr. Lau Chun-bong, the chairman of the organizing committee and Mr. Rocky Lok, the vice-chairman of the organizing committee, and with over 3 years of industrious efforts of the organizing committee members, they made a mark in history. The 2-1/2-day harmonica gala comprises grand opening and closing ceremonies, a concert by Adler Trio and Robert Bonfiglio, 9 categories of competition, seminars, master classes, exhibition on Hong Kong harmonica history, and 2 days of marathon open stage performances, attracting a total audience of 6,000, more than 190 competitors and about 50 overseas participants.
The activities of the Association have more than once become one of the Top Ten Music Highlights, an annual ballot organized by RTHK Radio 4. The achievements in the 4th Asia Pacific Harmonica Festival 2002 have even come first in the Top Ten. The recognition and respect of harmonica in the local music community is thus reinforced.
The 5th Asia Pacific Harmonica Festival was held from 3 to 9 August 2004 in Hong Kong Cultural Centre and Yuen Long Theatre. The Festival is jointly organized by the Association, the Leisure and Cultural Services Department of the Hong Kong Special Administrative Region Government, and the King?䏭 Harmonica Quintet. This grand event is also supported by the Hong Kong Arts Development Council, Hong Kong Federation of Youth Groups, Tom Lee Music Company, and Radio Television Hong Kong Radio 4. More than 1,700 harmonica players from over 20 places in Asia and elsewhere in the World gathered in Hong Kong to show their best to their peers.
The Festival boasts a variety of programmes: 15 categories of competition at the highest level within the Asia Pacific region, 4 concerts of different themes of Asian folk music, jazz music and classical music, 12 seminars hosted by world-class harmonica masters, 3 forward-looking forums focusing on harmonica education, composition of harmonica music and design of harmonicas, 5 continuous days of open stage performances, sales of various harmonicas and related merchandises, the Harmonica Museum in Trossingen the world hometown of harmonica brought to Asia for the first time, and exhibition on the history and development of harmonica in Asia and Hong Kong. All these make up the most grandiose harmonica events in history. In the opening ceremony, the 120-people harmonica orchestra, organized by the Association, performed four pieces of commissioned works composed by famous Hong Kong composers Mr. Hui Cheung-wai, Mr. Mui Kwong-chiu and Dr. Joshua Chan. Overseas guests and delegations were invited to contribute their performances as well. Equally heightening is the playing together of some 1,000 festival participants in the closing ceremony. It is estimated that there have been over 30,000 people participating throughout the festival.