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News Highlights

Police Band a big hit with the crowds at Shanghai Expo (with photos)

The Hong Kong Police Band (the band) today (October 18) enthralled Expo 2010 Shanghai China (Shanghai Expo) visitors with a delightful mix of music and singing in their performances for Hong Kong Week.

The "Hong Kong Police Band Spectacular for Expo" was staged at the Expo Park's Celebration Square, and included a blend of traditional military music, Scottish folk and dance bagpipe music, a drum performance, singing and combined band and pipes potpourri.

The contingent of 48 musicians from the Silver Band and Pipe Band opened the performance with a spectacular marching display playing a variety of pieces which ranged from pop songs to Mainland military music.

The highlight of the performance was an East-West crossover of the traditional Chinese musical work "Dragons Rising and Tigers Leaping".

Joined by the drummers and Silver Band, the band for the first time in the Mainland played this concerto using "paigu", a traditional Chinese drum in a set of five.

Following these strong rhythms was the singing of familiar Italian and Putonghua songs.

The band ended the performance with the all-time favourite "Time to Say Goodbye".

"The song selection exemplifies the diversity of Hong Kong, a melting pot where East meets West," said Director of Music, the Hong Kong Police Band, Superintendent James Leung.

The band has gained an international reputation in countries such as Japan, Canada, Australia, Germany, Switzerland and the United Kingdom. Since its formation in 1951, it has grown from 21 serving officers to a silver band of 60 musicians and a pipe band of 24 officers.

It will present two more performances tomorrow (October 19) at 3.30pm and 5pm in Celebration Square.

The band was also a huge hit in the centre of Shanghai's busy Nanjing Road East pedestrian mall, where it performed on October 16 and 17 at the "Style Hong Kong" event organised by the Hong Kong Trade Development Council.

Hong Kong Week, the highlight of Hong Kong's participation in Shanghai Expo, started today and runs until Friday (October 22).

A fascinating array of events and performances, covering music, dance, Cantonese opera, film, fashion, design, art and innovative applications of smart card technology, is lined up. For details, please visit www.hkexpo2010.gov.hk.