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HKDI alumni form pop band ZPECIAL and stage show with HKDI students and teachers

Communication Design
Pursuing their quest for music over the years, two graduates of the Higher Diploma in Digital Music and Media at the Hong Kong Design Institute (HKDI) have formed a band with friends by the name of ZPECIAL, and released their first music album. Recently they staged a multimedia concert in HKDI under the theme “The Impulse To Travel” – a project aimed at taking them through an exuberant musical journey, with the first stop at their alma mater.

Over 80% of the production crew of this concert were HKDI students. Senior Lecturer of the Department of Communication Design and Digital Media Shirley CHEUNG noted that the vocalist of ZPECIAL HONG Chung and drummer Wai-yin were both graduates of HKDI’s Higher Diploma in Digital Music and Media. HKDI students and teachers were heartened to see them being able to produce and launch their first album. Having the opportunity to witness the music-writing efforts of their senior schoolmates helped inspire the students’ future confidence in their own musical journey.

“Our HKDI students were able to experience in person the inner workings of planning a concert,” Shirley noted. “They took care of areas like on-site sound effects control, video production, multimedia projection, visual effects, and the design of posters and promotion collaterals. They were able to put into practice what they had learnt by taking up different job duties while at the same time better understanding their aptitudes and interests. They got to know how to co-ordinate the onstage and backstage operations of the concert, as well as appreciate the collaboration between these teams. So the focus of the event did not fall only on the performance of the band.”

Passing on the torch
On the evening of the concert, over 300 HKDI students and fans turned up. The warm-up band “HeartShine” included among its members new HKDI students of the Higher Diploma in Digital Music and Media. What’s more, graduate of HKDI’s Higher Diploma in Digital Music and Media and budding singer-songwriter LAW Kai-chung performed at the concert. The show drew enthusiastic cheers and applause from the audience and the happy atmosphere ran high. ZPECIAL members, HKDI alumni HONG Chung and Wai-yin said they hoped their junior HKDI schoolmates would be able to practise what they had learnt and show it to others through the collaboration. They also explained how they lived out their music dream with the juniors. HONG Chung said, “Production of the concert was aligned with industry standards and fellow students could truly understand, through practice, how to stage a concert starting from a clean slate.”

Recalling their HKDI years, HONG Chung said: “HKDI provides the soil for students to flex their musical talent. Take, for example, the annual original music presentation staged by HKDI students and teachers of the Higher Diploma in Digital Music and Media, “Music In Motion”, that allows students to try their hands at every aspect of a stage performance ranging from co-ordination, promotion, production and music writing to stage, lighting and sound controls, as well as the performance itself. Our “war and battle” experiences were enriched as a result.” Wai-yin noted, “The curriculum is closely attuned to real industry requirements. We were taught professional knowledge and skills on music theories, composition, arrangement, recording and mixing, enabling us to go about the work of music writing and production one-stop. This knowledge, coupled with internships, makes students better prepared to enter professional careers in music.”

Students of other specialisms also participated in many production areas of the concert. Student of HKDI’s Higher Diploma in Visual Communication Lawrance LAI said, “I was required to design the poster, admission ticket and staff pass, which enabled me to experience the production requirements of a genuine concert. In addition, I had to work together with industry people and students of other disciplines from time to time. It helped with my communication skills and also made me understand the importance of teamwork.”

Shirley pointed out that the music industry was currently booming and this concert provided students with an opportunity to understand the requirements of different workplace roles and learn more about their career aspirations, as they took part in the concert’s production from end to end.


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