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LAWYERS AT LEISURE 律師閒情 February 2018 • www.hk-lawyer.org 87 Tuning into the Choir World Elaine is an in-house lawyer and sings with the Diocesan Choral Society and the Hong Kong Young People's Chorus. Recent concerts include Chanson Éloignée in July 2017 and French Connection Hong Kong in November 2017. She also joined the SingFest Festival Chorus for their performance of Handel's Israel in Egypt with the Hong Kong Sinfonietta in September 2017. By Elaine Mok, In-house Lawyer W hen I tell people I sing in a choir, the most common reaction I get is that it's so "youthful" ("好青春 "). It comes as a surprise to many people that choral singing can be a hobby for an adult. In fact, there are many adults who sing in choirs (yes, even outside of churches), and singing can be a great means for relaxation, socialising and artistic development. I started singing in school choirs as a child and it was a big part of my junior and secondary school life in Hong Kong. I then sang in chapel choir at college in England. When I started my career at a city firm, working in Hong Kong and London, it never occurred to me to join a choir. This was partly because of the demands of working at a city firm, but more so because I myself also thought that choir was an activity for kids. In 2015, after I had moved in-house, one of my old school friends asked if I wanted to join the Diocesan Choral Society ('DCS') for their summer concert. DCS is an alumni choir but unusual in the sense that it is a choir for choir alumni, not school alumni, which ensures a certain level of quality and commitment in the singers. The basic "entry requirements" are an ability to sight sing, to hold your own in pieces in eight or more parts, and to learn and memorise a concert repertoire in different languages within a relatively short time frame (say a few months). Initially it was difficult as I had not so much read sheet music in more than 10 years, but these skills do come back to you, and when the music comes together it becomes very rewarding and fun. Choir can be quite a time consuming hobby if you take it seriously. A typical rehearsal schedule for me might be two hours on a weeknight and two to three hours on a weekend, but this could double if I am singing for more than one choir at a time. Sometimes the rehearsals ramp up before a concert and can take up most of my time outside work! In the week leading up to Singfest's performance of Israel in Egypt, the choir and orchestra rehearsed every night under the baton of the conductor, who had flown in from England just for HK Sinfonietta Ltd SingFest Diocesan Choral Society

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