Cultural Concert and Opening Ceremony

Good Friday 4 April 2015
Otago Boys High School Auditorium, Dunedin

By Gordon Wong

The cultural concert and opening ceremony took on a slightly different format this year where the opening speech by New Zealand Chinese Association President Gerald Wong occurred after the first musical item. Interestingly all speakers including Gerald (OSCA President Linus Chin; Tournament Controllers Brittany Wong and Lisa Hanson; Paige Young and Matt Chan regarding Youth Leadership Camp) walked on from the audience rather than back stage. The inclusion of audio visual was also different in the sense that it was episodic with the theme of a young man (an extroverted performance by Garrett Chin as Andy, who appeared on stage as well as video) coming to terms with his ancestry (gold miners in the Central Otago fields) and parents (a muscular Aunty – hilarious performance by Gabriel Smith) who have made sacrifices enabling their children to have a better life.

The Otago Boys High School Auditorium proved to be a very good venue – the right size and very good acoustics for amplified and unamplified music. The cultural concerts from OSCA have tended to contain a mixture of traditional (lion dance - our very young group of primary and intermediate kids from Dunedin and Invercargill, Chinese traditional dance from the Chinese Language School dance group) and contemporary culture. One difference this year was the successful inclusion of very good solo vocalists (Bjana Young with Carolyn Ding on piano; Ruth Wang; Peter Chin with Heather Clough on piano) along with a sibling garage rock band (Di and the Funky Bunch) and a reprise of Spanish guitar from Gabriel Smith. An innovative fusion of Chinese Opera, lighting, costuming with magical extending long sleeved arms and hip hop (in the preceding item we’d been entertained by OSCA’s very talented hip hop dance group) was followed by bringing most of the performers, still in costume onto the stage in a dancing curtain call.

Many thanks to Lisa Hanson whose months of hard work produced a great show to start the tournament on a positive note.