I am sure most people will agree with me that this year has been a tough one, COVID-19 became a massive challenge for organising activities around the world, and indeed in Concord. Safety precautions and measures such as year group ‘bubbles’ and avoiding big group meetups meant that one of the most celebrated event in the Concord calendar was cancelled, the Winter Showcase.
Every year, students and staff at Concord College organise a stage production to be put on in Theatre Severn, Shrewsbury for charity donations. The public are encouraged to come and donate by purchasing a ticket; but with that ticket, they are promised a refreshing and entertaining couple of hours, giving them a taste of different cultures as our students from all around the globe show us what their country has to offer.
It was disappointing knowing the physical showcase had to be cancelled, but we were super excited to be told that it will still go on in another format – as a film. A film circling around the topic of reflection, perfect for this year. Different groups of students got to take part and organise, it seemed perfect… But who could have guessed other countries then put a travel ban on the UK, delaying the entire film. No matter how challenging the circumstances are though, there is always a way. We therefore went online, and planned it virtually. From then on, preparation for the film was non-stop.
For the entire time, I was involved in two pieces, including a drama piece reflecting on the uncertainty about our exams from last year, and another one about my hometown Hong Kong. The first piece was relatively straight forward, thanks to both actors being in the country. It did take a couple of takes, and some time for the Internet to go our way, but we were able to rehearse and record online ahead of the deadline.
The second piece was Hong Kong culturally-inspired, focusing on how negativity can bring us down during adversity, thus how we should express ourselves and keep heading in the right direction – extremely meaningful. However, its organisational progress was a drastically different story: cancellation of flights, quarantine and examinations meant we did not have the time to rehearse or record as planned. So we had to rely on, again, the Internet and some self-discipline. We sent music and dance demos to our friends back in Hong Kong, asked them to learn it, keep practicing, as we have to record it immediately after we are all back in the country. That was a tall order, due to a hectic schedule and a 7-hour time difference. Yet, by constantly staying updated and reflecting our progress, we were able to make this a possibility on 1st April.
On April Fools, we did not go around and prank people (maybe a couple, actually…), but we went to the well-equipped Morris Building to work on our film. Took us one afternoon, 4 people, a guitar, a piano, a microphone, and a laptop. That was all we needed to record our singing piece. In the other room, 6 more people, and one camera. That was all we needed to record our dancing piece. As the Vice President of Hong Kong Society, I have to say after that afternoon, upon reflection, I felt so proud and happy, that we were able to do that. To have achieved this feat even when everyone else told us it was impossible to complete such a complex act. But we did it.
This is the spirit and joy this community bless us with; the unique atmosphere of “getting things done” but also having fun, it just feels amazing. I cannot describe how much I cherish and appreciate: this feeling, and this Concord family. Good show everyone!
Kenneth – 6.1