Arts

focus:Music

Arnold Wong ’10 kept busy this summer with focus:Music, an event he put together half way across the world in Hong Kong. Wong went all out for the event: a posh venue, talented performers, sponsors, food and a powerful message. focus:Music took place July 22 in The Fringe Club in Hong Kong. Through his ambassadorship in billWillie, a high fashion, socially conscious brand of clothing, Wong gained several sponsors such as BC Magazine, an entertainment magazine sourced in Hong Kong, billWillie and Wong’s personal website, Noblesse Oblige (tlkboard.com). In addition to the distinguished sponsorships, focus:Music also drew big time media attention, such as coverage from the The South China Morning Post, a prominent English newspaper in Hong Kong. From 4 p.m. to 9 p.m., the event featured sixteen talented performers, all teens of ages sixteen to nineteen. Ranging from vocal soloists to tap dancers, the performers worked in light of the effort to make the Asian culture more aware of music. Although focus:Music also aimed to introduce billWillie to Hong Kong and to mark the launch of Wong’s website, Wong directed a lot of attention toward the desire to succeed in a passion, specifically toward music for this event. Wong said, “Music should be appreciated and enjoyed as music itself and shouldn’t be clouded by a competitive drive or by superficial social values. A long term change I truly want to commit to would be to gradually reverse the concept of “education” and “success” in Asian societies; numbers and grades should never wholly define the individual.” Wong selected performers based on their level of passion. Wong said he picked performers that are “truly into what they do…a lot of them are planning to attend conservatories and some of them disregarded what their parents said, to pursue their interest in music.” Looking toward the future, Wong envisions a continuing series of focus events. “focus:Music is just the first of many events sponsored by Noblesse Oblige to come. This time, music was the focus. Music was selected as the premiere of focus events because it is the ‘universal language in all cultures.’ Future focus events will cover other aspects in life such as Politics, Art and Charities etc.,” said Wong. “Noblesse oblige,” a French term which means to conduct oneself nobly, was one of Wong’s driving philosophy for the event,. It is a new movement that he wishes to instill in youth. His ultimate goal is to promote positivity in younger generations. Wong said, “This is a movement to spread a global understanding among youth; one that promotes practicality and encourages discussion and constant questioning of what’s going on in our lives, and in the world…‘Noblesse oblige’ glorifies the individual who demonstrates a strong desire to cause change through his or her own true interest. From kids propping the door open for the granny behind them, basic mannerisms, to social entrepreneurship, that’s the positivity I’m talking about. ?”