Reinterpretation of Disney classic song “A Whole New World”
Hong Kong, May 10, 2021 – Hong Kong Disneyland Resort is committed to promoting and celebrating diversity and inclusion, and has for the first time collaborated with True Colors Symphony (TCS), the largest inclusive orchestra in Hong Kong, to create a special reinterpretation of the classic song “A Whole New World” from Disney’s animated movie Aladdin.
A music video was filmed in front of the Castle of Magical Dreams at Hong Kong Disneyland, which showcases the message of how collaboration in diversity can lead to endless possibilities. Local singer Phil Lam was invited to play saxophone and perform with 22 musicians from various backgrounds, ages and abilities, highlighting how music can be accessible for all to demonstrate their talent and build a more inclusive society.
Launched in November last year, the Castle of Magical Dreams comprises towers and spires of different colors and materials, inspired by 13 stories of Disney princesses and Queens. The architectural design, which embraces the unique characteristics and cultures of every story, perfectly aligns with the performance theme and adds an extra meaning to this project.
Lai Lok Yin is a percussionist with autism and learning disabilities, and was one of the performers during the event. With no musical instruments at home, Lok Yin is always the first to arrive at practice to make the most of every opportunity. He also reviews music scores and rehearsal videos every night. Lok Yin’s mother shared her pride in his transformation: “At first, he could not follow the beats, but now he can accurately play some difficult pieces. Everyone witnessed his improvement. I never expected him to be able to concentrate so well and quickly understand the conductors’ instructions to play the beautiful music, and the most important thing is that he enjoys the music from the bottom of his heart.”
Michael Moriarty, managing director of Hong Kong Disneyland Resort, also showed his support for promoting diversity and inclusion, and develop an environment of mutual acceptance and respect.
“Hong Kong Disneyland Resort started inviting community choirs to perform in the park five years ago, hoping to spread happiness and Disney magic to local talent by sharing our stage. This time round, we are excited to collaborate with the largest all-inclusive orchestra in Hong Kong to produce a music video with a gorgeous backdrop – the newly reimagined Castle of Magical Dreams, which symbolizes a shining beacon of possibility and hope for all,” he said. “The orchestra will revisit the park later this month for a live performance to share the importance of inclusion to our guests, cast members and the community.”
The performing group, formed by 22 TCS members, is conducted by Homer Lee, a veteran musician from Hong Kong Philharmonic. TCS is committed to promoting inclusion of abilities, ages, races and cultures. Each of its members are from different backgrounds, abilities and race, each with their own unique story and extraordinary musical potential. The music video has also invited singer Phil Lam to play saxophone. The video will be premiered on True Colors Symphony’s Facebook page and YouTube channel tonight at 9pm.
Acclaimed “Community’s Got Talent” to return in May
Since 2017, Hong Kong Disneyland has invited more than 10 schools and NGOs to perform in the park during Christmas, extending the spirit of inclusion to various corners of the community. There have been 45 “Community Choir Sing Along” performances with nearly 1,500 participants, all featuring people of diverse backgrounds, including young cancer patients, students with visual disabilities, speech impairments or special educational needs, as well as grassroots students and senior citizens.
In accordance with preventive measures for COVID-19, the park was closed until earlier this year – after which the project was immediately restarted. From May, community groups will be invited to perform in the park. This year, the programme of “Community’s Got Talent” has introduced new elements and creativity, with invitations extended to from choirs to orchestras, allowing more performers with different abilities to showcase their talents.