[Harp-L] Re: College music program on harmonica

Jason posted

"One of the things that got me thinking about this are these Harmonica
Orchestra videos from Asia.
So, what is the the story over there? Is harmonica interest in
general so great there that it supports University level orchestras?
Are these ensembles the only ones of their kind, or are there many of
them at all levels?"

I've been a judge at the last two Asia Pacific Harmonica Festivals, so I can comment here.

The Asian countries have multiple harmonica orchestras. Many are associated with high schools, and are of a standard you'd expect from a school band. Then there are the leading harmonica orchestras. In particular, the ones from Malaysia and Hong Kong are exquisitely good. The Hong Kong orchestra has a resident composer, much of the activity arises from the efforts of the Kings Harmonica Quintet members.

Almost all of the elite players are amateurs.

In addition to the orchestras, there are many many excellent trios (Bass, Chord, Chromatic/Tremolo)

One of the session I judged has around 20 trios, almost all excellent.

Very few 10 hole players. The Asia Pacific harmonica festival has around 2000 competitors, the 10 hole competition has less than 10 entrants.

Tony Eyers
...everyone plays

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