AMIS Band and Orchestra
The Association for Music in International Schools (AMIS) festival took place in Salzburg, Austria from February 13th to 17th. Known for its highly selective audition, the AMIS committee accepted five ISB students from the high school orchestra to participate in this five-day music festival. The festival consists of three orchestras: the chamber orchestra, band, and the symphony orchestra. All ISB students took part in either the symphony orchestra or the chamber orchestra. In addition, Louisa S. (12) and Andrew Y. (12) showcased their musical talents and leadership as section leaders for the cello and violin, respectively.
Besides practicing during the day, the students were given downtime in the evenings, during which they took a tour of Salzburg and listened to an organ recital. Emily L. (11) remarked, “It was really exciting getting to know people from all over the world who share the same passion. On top of that, the location (Mozart’s hometown) made this event even more special.”
Notably, this is Andrew Y.’s (12) sixth year participating in the AMIS festival. Looking back to his past experiences, he remarked:
“AMIS also stands for amis, which is ‘friend’ in French. Through AMIS, I made multiple friends that I still keep connections with to this day. AMIS isn’t just a simple orchestra; it is a place where people create new bonds with people from all cultures and backgrounds. It is a place where we come together to share our passion for music. ”
This year, the members of ISB’s high school concert band flew to Guangzhou for the APAC Band festival hosted by AISG. Along with students from five other APAC schools, the ISB concert band musicians practiced for six hours every day. This extensive amount of practice was a new experience for some members like Sam S. (11), who commented that “the amount of time we spent rehearsing is comparable with sports teams at tournaments”. He further proclaimed, “We should have gotten a homework-free weekend!”
However, their hard-work eventually paid off as the ensemble produced five outstanding musical pieces: “Lord Tullamore,” “Snowflakes Dancing,” “Three Chinese Miniatures,” “Elegy for Albinoni,” and “Sine Nomine.” Regarding her largest takeaway from this experience, Karen C. (11) said:
“Our conductor taught us that the skills we gain when we make music in ensembles not only help us become better musicians but also help us become better members of society.”
Shortly after the AMIS festival, a different group of orchestra students traveled to Shanghai where they participated in the International Schools Choral Music Society (ISCMS) festival.
Over 400 students and teachers from 26 international schools worldwide contributed to the final concert which took place at the Shanghai Symphony Orchestra Concert Hall. The full orchestra and choir performed musical pieces related to this year’s theme—“Spirit of the Peace”. Their performance included the China premiere of Michael Tippet’s “Five Spirituals” from “A Child of Our Time” and Benjamin Britten’s “Young Person’s Guide to the Orchestra”.
This year’s festival was notable for the inclusion of a specially commissioned piece for choir and full orchestra by composer Chris Artley, who is one of New Zealand’s leading writers of choral music and has won first prize in ten international composing competitions worldwide. Reflecting on this experience, Tiffany S. (11) said:
“It was pretty memorable, and it was the first time that I’ve played in a full orchestra and with a huge choir.”
ISB’s drama students traveled to Manila where they engaged in three days of intense theater workshops and rehearsals. On the first day, the students participated in drama workshops and performed the pieces that they had previously devised as a school. By the second day, the students were divided into three ensembles in which they began to devise new pieces under the theme “follow your feet”. In these randomly assigned groups, students were able to make new friends with like-minded theater-lovers from other schools. After practicing for ten hours every day, the groups had their final performance of their pieces at the end of the third day.
Hannah G. (11), the only returning member of APAC Theater, said:
“I am so appreciative for the opportunity and cannot express in words how amazing it was to be with other spirited theater folks. I loved every second of it and can’t wait for next year!”
Come to our meetings and write periodically in a section of your choice.
Take photos in and around school for our articles.
Help maintain our social media presence, as well as this website.
Send in an article to our editors via email whenever you have written one – periodic follow-ups in person are not required.
Learn formatting in inDesign and help with our print publication.