On Saturday, 8th July, the gates of Collège du Léman in Switzerland opened and 130 performing arts students from 32 countries streamed through, ready to spend two weeks with guest artists and teachers from The Juilliard School. You could hear nerves in the excited laughter and chatter as the students, aged 10-18, started to make friends and explore the school where they would be studying and living. Parents who had been calming worries only 30 minutes earlier were now being ignored as their children were gaining confidence in their new surroundings. Schedules were distributed, roommates found, and at 7pm, with high anticipation, Summer Performing Arts with Juilliard began!
The Juilliard team, led by Seth Baer, Senior Manager of Global K-12 Programs at Juilliard Global Ventures, had been preparing for the programme for months. All students arrived to find a personal curriculum that would both inspire and challenge them. In addition to their personal timetables on their chosen disciplines of dance, voice, drama or instrumental, students would spend an hour together each day in the Festival Choir. Every student, no matter what they were studying, would be performing together on the last day of the programme in a choral ensemble that included pieces by Mendelssohn and Vaughan Williams.