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Primary Weekly Update 28/10/16 from Mr Nicholas West

  • BVIS Hanoi with Ross O’Connell Jennings, the First Piper
  • BVIS Hanoi Primary 20161028 (1)
  • BVIS Hanoi Primary 20161028 (2)
  • BVIS Hanoi Primary 20161028 (3)
  • BVIS Hanoi 20161014 (10)
  • Ross O’Connell Jennings at BVIS Hanoi
  • Ross O’Connell Jennings at BVIS Hanoi

I promised in my last article to give you more information about the music competition that happened just before the short break we enjoyed last week. On the afternoon of Friday 14th October we were all thoroughly entertained by our young musicians. They participated in three different categories, Level 1, Level 2 and Level 3. Each of the children had been chosen during auditions by our music specialists Susan Pogson and Kaye Meakin. It was a difficult job to select the finalists and this is where the three different groups were invented. It didn’t matter what instrument the children were playing, they were all being judged by the same criteria. How technically accurate was their musical piece and how much passion and feeling did it show. When you hear a piece of music that stirs an emotion inside you, when the hair on the back of your arms stands on end, that music has affected and touched you. It does not matter if this is a violin, a clarinet or a piano. It doesn’t matter the age of the contestant. All the children were placed appropriately in each level and they can all be very proud of the music they produced.

We always knew we had some impressive musicians, but it is not until you see so many, performing at such a high standard, that you realize just how good your children are. It was fantastic entertainment but what a difficult decision it was to choose the winners. We had four great judges on the day, two of whom were secondary students, Quang Tien in Year 10 and Hoang Minh in Year 12. Both of them also performed impressively with their instruments, violin and piano respectively.  Our other two judges were Mr. Le Tuan Anh and Ms. Nguyễn Thu Cúc. He is a violin teacher at BVIS, a graduate of the Vietnam National Academy of Music, and performer with the Vietnam National Opera and Ballet as well as leading an orchestra as their concert master. Thu Cuc is a cellist, X-factor participant and Leader of the renowned Hanoi ensemble, the ‘Toxic Quartet’. All four were full of admiration for our musicians.

Congratulations to all and a special well done to our winners; Bao Linh in Year 2 playing piano, Quynh Nhu in Year 3 also on piano and Won Hyung in Year 3 who played the violin. We hope the competition next year is just as exciting and perhaps with some traditional instruments too.

Our first week ended just as our last week, with some amazing music. Ross O’Connell Jennings, trying to become the first person to play his instrument in every country, visited us and showcased his bagpipes. Click here to see Ross playing ‘Scotland the Brave’. Scotland is home to the traditional instrument and the clothing item known as a kilt, which you can see him wearing in the video. You can see some of the countries he has visited at the video here, watched by all the children this afternoon followed by an interesting presentation on his motivation and internationalism. Vietnam is the 55th country so far he has played the bagpipes in; what a treat to end the week. You can also read his blog ‘The First Piper’ and I am sure there will be videos and photos of his visit on all the class blogs and Facebook pages. Do ask your children about it. Have a great weekend.

Mr Nicholas West – Head of Primary

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