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Global Orchestra - a once-in-a-lifetime experience

In March last year, we opened auditions for the Nord Anglia Education Global Orchestra – an opportunity for talented musicians and singers from our schools around the world to perform in a once-in-a-lifetime concert in New York.

 

A little taster of our Global Orchestra event. There will be many more over the coming years. Music is, we feel, rather important.

School is also gearing up already for another stellar season of productions but that's all we're allowed to say at the moment.

https://www.youtube.com/watch?v=oTkx3uVeq54

The Global Orchestra is one of the unique international experiences offered exclusively through Nord Anglia Education’s Global Campus. Students from the group’s 42 schools around the world learn together every day through online, in-school and worldwide experiences designed to nurture key transferable skills. The Global Campus encourages students to be ambitious and set their sights higher by fostering a global perspective throughout their learning.

The Global Orchestra challenged outstanding young musicians and singers from Nord Anglia schools around the world to build on their talents and develop new skills as they performed together in concert. The experience enabled students to collaborate with peers, build friendships and exposed them to a wide range of musical experiences.

The auditions

Each school conducted first round of auditions of their own students of all ages, and then filmed the top performers to submit to a global judging panel to find three of the best musicians from each school to form an orchestra and a choir. Our judging panel was extremely impressed by the talent of our young musicians and it was difficult to choose just three students from each school.  46 instrumentalists and a choir of 34 singers were selected for the Global Orchestra, eventually forming an ensemble, soloists, choir, and rock band.

New York 

During the week long residential trip, as well as orchestra rehearsals, students participated in performing arts workshops at Juilliard, tickets to Broadway shows and sightseeing in the cultural hub that is New York City.

Hannah Leigh, a year 9 student from the British International School of Houston said, “The morning I spent at the Juilliard School was one of the most eye-opening experiences I have had because it changed the way I looked at the performing arts. Even by just having three sessions it really opened my eyes to other arts”.   

The Concert

The final evening of the week saw the students perform as an orchestra at the DiMenna Center to a packed house of family, friends, Nord Anglia Education as well as representatives of The Juilliard School in a concert which, for most, was their first experience of working with a full orchestra and choir in a professional performance space.

Mark Orrow Whiting, Director of Curriculum and Student Services, Nord Anglia Education said, “Our students worked incredibly hard at the school audition stages to secure their place on this once in a lifetime experience. The final performance was a testament to their hard work rehearsing during the week and by themselves on the lead up to travelling.. This experience has been a memorable and inspiring one which not only celebrates their musical skills and the joy of performance, but also develops valuable skills such as creativity, collaboration and confidence”.  

The orchestra was made up of 46 instrumentalist and 34 choir members. Our students performed a wide range of pieces, each impressing the audience. The concert included two movie themes, Michael Nyman’s Timelapse, followed by Pirates of the Caribbean, both pieces giving each section of the orchestra the chance to showcase their skills. 

Jessica Butterworth from Compass International School Doha, Madinat Khalifa, commented, “I think it’s been absolutely fantastic because there’s 80 of us who’ve gelled to make the orchestra and play like we’ve been together for years.”

There were three piano performances during the concert.  Joowon Park from Regents International School Pattaya chose All of Me by contemporary American composer, Jon Schmidt; a fast paced and complex composition which allowed her to display her skill and dexterity at the keyboard. Maneh Seiranian from The English International School of Prague held the audience enthralled with a passionate performance of Rachmaninov’s Prelude in C sharp minor. The youngest pianist of the Global Orchestra was 11 year old Joung Jin Kim who performed a piano solo of Debussy’s Reflets dans l’eau leaving audiences extremely impressed by his skill and confidence for such a young age.

The 34-strong choir performed an emotional and rousing rendition of Stephanie Mabey’s Glorious which also featured solos from a number of students, displaying the breadth and variety of voices chosen for the choir.

Perhaps most impressively, our orchestra also played Overture, an original composition by Year 11 student Simon Cohen, from British International School of Chicago.

Nord Anglia Musical Director Paul Wright commented, “Simon created a haunting and complex composition that was truly remarkable, a very impressive standard. He was visibly moved to see an entire orchestra bring his work to life. I’m immensely proud of all the students that came to take part in our first Global Orchestra”.

The concert reached its crescendo with orchestra and choir combining for the final piece, Pavane by Gabriel Faure, receiving a well-deserved standing ovation from the audience.

 

Congratulations to all our students on an amazing performance!

 

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