We arrived in Kuala Lumpur on time and were greeted by teachers from British International School KL who took us on a 1 hour coach journey to our hotel. After a talk from our host school, we checked into our rooms and walked around to check out our surroundings before joining all the students and staff from the 10 other schools involved for dinner.
On Friday morning, not a second was wasted as we arrived at BIS KL at 8.30am ready to begin our first rehearsals. We were greeted by a fantastic Chinese Drumming performance and then we got straight to work. Our orchestra met their conductor Mr Eugene Pook and the choir rehearsed in a separate room with their conductor Mr Chi Hoe Mak.
Both orchestra and choir had a vast range of pieces to rehearse, from ‘Pink Panther by Henry Mancini to the 1812 Overture, Tcaikovsky in the orchestra and ‘Circles of Motion’ by Bob Chilcott to ‘Szello Zug’ by Lajos Bardos in the choir as well as the grand finale, a Malaysian folk song which was performed by orchestra and choir together. We rehearsed all day and then enjoyed an evening at a trampoline park called ‘Jump Street’ where our students well and truly tired themselves out.
After a good sleep, we were up for a full day of rehearsals again on Saturday. We split the orchestra and choir up into sectionals and rehearsed in smaller groups before all meeting again in the afternoon for full rehearsals. Everyone was feeling tired towards the end of the day, but still worked hard and we could really hear the music starting to come together. On Saturday evening we watched a fantastic gamelan group called ‘Rhythm & Bronze’ and some of our students even got an opportunity to join in.
Sunday was concert day, so we took our smart black clothes with us to the school as the concert was being held in BIS KL auditorium in the evening. Again, we had both technical rehearsals and a full dress rehearsal before enjoying a poolside barbecue before the concert started at 6.30pm.
Our students really did us proud and every piece sounded fantastic. It was truly amazing to see what a high standard of concert students from 11 different schools who had never worked together before managed to put together in such a short space of time.
Once again, a very successful and hugely enjoyable event for both staff and students. We cannot wait to be involved again.
Emma Husband, Assistant Head of Music APS
Some quotes from the students involved:
“This year we had the chance to visit the British International School in Kuala Lumpur. Young students across Asia who shared the same passion for music got together to learn new and challenging music and then perform it at a concert. We helped and supported each other and I will cherish those memories forever!” Theresa Lai, YR7
“This was my first Music FOBISIA trip. All the hard work we put into learning the pieces was so worth it and the concert was amazing. We also made so many great new friends from different schools. I look forward to hopefully going to next year’s music FOBISIA.” Naomi Martin, YR8
“This FOBISIA music trip was lovely. We got to meet lots of new people and we had a lot of rehearsal time which was hard but I really managed to improve my instrumental skills. It was pleasure to attend this trip.” Go Eun Choi, YR8
“During the hours of rehearsals whether in sectionals or full rehearsals with the orchestra I made friends. It was so much fun to meet other students and socialise with people who share the same passion as you.” Debbie Tran, YR10