Our 2 BSB students, Alan Wang & Victoria Baek, visited The Juilliard School in New York together with other Nord Anglia Education Global Orchestra students for a fun-filled morning of activities and workshops to promote the performing arts.
Student journalist Hannah Leigh from The British International School of Houston, reports on the visit below.
"Juilliard has wood-lined elevators, original manuscripts from the likes of Beethoven and Mozart and a foyer with stairs made out of chairs forming a grand staircase. We were lead to a giant rehearsal room lined almost entirely by wooden panels that could be changed to alter the acoustics of the room and introduced to a number of executive staff members.
I was impressed by the number of members who were interested in meeting the Nord Anglia Education Global Orchestra, as I assume the president of Juilliard was some kind of musical education royalty. I was also impressed by how genuinely excited the alumni and staff were to meet everybody from Nord Anglia. I was particularly struck by the warm smiles of the dance alumni: Macy and Brandon.
We were then assigned into groups and sent to different workshops. My group remained in the rehearsal room to take part in the music workshop, which was led by a chamber music group of Juilliard alumni called Dakota. The group played us sections of a piece called The Circus, within which the double-bass, viola, violin, oboe and clarinet each had different roles. We were then asked to listen to and study each individual section of music and work out what characters, setting and events were featured within the section. As the piece was extremely old, the “correct” answers were subjective and linked just to what the individual heard. As someone who is not part of the Global Orchestra, but rather is in New York City as a student journalist, I was amazed by how differently I interpreted the music once I understood the qualities of the different sections. I was also incredibly impressed by the standard of playing of each of the musicians. Even though I have heard of the excellence that Juilliard aspires to provide each student with, I was stunned by the fluency of the piece and the communication between the musicians. For me, the workshop really put into perspective the difference between hearing a piece of music and listening and understanding it.
I had a similar experience in the dance workshop as well. The teachers changed my understanding of being a dancer or a choreographer. Upon entering the studio – which was brightly lit by a wall made purely of glass – I again felt comfortable about the two alumni running the workshop. They were both incredibly smiley and their positivity was contagious. The two then began the class by having us introduce ourselves with a dance move and establishing that we can all be dancers. Throughout the class, I learned that inspiration for different dances comes from everywhere. For example, we had to spell out our names with different body parts, which made for very interesting movements. The sculpture garden game following that was also both interesting and entertaining. The three messages that emanate from this session are that anyone can be a dancer or choreographer, inspiration comes from everywhere and dancing can be very fun!"
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