The first Southeast Asia region Performing Arts Festival hosted by British International School Hanoi (BIS Hanoi) in collaboration with The Juilliard School ended on a high note with a successful concert at the Grand Hall of Vietnam National Academy of Music on April 5.
The three-day festival which took place from 2-5 April provided students unique opportunities to attend performances and participate in workshops and rehearsals led by talented performers and music educators, including Julliard-affiliated conductor Radu Paponiu. As an experienced teaching conductor and violinist with extensive chamber music experience, Mr Paponiu inspired and encouraged students to explore their creativity, develop their musicianship and learn new ways of working in an ensemble.
The concert showcased what the students learned and experienced over the last three days. Students across Nord Anglia’s Southeast Asian schools captivated audiences with a slew of performances by the Festival Choir, the Junior Strings and the Senior Orchestra. The last performance by the Senior Orchestra conducted by Mr Paponiu was a spectacular close to the show.
BIS Hanoi Principal Sue Hill said the event was a celebration of musical talent across NAE’s schools. “The concert this evening has been spectacular; a true celebration of musical talent across our Nord Anglia Education family,” Ms Hill said. “We are proud to have hosted the inaugural Southeast Asia region Performing Arts Festival.”
Ms Hill said before the event she felt unsure about how it would work out, but those concerns were put to rest after she heard students play in their first rehearsal. “I was a little anxious about what could be produced in such a short period of time — especially as students from nine schools were meeting for the first time. But as soon as I heard them in the first rehearsal I knew that they were going to achieve something very special,” she added.
Head of Performing Arts at BIS Hanoi, Ms Laura Rea, who has been leading this event, said she felt the same way too. “It’s one of the best things I have ever done. It was really emotional. It surpassed all expectations. The festival became so much more than getting 160 people together with the aim of a high-quality concert at the end; the teamwork and collaboration, the meaning of it, seeing all of the students acting like professional musicians, working closely with other colleagues, and support each other,” she said.
For Heidy Cho from BIS Hanoi, she really enjoyed creating beautiful music with students from other schools as an event of this nature and scale can’t be achieved by an individual school. “It is really fun to make music with people who share the same passion for music as I do,” Heidy said. “This festival allowed me to meet friends from different countries and learn from different cultures.”
“This is a very exciting event for us, especially our students in Cambodia. We haven’t had the opportunity to practice as part of a professional orchestra so this festival provided a special opportunity for our students to experience that,” Ms Jennifer Harris-Lowe, Music Teacher from Northbridge International School Cambodia said.
Organised for the first time in Southeast Asia, the festival was a dynamic programme for young musicians aged 10 – 18 from nine Nord Anglia Education schools to collaborate, create and perform outstanding music together. The participating schools included:
- Dover Court International School, Singapore
- Nord Anglia International School Manila
- Northbridge International School Cambodia
- Regents International School Pattaya
- St Andrews International School Bangkok
- The British International School Hanoi
- The British School of Kuala Lumpur
- The British School Yangon
- The British Vietnamese International School Hanoi
BIS Hanoi is a part of the Nord Anglia Education family, the world’s leading premium schools organisation. Ambitious for its students and staff, the group wants to work with the world’s best organisations to provide them with outstanding opportunities and experiences. Developing a performing arts programme around this belief, a collaboration with The Juilliard School, a world leader in performing arts education, was formed to enhance and enrich excellent existing performing arts programmes taking place at schools.