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

10 September 2015

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

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The Global Orchestra is one of the unique international experiences offered exclusively through Nord Anglia Education’s Global Campus. Students from the group’s 41 schools around the world, including BIS Abu Dhabi, 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 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

Auditions were held in school with Ms Rochell and filmed, with the top performers submitted to a global judging panel to find three of the best musicians to form an orchestra and a choir. The 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. This comprised of BIS Abu Dhabi's Melissa from Year 11 (violin), Isabella from Year 8 (voice) and Rolane from Year 7 (voice).

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.

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.

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.

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!