Students of all ages were invited to submit audition pieces, for a chance to join other students from our schools around the world to perform in an ensemble in New York in summer 2015. The concert was the culmination of a life-changing experience, funded by Nord Anglia Education, which included performing arts workshops at Juilliard, visits to Broadway shows and sightseeing in the cultural hub that is New York City. The trip enabled students to collaborate with peers, build new friendships and be exposed to a wide range of musical experiences.
Each school conducted first round of auditions of their own students, and then filmed the top performers to submit to a global judging panel. The aim was to find three of the best musicians from each school to form an orchestra and a choir, with the variety of instruments and vocalists that entails. 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.
Weeks of individual practice at home paid off. Our students quickly learnt to work together as a cohesive ensemble in their New York rehearsals. A smaller concert gave soloists an opportunity to perform before the week culminated in an incredible concert at the DiMenna Center for Classical Music, with an audience of family, friends, NAE regional staff and representatives of The Juilliard School.
Our musical director for the orchestra, Paul Wright, Director of Music at the British International School of Houston, selected and arranged a diverse music journey for our concert. In a programme ranging from movie theme music, modern pop and rock songs and classical music, a standout event was the world premiere of a piece composed by Year 11 student Simon Cohen, from the British School of Chicago, entitled Overture.
This Global Orchestra was memorable and inspiring for everyone involved, not only celebrating our students’ talent and the joy of performance, but also developing valuable skills such as creativity, collaboration and confidence.