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FOBISIA Advanced Orchestral Festival 2017

15 November 2017

On Thursday the 9th of November, 10 of our instrumental students (6 violinists, 1 cellist, 1 flautist, 1 bassoonist and a trumpeter) set off from school to catch a flight to Phuket in Thailand to take part in the FOBISIA Advanced Orchestral Festival 2017.

  • FOBISIA Advanced Orchestral Festival
  • FOBISIA Advanced Orchestral Festival
  • FOBISIA Advanced Orchestral Festival
  • FOBISIA Advanced Orchestral Festival

There were over 100 students who took part from various British International Schools throughout Asia and stayed at the boarding facilities provided by BIS Phuket.

After spending a day travelling, we settled into our rooms and then went straight to a welcome dinner in the school dining hall. All the students got together in the evening and played some ‘getting to know you’ games so that we got to find out a little more about the other students we were going to be rehearsing with for 3 days.

On Friday morning we were straight into a Tutti rehearsal at 9am. The orchestra were working on 4 different pieces, Mozart’s ‘Divertimento’ for strings, Tchaikovsky’s ‘Sleeping Beauty’, a Thai piece called ‘Long Mae Ping’ and finally the most challenging piece, ‘Danzon’ by a composer called Arturo Marquez. It was quite amazing to see all the students together on one stage and it gave us a glimpse into how we were going to look and sound at the final concert on Sunday. After a long day of rehearsing in sectionals and instrumental groups we watched a fantastic Acrobatic Show in the evening.

Saturday was another full day of rehearsals until 5pm. By the end of day 2, we could really hear the pieces start to come together. In the evening, we watched a flute masterclass with the famous Russian flautist, Maxim Rubstov. It was really interesting seeing him give advice to the flute students, he also performed a few pieces and was great fun to watch.

Sunday was concert day. Again, we spent the day rehearsing and working out the logistics of getting various different ensembles on and off the stage. After some downtime to get prepared for the concert and dressed in our smart black and white, we made our way to the Auditorium for the final time. The concert was a huge success, especially the finale piece which sounded spectacular. In the students' own words: 

"It was great meeting new friends and getting to perform in a big concert (even though we had to practice all day, every day) and I liked the conductor because he helped us rehearse with a positive attitude. I really enjoyed playing in the final concert!" - Olivia Chung 9N

"Music FOBISIA was great because we were able to improve on our musical knowledge and make lots of new friends. Our conductor Mr Mann was really good and made learning really fun." - Yu Gyeong  9N

"It was an amazing experience. The conductor was hilarious and very good. Although I had to practice hard from morning to late afternoon I still had loads of fun with my friends." - Dieu Linh 8I

Our students really did BIS HCMC proud and worked so hard over the entire event as well as giving their best performance throughout the concert. Myself and Mr Alexander were very proud of each and every one of them. We’re already looking forward to the Intermediate Festival which will be held in Jakarta next May!

Emma Husband, Assistant Head of Music