We arrived in Jakarta early afternoon and were greeted by a member of British School Jakarta who took us to our hotel. After checking in, we headed straight to British School Jakarta to meet the students and teachers from the other 7 schools involved in this year’s festival. Our students played games and made friends with the other students who they would be rehearsing and performing with over the next few days.
After a good night’s rest, we were up early on Friday to get to the school and get started. We were greeted by a wonderful performance on some traditional Indonesian instruments played by some of the local staff at the school. Straight after this we split into Choir and Orchestra and met our professional conductors for the weekend, Mr Rainer Revireino (Choir) and Mr Iswargia Renardi Sudarno (Orchestra). After the first play through of the pieces we had rehearsed back in our own schools, it seemed we had a very long way to go. At that point, it was difficult to see how we would be ready to put on a concert just 2 days later.
In the afternoon we split into our chosen workshops. There was Angklung, a wooden Indonesian instrument from West Java, Kecak, a vocal chant with dance native to Bali, Pop Orchestra and Soul Band. These workshops gave our students a chance to try some new techniques and experience different music, and it seemed everyone had a lot of fun.
Saturday was a long day as we all had a lot of rehearsing to do in order to get everything sounding at a standard that would be expected from an audience. There were sectionals for different groups of instruments and vocalists, and here we were able to fine tune the individual parts. By the afternoon, you could really hear everything starting to come together and the students confidence was really growing.
Sunday was concert day. We had final rehearsals in the morning and then a complete run through of the concert straight after lunch. It was fantastic to hear all the different styles of music and quite amazing to see how far all the students had come in such a short space of time. The concert started at 4pm and ran smoothly from one piece to the next. The audience were truly amazed, and all of the students really put in their full effort to make the concert a memorable one, in what would be their final performance together at this festival.
Our students really did BIS HCMC proud, both in their various performances and how they confidently merged with the students from the other schools. There were 150 students at the festival this year, representing 22 countries, and what they managed to create in 3 days was truly amazing. Congratulations to Harry Rowe, Daniel Carroll, Jane Chang, Suzanne Kassell, Jessie Jeong, Nini Pham, GoEun Choi, DongGue Jung, Naomi Martin and Zanneth Neo. Next year’s festival has a lot to live up to!
Quotes from some of the students:
"We got to meet lots of new music friends and my bassoon skills improved a lot". - DongGue Jung
"This weekend was really enjoyable. I liked playing the fun music with a really big orchestra made up of so many different schools". - Zanneth Neo
"I had such a great time at Music FOBISIA and I met so many great people and even friends from previous years. The pieces challenged me while still being enjoyable to play. I always enjoy the FOBISIA trips and this one was no exception!" - Naomi Martin
Emma Husband, Assistant Head of Music