Harry in Year 12 attended the prestigious AMIS High School Honor Choir in Beijing. Read his article below on how he was able to participate in this fantastic opportunity and click here to watch the performances! Three choirs sang at the festival, Harry can be seen from number 13.
Upon hearing about the opportunity to participate in the AMIS Honour Choir in Beijing, I knew immediately that I wanted to audition as the prospect of going to Beijing and performing in a choral group with fellow singers from around the world was an opportunity that I was determined to try to accomplish. For the audition process I recorded a song and two vocal exercises to test my vocal agility. These recordings were then submitted to a listening committee who selected the best auditions and later informed those who auditioned whether they were successful or not. When I found out that I was one of the 200 people who had been accepted out of hundreds of applicants from all over the world, I was overjoyed and excited.
Goal Orientated Preparation
It takes a lot of time and commitment to prepare for an AMIS festival. You become motivated to prepare so that you can make the best of the opportunity. Four months prior to the festival, I began preparing the seven songs that had been chosen as repertoire by the conductor. Each of these songs had its challenges and, aside from the musical difficulty of the repertoire, the songs contained lyrics in over 10 different languages. Additionally, learning songs intended to be sung by a whole choir was difficult to achieve by myself as I sing the bass part, the lowest part of an SATB choir. Thankfully, my singing teacher, Clare Trono, helped me massively during the learning process. By the end of February, I felt fully prepared to begin working together with everyone else from around the world – all of whom had been working as hard as I had in preparation for this festival.
Importance of this Trip for Professional Development
This trip helped me develop not only my singing, but also my teamwork skills. Performing the 8 songs I had been assigned developed my vocal range as well as giving me an opportunity to experience what performing in a highly skilled vocal ensemble entails. We accomplished a successful performance due to the students’ dedication and the conductor’s constructive rehearsals. I believe that this trip, as well as any other AMIS trip, is important for professional development as it gives the opportunity to work with people they don’t know, to be given instruction and advice by experts, and to learn teamwork and social skills that will help throughout life. In addition, the inspirational guidance to reach for a higher standard and to push myself was invaluable
Experiences - Shared Cultures
AMIS is designed to cross borders and join countries together as the festival integrates the students that represent schools across the globe. It aims to advance students’ education and promote a higher standard of musical performance amongst all international school students. AMIS also educates both students and teachers alike on global issues and cultural diversity by performing and studying music. When I went to this festival, I met lots of students who were very welcoming and friendly. Making new friends from different countries is one of the best parts of an AMIS festival; I personally spent a lot of time with students from Hanoi and Paris and I look forward to staying in touch with them.
Attending the festival also gave me the opportunity of a lifetime to experience the culture and sights of Beijing. Ms Trono and I were able to make the most of this to visit amazing sights, such as the Great Wall of China and the Forbidden City.
Back at St George’s, I look forward to using my new knowledge to improve my own performances with our school ensembles. Mrs Ni has asked me to share some of the rehearsal techniques I learned while in China so that we can incorporate them into our own practice. I hope that my experience will inspire other students to try hard and push themselves to be accepted into other festivals when the opportunity arises.
I want to thank Dr Barkei and the Music Department for helping me achieve my goals and supporting me in my development as a musician and as a person.
Written by Harry (St George's Student)
Harry's choir begins its performance with song 13.