SIS News Archive
Last week for five days, eight middle school girls from SIS joined a select choir of 115 voices from 12 international schools in order to form this year’s AMIS Asian Middle School Honor Girls Choir. Their director was Dr. Angela Broeker, a well-known professor of choral music from St. Thomas University in St. Paul, Minnesota. Dr. Broeker worked with the girls for three days of rehearsals in order to prepare them to perform in Saturday night’s concert at Hong Kong International School.
Singing in an honor festival choir is always both a challenging and rewarding experience for the students who are selected to participate. This year, all the students grew a great deal both musically and personally from working with Dr. Broeker, and from collaborating with so many students from different nationalities, faith backgrounds, and countries. The festival is not a competition, but rather a unifying experience that brings together so many people to form one ensemble creating beautiful music together.
This festival was very special because the founders of AMIS (Association for Music in International Schools), Richard and Georgia Bassett, are retiring this year. This festival in Hong Kong was their last one in Asia. Mrs. Bassett greeted the audience with grace and wisdom as she always does, and Mr. Bassett imparted the words of wisdom that he always shares with students: “If it is to be, it is up to me.” They both encourage young people to always do their best and not to be afraid of accomplishing great things.
The honor choir performed nine pieces of music that were from very different eras, genres, and parts of the world. The students sang in six different languages, and also performed choreography (movement) for several of the songs. The last song was probably the most emotionally moving. They sang the song with their hands on the shoulders of the two young ladies in front of them, and the first row all held hands. the song was called “One Song at a Time,” by Darla Eshelman. Here’s what Jamie Fraser said about it: “At the last rehearsal of the song “One Song at a Time” when we did the movement for the first time, where all the singers were connected to each other, it was really powerful for me. I will never forget how I felt in that moment.”
When we look out, sometimes all we see is darkness, and emptiness, and endless despair. But when we join hands and sing, there’s a light that appears—guiding our way, and bringing us here. We’ve got peace like a river, and and joy like a fountain and love like an ocean that reaches out endlessly. We’ve got a hope that can pierce through the night. We’re changing our world one song at a time.
SIS, Bayside 6-12 Choir