31 Oct, 2019
10 : 00
The YCIS Beijing Primary School Choir was founded just over a year ago and for this relatively brief period of time, the ensemble comprising of 40 Year 3-6 students, has been in existence, they have had an impressive number of performances. From the British Embassy Christmas Bazaar to the Hilton Hotel’s Christmas Lighting Ceremony and our Parent Organisation’s Charity Gala.
We spoke to Devreaux Poole, Lower Primary Learning and Teaching Coordinator, about what skills and traits he and his colleagues, Landy Hwang and Maeve O'Rilley look for when recruiting students to join the choir.
“The love for music and the enjoyment thereof.” he states “Discipline is also very important, because a choir is a collaborative effort, and for it to succeed, everybody needs to play their part. Each member’s actions have an effect on other choir members” and to make the cut, individuals must have a positive impact on the group.
The choir, whose song selection ranges from Christmas carols to circular songs such as the Swahili song, Pamoja (which means togetherness) is flexible. Last year, they shared the stage with the Migrant Children’s Foundation at the Hilton Hotel’s Christmas Lighting ceremony, a great show of collaborative effort from both choirs.
Versatile is another way to describe the group. This can be attributed to the backgrounds of the music teachers, including Mr. Gordon Robb, who all bring extensive music and teaching experience. The ease and confidence with which the choir performs is also due to the prior music background our students have.
“Most of the students, because of the strong music program at our school, have fairly accurate pitch and a good ear for music. The get exposure to quality music education almost every day through our curriculum and In-School Individual Instrumental Programme (IIIP)” Mr. Poole adds. In addition to our music classes, Primary School students in Year 1-3 have weekly violin lessons, while our Year 4-6 students have Performing Arts sessions. Our IIIP further develops students’ music intelligence while honing their virtuosity. Joining the choir can be for fun and enjoyment, but on the other hand of it, there are valuable lessons that students can learn. Some of them being responsibility, self-regulation and listening skills. Confidence is another takeaway, as students continuously have to adapt to new stages and audiences during their performances.
Speaking to the choir’s best and favourite performance to date, Mr. Poole mentions the British Embassy Christmas Bazaar performance “the performance was outside, and it had a Christmas atmosphere; very jovial”.The performance was also well attended by some members of the YCIS Beijing staff, which must have had our singers ready to sing their hearts out.
Our Primary Choir is preparing for the holiday season practicing every week. Their agenda is getting busy for the coming months. If you also would like to experience their beautiful voices and joyful songs, contact our school to find out more!
We look forward to seeing the YCIS Beijing Choir at different venues around the city!