22 Sep, 2017
10 : 00
This year, the Yew Chung Education Foundation (YCEF) is proud to celebrate its 85th Anniversary. First founded as a kindergarten in Hong Kong in 1932, Yew Chung has since grown into one of the largest school networks in China, with more than 10,000 students now a part of the Yew Chung International Schools (YCIS) and Yew Wah International Education Schools (YWIES) families.
In order to celebrate this monumental achievement, YCEF is holding an 85th Anniversary Gala Concert this spring. Primary and Secondary students throughout the school network will be able to audition to perform in the concert, undergoing a series of recorded video rehearsals from which the winners will be selected.
During the past 85 years, YCEF has continually built upon its existing programmes and curriculum, while evolving to better provide for its students. Schools must modify, adapt and improve their services over time, and the Gala Concert also highlights this commitment towards growth, as it’s the first time that students from YCIS and YWIES schools will join for a Foundation-wide concert.
Celebrating 85 Years
Daniel Pearton, Head of The Arts at Yew Chung International School of Beijing, explains more about the Gala Concert, as well as exciting new changes and improvements to YCIS Beijing’s own Arts Programme and the opportunities on offer for students:
The 85th Anniversary Gala Concert is the first time that the Yew Chung Foundation is joining YCIS and YWIES schools for a joint concert. Though the schools are made up of different student bodies, with YCIS comprised of only foreign passport holders and YWIES having Chinese passport holders as well, both schools are united by a common philosophy and educational ethos.
One element of that shared philosophy is a commitment to the arts. This is not only because an arts programme provides students with a well-rounded and holistic education, but also because studies prove that engagement with the arts can improve students’ overall academic achievement.
In light of this commitment, YCIS Beijing has introduced a new Arts Programme beginning this year, allowing greater collaboration between the branches of study and providing students with a fuller and more immersive arts experience than in previous years.
The Mingling of Light and Sound
Western Co-Principal Noel Thomas further explains the new direction that YCIS Beijing is taking by telling the story of a famous artwork inspired by Beethoven’s 3rd (Eroica) Symphony. In this artwork, both the music and the painting are intended to engage one’s emotions. While composition and performance in all major artistic forms require both finely honed skills and genuine creativity, they have the capacity to by-pass the intellect and touch the soul.
At YCIS Beijing, it was discussed whether it would best serve students to keep the visual arts and performing arts as separate disciplines or to combine them under the blanket umbrella of The Arts. There were advantages to each approach, but given all of these considerations, along with the Yew Chung Foundation’s long-held commitment to a holistic view of education, it was decided to create a newly reformed academic department called simply “The Arts”. It will encompass the Visual Arts and Design Technology as well as Music, Dance, Drama and broadcast media. There will be some exciting outward signs of the growing connections across the Arts during the course of the school year.