Meet our Secondary School Orchestra
With the holiday season approaching, the Yew Chung International Schoool of Beijing Performing Arts Department is hard at work rehearsing for the numerous productios our community will have the honour of watching just before the Christmas break. From Elf Jr. to the annual Primary Christmas Concerts. Our Secondary School orchestra which is made up of students from Year 7 – Year 11, has recently resumed with their weekly rehearsals as part of the school’s Co-Curricular Activities.
We talked with Erin Luce, Head of Arts about some of the benefits of being in an orchestra.
What qualities do you look for in students who would like to join? Do you hold auditions or anyone can join?
Anyone can join, provided they can already play an instrument and can read music.
What are the benefits of being part of the orchestra?
It’s a good opportunity to play together with other students in an ensemble. Many students study their instrument with a private teacher, but there are many skills that you can only develop in a group setting, such as blend, balance, and matching your intonation and phrasing. Another benefit is getting to know other students and having fun. We have a lot of fun memories and inside jokes from our time together.
What instruments are played by members of this orchestra?
Right now we have violin, cello, flute, clarinet, saxophone, and percussion.
What music piece are they preparing to perform?
We are preparing two pieces right now: Korean Folk Rhapsody, which is based on a Korean folk song, and the theme song from Spongebob Squarepants.
Have Primary and Secondary School orchestras collaborated? If not, are there plans to?
We haven’t collaborated on anything yet, but we’ve discussed the possiblility of doing that this year.
We also had the opportunity to chat with some of the Secondary School orchestra members, Riae Kim, flute player, Y8, Hermione Wangflute player, Y8 and Spark Hu,Y9, first violinist.
What propelled you to join the orchestra?
HW: Because I think joining a band can help me practice teamwork and my listening. I always find it interesting to practice my instruments with others.
SH: I joined the orchestra because I wanted to have more opportunities to perform myself and increase confidence by performing on stage in front of a lot of people.
What skills have you learned since joining?
HW: I learned collaboration skills and I think I also did improve my listening skills.
SH: I have learnt many postures and expression whilst practicing with other people in the orchestra
What are the challenges of being part of the orchestra and what do you like the most?
RK: Because there are many people in an orchestra, it is not always easy to playing together.
SH: The challenges of being in an orchestra are that you need to practice a lot using your own time, you need a lot of confidence whilst performing on stage
What are the benefits of being a part of the orchestra?
SH: We can have a chance to perform ourselves, we can increase our confidence and we can get better in our posture and skills.
In addition to our regular musical activities, our dedication to promote musical excellence in our students is also depicted through the In-School Individual Instrumental Programme (IIIP), which offers private musical instrument lessons during school hours by teachers with the know-how and an interest to explore our students’ talents further.
To learn more about the IIIP click here.