Student musicians converge for international High School Jazz Festival
By Eivind Lødemel, Music teacher, East Campus
UWCSEA East recently hosted the Association for Music in International Schools (AMIS) High School Honor Jazz Festival and Jazz Skills Workshop. The annual music festival, which was held in Singapore for the first time, attracts international school students from around the world for five days of collaboration and learning with peers who share a passion for jazz. Following a multi-stage audition process, students from 20 international schools (including UWCSEA Dover, UWCSEA East and Singapore American School) from more than a dozen countries secured places to attend.
During the festival 85 students participated in jazz ensembles and workshops, learning from professional musicians and experienced educators. Three concurrent programme tracks ran during the event. The directors of each programme were selected by AMIS based on their expertise and experience in directing and developing jazz ensembles. The first programme track was the Big Band under direction of Mark Fields, Head of Fine Arts at the American School in Japan. The second was a 12-part vocal ensemble led by Kate Meininger from Hong Kong International School. The third was a Jazz Skills Workshop, focusing on developing improvisation and solo skills, led by Jon Hodge and Jeff Pellaton, two highly esteemed educators with considerable experience as professional musicians.
In addition to these programmes, two Singapore-based artists-in-residence, Erik Hargrove and Greg Lyons, ran masterclasses in the Music Department. Erik Hargrove is most notably known for the seven years he spent touring and performing with James Brown. Greg Lyons is a British saxophonist and composer who has released several albums as a bandleader and is currently teaching at LASALLE College of the Arts in Singapore.
The festival concluded with concerts on 29 and 30 September. The complimentary concerts, which were also live streamed online (view the videos), showcased the exceptional quality and level of the best young jazz musicians from international schools around the world. The first was a jazz club-themed concert in the intimate environs of the Black Box theatre, where small groups and combos performed jazz and funk standards with a focus on virtuosic skills and improvisation. The second concert included a programme of classic big band music and exciting vocal jazz performances.
It was an honour to host the AMIS Jazz Festival and a wonderful learning opportunity for the talented student musicians involved.
International School of Luxembourg
International School Brussels
American School in London
American School of Paris
St. George’s International School, Luxembourg
Zurich International School
International School of Düsseldorf
AFNorth International School
St. Mary's International School
St. John’s International School
GEMS American Academy Abu Dhabi
American School in Japan
Seoul Foreign School
Korea International School
Taipei American School
Hong Kong International School
Shanghai American School Pudong Campus
Shanghai American School Puxi Campus
Kodaikanal International School
International School of Kuala Lumpur
Singapore American School