The British Schools Foundation Music festival 2017
In March, the British Schools Foundation Music Festival 2017 was held at the International School of Moscow campus in Krylatskoe, Moscow. This was a major event, which over 200 children from nine different schools in eight different countries attended.
The head of the creative arts department at ISM, James Langford explained that the aim of the festival is: “To allow gifted musicians in schools from all around the world the opportunity to take part in a truly international concert. Having a group of really strong musicians from different countries in one place means standards are very high, higher than is usually possible to attain in one school. This enriches everybody, and one of the key skills children learn when playing in a new orchestra or group is having to listen to each other and adapt their playing style accordingly. The rehearsal week was a really intense, they were not just working very hard as musicians, but working very hard on their personal skills, their listening skills, making sure that they get on with the others.”
The week culminated with the Gala Concert on Friday at the Rublevo Theatre, and the children were able to display the results of all their hard work. There was a mix of different musical styles – pop music, classical, Russian music, and even a competition called: ‘The Battle of the Bands’ when some of the older students played in rock bands in the afternoon. The International School of Moscow’s band won. In all, the concert was a fantastic success.
Whilst they were busy rehearsing in the days before the concert, we talked to a few of the students.
What do you like about this week?
I like it because I am meeting so many amazing people from all around the world.
Do you play any instruments?
Yes, the cello.
What will you be singing?
I’ll be singing Bridge Over Troubled Waters, and also September She Shall Come.
What do you like about the concert?
It’s amazing, it gives us all the chance to get together, it’s a whole experience in itself.
What does this festival mean for you?
It’s a great experience to socialise with other children from other schools, from all around the world.
Does it help to develop your playing as well?
You learn how to cope and how to play with new people together.
Mel from São Paulo
What do you feel about the concert and the whole experience here?
Well, it’s a very good adventure because if you are going to a new country, there are loads of new experiences, like the cold weather!
Why do you like music?
Because it just feels good. It’s a way of expressing yourself. Music is a language of the whole world, and that’s something that I feel is very emotionally powerful.
So when you play music with people here in Russia, what are your emotions, what do you feel?
I feel proud to be able to have a chance to play with other kids who have much more experience than me, and proud to have this chance that I know a lot of people don’t.
What does music mean to you?
It’s kind of like another world.
Has it been fun getting ready for this concert?
Yes, especially when we were singing, like we are all part of a group, it was nice.
Cool, thank you.