Page 8 - FIS World May 2019
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More than Music
FIS students form bonds with music and people while traveling the world
 Visiting students join a select group from FIS during the Middle School Mixed Choir Festival on the Oberursel campus (above)
The Association for Music in International Schools, which is better known by its acronym, AMIS, and by no coincidence, is pronounced the same way as
the French word for friends amis [ah MEE], is an organization that brings together international school students from around the world to make music, and as a result, builds strong friendships. This experience also provides professional development and collaboration opportunities for international school music directors which, for many of them, is the only opportunity to collaborate outside of their own school or country.
Although AMIS is based in the United Kingdom, the festivals are hosted by AMIS member schools all over the world. AMIS has given many of our FIS music stu- dents the chance to travel to cities throughout Europe and Asia, and collaborate with other like-minded stu- dents in middle and high schools around the world.
In October, a group of six FIS Middle School boys traveled to Brussels for the European Middle School Honor Boys’Choir Festival.“Our Honor Choir students came together after school for several weeks to learn the challenging music before traveling to the festival,” says Debra Damron, who has been an Upper School Choir Director and Music Teacher at FIS for 20 years. “When they join other international choir students, you can see the common bond and the joy they all show when singing together.”
A group of three students also auditioned and won positions in the highly competitive AMIS High School Honor Band and Orchestra Festival held in February in Salzburg, Austria, the birthplace of Wolfgang Amadeus Mozart. There they met and collaborated with students from as far away as South America and China. FIS was represented in each of the three en- sembles: Symphony Orchestra, Honor Strings and Honor Band. The group rehearsed almost non stop from Thursday through Saturday, only stopping to eat and sleep. The festival ended with a spine-tin- gling performance by all three groups in the world-fa- mous Mozarteum Concert Hall. This was truly a once in a lifetime experience!
In March, five Upper School singers traveled to Beijing, China, for the AMIS High School Honor Choirs Festival. After an amazing visit to the Great Wall of China and the Forbidden City, our FIS Upper School singers joined 200 other singers from over 50 International Schools for three days of rehearsal and presented an inspiring and moving Gala Festival Concert at the International School Beijing. “Our students have been forever changed by this experience,” says Ms. Damron.
In the past month, two more groups traveled to AMIS festivals. A group of Middle School orchestra mem- bers visited Moscow for the AMIS Middle School Orchestra Festival, while Grade 6-8 band members headed to Paris for the AMIS Middle School Honor
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