As snowflakes start to fall on the ground, students at Seoul International School anticipate the beginning of the annual winter concerts for musical ensembles at the school. This November 29th, the high school division of Seoul International School performed in the auditorium to parents, teachers, and friends, showcasing the talent and education they had built for the past semester. The concert offered a variety of groups to watch; old ensembles such as the High School Orchestra, SIS’ award-winning orchestra, and Ambassadors, the audition-choir at our school, along with new ensembles such as Wind Ensemble, which had been newly created this school year, performed alongside each other. The concert also began a new tradition of crossovers within the musical department; the choral department and HSO performed “When You Believe,” the popular track from the Prince of Egypt soundtrack, as the finale to the concert.
|[The pamphlet given to audience members of the SIS Winter Concert,
photo courtesy of Rachel Lee]
Although I’ve been in choir in elementary, middle, and my freshman year of high school, I was uncharacteristically nervous for this year’s concert. I figured that it was because it was my first year in Ambassadors, which is only available to sophomores, juniors, and seniors. Even though I had prepared a lot for the concert and had met with my teacher outside of class when I needed additional help on my parts, my legs were shaking as I was standing outside of the auditorium doors, waiting to go in. However, when I went inside and stood on the risers, the anxiety inside me dissipated almost immediately. Because Ambassadors had built rapport and support for each other throughout the school year, I felt like even if I messed up my part, I had my section members and the rest of the choir to rely on. Even though I made a few mistakes and had a bad sore throat during the concert, my performances as an Ambassadors and Ladies Choir member went by relatively smoothly.
As sophomores, this concert brought new opportunities for not just me but also many of my classmates. Ji Sue Shin, a fellow Alto in Ambassadors, newly transferred from the Strings department after playing the violin at SIS since middle school. Although she initially felt tense because it was her first time singing in public and being in choir at all, she said that the trust between other choir members and the time and care she invested helped her relieve the stress building inside of her. She told the Herald, “I learned how choir has an entirely different preparation process [from orchestra]. I realized how much effort goes into choir as well. I felt that my skills from my years in strings department really helped me in choir, such as knowing to read music or having a better sense of pitch.”
However, many students were also able to continue the activities and experiences they had started in their freshman year. For example, Julia Min, a sophomore cellist at SIS, stated, “I personally think that the concert was longer than I've expected. I was more curious about what happened because I was locked in the cafeteria. I truly think that the HSO performance was worthwhile despite all the time put in to the performance and I was really proud of the whole HSO group.”
|[The High School Orchestra performing in the second half of the concert, photo courtesy of Karen Yuh]|
Although this year’s winter concert was especially nerve-wracking for me, I felt that the opportunities and changes provided this year were necessary. Following the concert, my friends and I felt incredibly proud of ourselves and couldn’t wait to start preparing for next year’s spring concert.
Seoul International School
Rachel Lee firstname.lastname@example.org
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