Students collaborate for harmony at music festival


Bringing together singers from four international schools in Korea and Japan—SIS, Korea International School (KIS), Senri and Osaka International School (SOIS) and Yokohama International School—the annual Association of International Schools in Asia (AISA) choir festival was held at KIS from Nov. 7-8. Ten SIS students were among the fifty students who partook in an opportunity to perform as a group on-stage.

As a mixed choir, the singers performed the folk song “Will Ye Go, Lassie, Go” by Francis McPeake, the English traditional song “Turtle Dove” by Ralph Vaughan Williams and the gospel song “Hush, hush, somebody’s calling my name.” Separately, the boys and girls sang “With My Swag All on My Shoulder” by the Seekers and “Johnny said ‘No!’” by Vijay Singh, respectively.

“When the other choir directors picked songs last year, they focused on choosing songs that would help students improve their vocal technique in their various voice parts, such as alto and soprano,” said Kallina Chin, choir director. “But they also ensured that students would not only be successful in singing it but also be able to enjoy or relate to the songs.”

The students partook in rehearsals before holding a short concert for parents in the auditorium on the second day. Students were also given the opportunity to get to know other participants better, especially through an icebreaker activity in which they were asked to find a person who fulfilled a criterion, such as having the same t-shirt color.

“[The activity] was an opportunity to intermingle with new people but also reconnect with Japanese students I have seen before at the [AISA choir festival],” said Erin O’ Sullivan (11), participant. “It can be awkward or difficult for some people to reach out to students from different schools voluntarily, so I liked how they incorporated it into the schedule.”

According to Ms. Chin, the AISA choir festival is unique in that it is the only AISA event for music that is still occurring. Therefore, there are seniors, such as Thomas Cha (12), who have attended the event multiple times, especially those who been in choir for the entire duration of their high school years.

“I think that the AISA choir festival is different from the concerts held at individual schools,” Thomas said. “Though you still sing as a group, you only perform with students from your respective schools. AISA is special because it builds a relationship between choir directors and singers from different schools.”