Each year the top musicians in High School are selected to represent ISM at the IASAS Music Cultural Convention. Eight students from each curriculum area (Choir, Orchestra and Band) create and present music as Octets. In addition, each individual musician presents a solo performance. Three piano playing students are also selected so they can accompany these solo performances and also present their own solo performance All performances are adjudicated by a panel of experts, and while there are no prizes, students recommended by the adjudicators are honored by section to perform at the IASAS Showcase. At the convention, ISM students work with the other IASAS students on large scale performances, which are shared in a Finale concert.

IASAS Music 2022

Hosted virtually by ISM

March 2nd to 4th, 2022

International School Manila was excited to host IASAS Music 2022 from March 2nd to 4th, 2022. IASAS Music CC brings together approximately 162 music students (48 Band, 48 Strings, 48 Choral and 18 Piano musicians) to participate in workshops and share artistic works. The selection process for this convention is quite competitive within the schools and the students who attend are very committed to their respective art forms. The convention hopes to provide experiences that enrich and inspire these students’ artistic understandings and practice. To add to the excitement, IASAS celebrates its 40th anniversary this year, so we celebrated being part of such a wonderful legacy by joining a joint Zoom celebration with IASAS Dance/ Drama/ Tech and IASAS Debate and Forensics, which was hosted by International School Bangkok.

For IASAS Music, the Band, Choir and Strings students from each school prepare an Octet performance. Every student also prepares a solo for adjudication, with piano students supporting as accompanists where needed. While the convention is not competitive, some students are selected to have their work featured in showcases, which are used to enhance the learning of all delegates. One of the highlights of the convention is when students from all schools join together to present shared music performances under the direction of guest conductors.

An additional element added for the virtual event this year was a convention meet up. As our Music team discussed how we might modify the event to keep it an engaging experience for the 160 students involved, we had the idea of bringing all schools together earlier so as to work on collaborative aspects of music making and to connect students socially across the IASAS network with our Guest conductors:

  • Frank Troyka from Texas, U.S.A led the Band students in a workshop entitled De-Mystifying the Art of Practice: Efficient and Effective Strategies for Student Musicians and Musical Leaders. This session explored how to approach learning a piece of music, such as an etude, and focuses heavily on peer teaching and student leadership.

  • Jonathan Mann from the United Kingdom led a masterclass on playing the Enigma Variations, which is the large ensemble music piece all IASAS Strings students are working on virtually playing together for IASAS Music 2022. Working with the clicker track, all students gained a shared vision of the piece, which will no doubt make the final virtual performance more cohesive.

  • Dinah Helgeson from Seattle, U.S.A. lso worked on developing a cohesive interpretation of the IASAS Choir large ensemble piece Let the Music Fill Your Soul. Her work helped students focus on blending voices, look at the specific demands of the various voice parts, and prepared students for recording.

  • Chi-Ying Hung, an experienced piano accompanist (and ISM parent!), joined forces with Jovianney Cruz, a Manila-based concert pianist. The pair explored the challenges of accompanying different types of performers before answering troubleshooting questions from IASAS piano delegates about their accompanying assignments for the convention.

In addition to these wonderful music professionals, students gained from experience of 12 other music adjudicators. You can read about all these wonderful musicians and sample some of the music created for the convention by browsing the dedicated website for the event, by clicking the image below:

IASAS Music 2021

This year's convention was hosted virtually by International School of Kuala Lumpur. Students prerecorded their octet and solo performances for adjudication and then joined other students via Zoom for master classes with guest artists. It was amazing to see how our students overcame the challenges of working with an accompanist via distance learning and every ISM representative should be proud of their performance. While there are no awards for IASAS Music, each year students recommended by the adjudicators are selected to represent their schools in a showcase, which is performed for all musicians and the host school's audience. The video below shares the solos of students who represented ISM in the online showcase. as well as the Octet performances for Choir and Strings.