TAISM Hosts the 13th Annual Festival of Choirs
The thirteenth annual TAISM Festival of Choirs was hosted by The American International School of Muscat (TAISM) on March 18 and 19 at the school’s Donald and Eloise Bosch Center for the Performing Arts in Muscat. This year the theme of the Festival was “Heart of the World”. More than 200 high school students, representing 46 nationalities from 18 international schools, joined their voices in the two-day workshop and concert. Participating international schools journeyed from Saudi Arabia, Austria, the Netherlands, Myanmar, India, United Arab Emirates, Qatar, Kuwait, Pakistan, and Oman.
The Grand Finale Concert on Saturday evening began with a special guest performance by the Washington, D.C. based professional dance group Step Africa.
Dr. Edith A. Copley was this year’s guest clinician and conductor. Dr. Copley is a Regents’ Professor and Director of Choral Studies at Northern Arizona University (NAU) in the US where she conducts the highly acclaimed Shrine of the Ages Choir and teaches undergraduate and graduate courses in conducting and graduate choral literature. Dr. Copley has received numerous honors, including the NAU School of Music Centennial Teacher of the Year Award, Arizona Music Educator of the Year, Arizona ACDA Outstanding Choral Director Award, and the Viola Award from Outstanding Achievement in Music in Flagstaff.
During the weekend together, participants engaged in 15 hours of rigorous rehearsals. In addition to polishing what they had practiced back at their own schools, the singers learned about endurance, voice care, and choral excellence. TAISM families hosted the visiting students in their homes, and organizers designed special ways for the students to connect with one another through ice-breakers, games, challenges, and social events.
Held annually since 2004, this choral music festival has been an exceptional educational experience for students desiring an opportunity to sing in a traditional American choral setting with girls and boys singing in four harmonic voice parts – (SATB) soprano, alto, tenor, and bass. Additionally, the festival has created opportunities for international schools from around the globe to collaborate in the development of their choral music programs.
Promoting professional development for choral music educators, the participating school teachers had the opportunity to collaborate, observe rehearsal methods and participate in workshops. While Festival of Choirs emphasizes quality music-making, it is the friendships of students and teachers across the globe which becomes a highlight for all involved.
TAISM’s Festival of Choirs has become an outstanding example of how international schools can unite their abilities to develop better understanding of the human spirit through the power of music.