Article by June Park
Photos by June Park and Faith Murrell
The ISS International School Preston Campus Hall, where usually students play pool and table tennis or Assemblies held, was filled with students dressed up beautifully at 7 pm on Thursday, October 1. The Diploma Music Recital was given by the IB students: Sharaf Momen, Aaron Chen, Camden Walker, Tam Pu Tianyu, James Do Hun Kim, Haru Okano, Ying Lin, Hitomi Hirari and Jaywon Park. Ms. Tretter, the DP music teacher at ISS, mentioned the students planned the performance choices at the beginning of August, when the semester began, though the students chose individually how they would prepare their piece of music.
The first musician to perform was Sharaf Momen, playing <Piano Sonata No. 11 in A major, K.331, 3rd Mvmt. Turkish March> by piano composed by W. A. Mozart. He is a potential genius on the piano. Even though Sharaf was the first to play, his fingers were really quick and the song was fascinating. He said he practiced for 3 weeks for the performance. After the performance, he said it was really nervous because it was his first performance and since it was being marked, it made him nervous.
Next was Aaron Chen, a guitarist who played Thinking Out Loud originally by Ed Sheeran and arranged by himself. He looked enjoying and feeling his own music a lot. Aaron’s song relaxed the audience with his comfortable and sweet melody.
Another pianist, Camden Walker played To see the Furthest Place. His pedal skill and dynamics were good. He was focused on the story of the music and played with a very formal style.
Tam Pu Tianyu was really talented vocalist. Tam performed two pieces, Per la Gloria from “Griselda,” composed by Giovanni Bononcini and Stars from “Les Miserables,” composed by Claude-Michael Schonberg. It was majestic. Also his voice and acting was very captivating that makes audiences make feel watching a piece of movie. His facial expression was very good. During the interview after the performance, Tam said he “is feeling great and he enjoyed his character a lot.”
And there was interesting musician, James Do Hun Kim. He played Blues In A which was original piece by him! It was unique and fancy to hear. During the interview, he said he has practiced the song for one year, and the audience definitely could see that.
Not only pianists, vocalist or guitarists, but also a saxophonist performed on the night. Haru Okano played Count Bubba’s Revenge composed by Gordon Goodwin. The performance was very good and it created the atmosphere of a jazz cafe. When she was asked to describe their recital as one word, she chose “Diverse.”
Another pianist, Ying Lin played Spring Dance composed by Sun Yi Qiang. She was dressed nicely, and her dress matched her song’s atmosphere. The play was both strong and soft, her expression was elaborate and delicate. She used various method to play.
Hitomi Hirari was the other pianist. She played Summer composed by Joe Hisaishi. It was so beautiful and her song made audience immersed in her song. After the performance, she said she was nervous but enjoyed and satisfy with her performance. “I am so happy to play in front of many people,” she said with bright smile.
At the last, Jaywon Park, a cool acoustic guitarist finished their fantastic recital. He played Phunkdified composed by Justin King, which gave a strong impression to the audience. Before the performance, during the interview, he said he “feels nervous but prepared.” His goal was not to make mistakes but make audience satisfied. In spite of his concerns, his performance was wonderful. He used special method to play the guitar and it was so compulsive. He said he practiced only for a month.
According to Ms. Tretter, the DP music teacher at ISS, “Each student did their very best and this will be a great experience for them to learn and grow as musicians.” She shared that “This was the first solo presentation for the grade 11’s and they overcame their nerves with grace, despite technical challenges. Also, this group of students is generally at a much higher performance level than other groups, so I hope the audience is impressed with the quality and difficulty level of the repertoire presented.”
I could see some of them are anxious and nervous, but they recovered while their song was going to end. Some of them were really enjoying themselves while they are playing. Their faces looked very comfortable and it was like tasting their dish made by themselves. I could see satisfaction and pride. They are like telling the inside story out and bringing their stories out by their music and performance. It was so beautiful. I hadn’t known that there are many professional talented musicians in ISS.
The DP students’ next performance, Festival of Lights, will be performed on 2nd December 2015.
When asked what would do now that the performance is over, Ying answered, “Well… It’s time to do homework! “