Festival of Lights

Story by: June Park

Shining lights, beautiful melodies and the nest-like atmosphere of block 5 brightened the atmosphere in the ISS International School Preston Campus. At 7pm on December 2nd, music students who are not only DP (IB Diploma) students but also MYP (IB Middle Years Programme) students with creative music performed. This was not just a music recital but special combination of an art exhibition and a music concert.

There was a trouble that could influence the whole concert. There was a heavy rain after school, which made everyone worried. To maintain the color and the atmosphere, the concert should be performed outside with the decorated lights and pieces of art. It seemed sure that things would change if that bad weather continued. Fortunately, the rain stopped right before the start of the concert! So the audiences could enjoy the night of music with cool air.

Yuya Itokawa, Peihang Du and Naoki Kojima performed Autumn Leaves composed by Joseph Kosma and arranged by Yuya, Peihang and Naoki. They each played the guitar, drums, and percussion. It was really meaningful to see many instruments being harmonized. This was a new, special element to the music performance. Before, ISS students had only performed a single instrument at a time. But unique mix of the instruments made the audience enjoy and listen attentively.

Grade 9 formed an ensemble and performed two pieces: A New Irish Tune composed by Henrt Purcell and Away in a Manger which is a traditional song and arranged by W.J. Kirkpatirick. It was good to hear, but Alfredo Spiegel from grade 9 exhibited disappointment and said the practice was much better than the real performance.

And James Do Hun Kim performed Boulevard of Broken Dreams, composed by Green Day and arranged by James Do Hun Kim himself. The accompaniment was really good and I could see him enjoying himself.

Youngjin Choi, Theodor Starke, Roy Um, and Tristan Eng performed Fly to the Moon composed by Bart Howard and arranged by themselves as well. They sang a song with the music and the atmosphere was very nice.

festival trio

Saki Isatani, Moe Kojima and Suyeon Park played On the Sunny Side of the Street composed by Jimmy McHugh and arranged by Saki, Moe and Suyeon. It was another combination of the guitar, violin and piano which was great and the song was being filled by each other’s instruments.

festival girls

A saxophonist Haru Okano performed Scaramouche composed by David Milhaud. She picked a different style of song from Music Recital on last October, which was cute and matched the atmosphere.

Jaywon Park played Can’t Take my Eyes off of you composed by Frankie Vallie and arranged by Sungha Jung by an acoustic guitar. From his interview, he said he was nervous but he did a well job. Also the song is a slow, old song but popular and famous song so I could see many in the audience were quietly singing along with the song.

A talented vocalist Tam Pu Tianyu performed Ave Maria composed by Franz Schubert. After his performance, he described the environment was challenging sector and hall is better to perform because the sound cannot escape. Also he said the light was too dark and there was no wall for sound to bounce around so it was difficult during the performance.

Also a wonderful pianist, Sharaf Momen performed Jeaux D’Eau composed by Maurice Ravel. The song was so good and made the audience look at his performance in admiration. It was either not too grandeur and light which perfectly matched the atmosphere.


There was a wide variety of music at the Festival of Lights from both DP and MYP musicians. Other performances were by:

-Hitomi Hirai: Fantasie-Impromptu, Op. 66 (by Frederic Chopin)

-Sang Min Park, Shujun Liu, Soo Yun Chun : On a Little Street in Singapore (by Peter DeRose; arr.by Sangmin, Shujin, and Soo Yun)

-Ying Lin : The Seasons, Op. 37 “June” (P.I. Tchaikovsky)

-Camden Walker : For Elise (L.V. Beethoven)

-Jason Yoo and Tom Au : “Unravel” from Tokyo Ghoul (performanced by TK from Ling Tosite Sigure)

-Grade 10 Ensemble: (1) Standchen (Franz Schubert; arr by S. J. Nixon) (2) The Little Drummer Boy (Katherine Davis; arr. by Alan Hirsh)

-Aaron Chen : Silent Night (Franz Xavier Gruber arr. by Aaron Chen)

One thought on “Festival of Lights

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  1. Hi June Park! Thank you very much for mentioning the work of the art students at the Festival of Lights! We know that the focus of Festival of Lights is MUSIC! But with the support of Ms. Tretter, the G11 Visual Art students were happy to have their first opportunity to exhibit their light sculptures. We think the interesting sculptures added to that very nice atmosphere that you mentioned in your article. Thanks again for reporting on Music and Art at ISS, as the arts can add so much to our lives! –Ms. Larue


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