Bandar Seri Begawan - The annual showcase concert at Jerudong International School (JIS) made a comeback yesterday as the school's musical talents showcased their skills in playing musical instruments, singing and dancing during the event held last night at JIS's Arts Centre.
Under the musical direction of Paul Edgeler, the Head of Music at JIS, the programme featured a dazzling variety of musical styles, from Western Classical to much loved Broadway musicals right through to cover versions of contemporary chart hits like "Rolling in the Deep" (Adele) and "A Thousand Years" (Christina Perri).
Also popular with the audience were the Malay songs, such as "Yang Terindah" and "Bukan Cinta Biasa".
Over 250 students from JIS took part in the show. A number of very talented soloists were also featured, including Nathan Schaumann and Shian Li Chaim, who amazed everyone with their perfectly synchronised virtuoso performances on piano.
In his opening remarks before the start of the showcase, Andrew Fowler-Watt, the Principal of JIS, said, "This year, I am especially pleased that the shbwcase will also be featuring some special guest performers, namely the talented local singer Maria Aires and the Maktab Sains Muara Excelsior singers.
"Back in September 2012, JIS hosted the first of what I hope will be an annual Brunei Schools Choral Festival. Fifteen school choirs came together for a memorable weekend of music-making.
"I was honoured when Festival Director Garry Thin invited me to be a guest conductor, and I found it one of the most exciting and enjoyable occasions since my arrival in this wonderful country.
"It was a privilege and delight to witness, first hand, the tremendous musical talent and enthusiasm to be found in local schools. The singers from Maktab Sains were an important part of that event, so it is a particular pleasure to have them back here on the stage again."
The concert opened with the visually and acoustically stunning "Fanfare for the Common Man" which led into "O Fortuna" - the opening movement from Carl Orff's Cantata, Carmina Burana.
Some of the best moments of the concert featured singers - a wide variety of soloists and different choral group combinations that left the audience wanting more.
Dancers Of all ages filled the stage throughout the evening. Expertly and creatively choreographed primarily by Carolyn Moran, there was a delightful blend of ballet, modern and hip-hop, featuring a mix of lively, colourful junior dancers with more experienced senior performers.
In many ways, though, the JIS Orchestra were the real stars of the evening, even though they remained in semi-darkness at the rear of the huge stage, allowing the featured soloists and dancers in the front to take the limelight.
Throughout the show, the orchestra performed tightly, accurately and sensitively.
Music and the arts are an important highly valued part of life at JIS. The levels of performance and the quality of teaching are both already high, as this excellent showcase concert clearly showed.--Courtesy of Borneo Bulletin