First published in ACCESS Summer 2017 magazine
From Old Amsterdam to New York: student musicians cross the pond
Music teacher Timothy Jones explains how student musicians from International School of The Hague travelled to the States for a tour.
“Playing for a tour like this inspires us to play better,” says Mikkeline, orchestra leader on the recent tour to Washington, D.C., and New York with 40 other students and six teachers from the International School of The Hague (ISH). The tour was organized by the music department, enabling orchestra and choir members to combine performances, sight-seeing and cultural moments in a memorable week.
TV stars for a day
Our first school stop was Stedwick Elementary School in Montgomery County. ISH students led their young counterparts in learning a song which is part of a “learning through opera” project. We moved to a local high school where a joint performance of the song was filmed by a local online TV station. The next day’s school visit was at the Washington International School where we performed a programme of instrumental and vocal music to an audience which included two students who will transfer from the US to the ISH shortly.
The state-of-the-art facilities at the United Nations International School made it a joy to perform for the enthusiastic student audience, and our walk back towards the centre along the river was accompanied by bright sunshine, quite a contrast to the snow storms the region suffered some weeks before and after our visit.
From the world to the New World
For many of our international students it was their first chance to experience sites such as the historical area of Washington, D.C., with its monuments to great figures of history, the lights and bustle of Times Square, the views from the Empire State Building and the ferry trip to Staten Island past the Statue of Liberty. Cultural highlights included an open rehearsal of the New York Philharmonic Orchestra and a magic carpet ride at Disney’s Aladdin show on 42nd Street.
Students Noor and Yung-Ching sum up their experience: “Travelling and performing together helped us make deeper friendships with our fellow students which we will never forget.”
View the TV report of our Stedwick visit: