Student Write Up: BSF Music Festival

On the 25th of March 2017, 20 students and 3 teachers travelled to Moscow to participate in this year’s BSF Music Festival, which was hosted by International School Moscow (ISM).
Friday, May 12, 2017

After a 16 hour-long journey, we finally arrived at Domodedovo Airport, where we were picked up by buses and dropped off at school. Our homestay families were at school, waiting for us. During the week, we lived with families whose children go to ISM. We were split into pairs as majority of the homestay families hosted two children, whereas some hosted four. The children we lived with were around our age and we were very fortunate that all of them treated us really well.

On Monday, over 200 students from different parts of the world gathered at ISM’s sports hall, where we were welcomed by primary children, who performed lovely traditional Russian dances. After that, we went into our rehearsal groups and began rehearsing. It was really interesting to see students of different age groups from 8 different countries gathered in one place, ready to practice for our finale concert on Friday. We had lunch after our rehearsals, and thereafter, we were separated into workshop groups. There were a lot of workshops: Cookery, Contemporary Dancing, Arts and Crafts, Traditional Russian Instruments, War Zone, Sports and Lollipop Making. Each group participated in two different workshops. The workshops were not only fun but it was also a great opportunity to make new friends! After a long first day at school, we headed back home with each of our homestay families.

On Tuesday, we went on an excursion! We toured Moscow’s iconic Red Square, where Saint Basil’s Cathedral is situated. The buildings and infrastructures all looked glamorous and everyone was busy taking photos of the breathtaking view. It was snowing hence was really cold outside, so we headed into a shopping mall, GUM. Despite the freezing weather, some of us couldn’t resist the temptation to eat ice cream as it looked exquisite. After that, primary students went on buses and headed back to school whilst secondary students gathered in front of St Basil’s Cathedral as we got ready to head to the theatre to watch Swan lake. The ballet was stunning and was a great opportunity for us to experience Russian culture since ballets were extremely famous in Russia. Primary students went on a trip to the theatre the following day, where they watched a popular Russian musical.

Fast forward to Friday, when we had our finale concert. In my opinion, the concert was spectacular and there were many special guests in the audience too. There were a variety of pieces performed that day: September, Final Countdown, Bridge Over Troubled Water, Sing, Make A New Tomorrow, March of the Meistersingers, 1812 Overture, Rejoice & Sing, Tumbalalaika and Polovtsian Dances. After the concert, it was time for Battle of the Bands. The bands were all really good thus we were all impressed with their performances. They performed many popular rock songs such as Centuries, Pumped Up Kicks and Zombie and we could foresee them as future rock stars!

I’ve learned multiple things from this trip. Playing in a big group helped me improve my listening skills as I have to listen to the other members of the orchestra to ensure that we are all playing together. This trip didn’t just help me grow as a musician but as a person too. I’ve learned to be more responsible and sociable. I personally don’t have a favourite moment because the whole trip was just wonderful and I had a really good time there. I would definitely recommend this trip to other students because it is a fantastic opportunity to make music. In my opinion, playing in a big group and having an exposure to something fascinating like this really helps us grow as musicians. Music is about expressing yourself in ways words can’t and I believe that events like this really benefits us. Furthermore, we get the chance to make new friends from different countries and create friendships which will last a lifetime. I had a great time bonding with my homestay and I believe that the other students did too. However, it’s not just about making new friends, it’s also about bonding with the students from our very own school. If I’m being honest, I’ve bonded with my fellow schoolmates in that one week better than I have over the past years.

Thank you to all the teachers who accompanied us and provided us with this amazing opportunity.

Orchestral Manager: Sy Yu Ying (Year 10)