Tiger Taiko @TEDx Suzhou
As ever our Tiger Taiko group have been in great demand, this time to perform at TEDx Suzhou.
The Dulwich College Suzhou Tiger Taiko team was first established in 2013. The group is made up of students from 13 to 18 years old and they represent many different nationalities. They meet once a week as an after school activity to rehearse. The Taiko performance requires many different skills with the students learning different and complex rhythms, the forms and routines used by the players, the use and grip of the sticks and the different drums, which all combine to make such a dramatic performance. Since the very beginning this team has been in great demand, not only for all sorts of school events such as the official opening ceremony of the Senior School, Graduation Day, Founder’s Day and many others but also from other organisations in the wider community. Their reputation has grown and they have now performed at St. Patrick’s Day events, the Expatriate Association of Suzhou Charity Bazaar, opening ceremonies for shopping centres, VIP visits, festivals and even for the British Consulate-General in Shanghai. Audiences always enjoy their professional, exciting and dramatic performances.
The whole school has enjoyed a range of engaging activities and events based on finding out more about sustainability to celebrate Earth Day.
Our Senior School students were proud to announce their partnership with Green Initiatives, an environmentally-oriented NGO based in Shanghai, to support their RE:FORM project. The RE:FORM project collects unwanted textiles, stocks them for further sorting to be either up-cycled, down-cycled, or donated to charities. A collection box has already been set up in the Senior School foyer area. All students, staff and everyone in the DCSZ community are invited to pack up any unwanted clothing, bedding, socks and footwear at home and put them into the collection box, to reduce our environmental footprint and drive change towards conscious fashion.
The launch ceremony for the RE:FORM project took place at the start of the Earth Day opening ceremony, with a keynote presentation made by representatives from Green Initiatives, who also hosted workshops on food safety and recycling for our Key Stage 3 students. Our students demonstrated their keen interest in the projects of Green Initiatives through their active participation in the keynote presentation and the workshops. Our SS Eco Council students also had the opportunity to meet with the Green Initiatives representatives at lunch to learn more about the works of Green Initiatives and introduce them to our own ongoing projects. They received valuable suggestions on how to best use social media platforms to promote their ongoing sustainability projects and campaigns. They were immensely inspired by Green Initiatives and now plan to organise a clothes-swap event soon this term.
Other activities during Earth Day included a debate, planting, tie-dying, arts and crafts, Green Oscars (student environmental film making) urban design and making an eco house. Chartwells also very kindly provided support in organising cooking workshops for the students using vegetarian and environmentally-friendly recipes. More excitingly, all the recipes and dishes tested and loved by the students were served at lunch for the whole Senior School.
Another new project just launched is the recycled fashion design competition, REVIVAL Wearable Arts Fashion Awards. There are now more than 20 students from across different year groups participating as designers to create a full line of garments using recycled and repurposed materials. CCA time on Wednesday afternoons are now dedicated for the students to work on their creations, and last week the students participated in a professional design workshop through Skype supported by professors from SCAD university at Hong Kong.
An evening of music from our talented iGCSE and IB students.
Music Room Project
Dulwich students have established yet another music based programme called the Music Room Project. This started last year after they were awarded an ACAMIS (Association of China and Mongolia International Schools) grant of 2000USD. The aim of the project was to refurbish a music room for students at migrant schools. The students sourced and bought all the materials needed and visited the school every week to do the refurbishing work themselves. Their first project, at Ming Xing migrant school, was such a success that this year they decided to continue the project at anther school. Impressed by the student’s commitment and initiative the ACAMIS Board awarded another 1500USD. They have since been working with Li Xun migrant school to refurbish their music room too.
The student leader of the ACAMIS Music Room project said, “Our determination and teamwork is stronger than ever, but now we have more skills and experience added to the mix, making our team a truly tight-knit and professional one. It was remarkable to see how well and effectively our team was able to overcome many challenges along the way and everyone has tried their hardest to paint the walls as beautifully and professionally as possible.”
The project will be completed very soon and the students have lots of ideas for the final decoration of the room, painting cloud designs and fixing musical theme stickers on the walls. When completed they will present Li Xun migrant school with the musical instruments that they had wanted and present the newly furbished room to the children.
This project has been truly meaningful because, although it was initially aimed towards helping the migrant students, the students from our own school have learnt a lot too. One student said, “The experience of being part of the ACAMIS music room has been unique and hugely rewarding.” The students hope to continue with this project in the years to come.
Crescendo Music Project - it only gets louder!
The Crescendo Project is a charitable student-led organisation that teaches music to primary school students in the rural areas of Suzhou. Over the past two years, we have provided a total of 46 guitars to two migrant schools — MingXing Migrant School in old town and YouHao Migrant School in Mudu — and have held more than 15 two-hour-long music workshops to more than 50 students on Saturday mornings. The experience has been extremely inspiring for both our student and teacher volunteers, in a unique way each week — the passion of the migrant children stripped from us feelings of trouble or stress, and allowed us to appreciate the valuable opportunities we are given. More importantly, Crescendo gave us the chance to connect with the kids, and to learn more about their lives and family. We became more than their instrumental teachers; we transformed into temporary elder sisters and brothers, to whom they complained about an annoying younger sibling, or busy parents, or bad test grades; and with whom they shared joyful moments to the latest gossip. We realized that as foreigners to this city, all of us share so much in common. Every Saturday morning, we learned to live in the moment.
Next academic year, students from SSIS will also be joining our project, to bring music into the lives of more migrant children around Suzhou. We hope that this will be the beginning of something larger, of expanding this project outside of the limitations of school walls, collaborating with more international schools, and of getting the whole international community more involved. We thank everyone who has contributed to this organisation and helped us approach our goal: to connect the international and migrant communities through music. To create happiness through music.
It only gets louder!
Angel, Year 10 and Cindy, Year 12
Fun Into Food
UK Chef, Darren Tinkler, founder of Roots to Food, is currently touring schools in China to help teach students about healthy eating. Darren is a fully qualified and experienced Chef who has decades of experience in education, hospitality and nutritional management delivering effective and well respected services to schools, academies, further/higher education, and corporate sectors.
Chartwells, our catering supplier at the College, arranged for Chef Darren to spend the day with our Senior School students putting the fun back into food. His enthusiastic sessions encouraged the students to think about a healthy diet and how to make good healthy choices. The students learnt all about the different food groups and why our bodies need different types of food to be healthy.
The most exciting part of the session was when teams of students were invited onto the stage to design their own menu from a selection of ingredients. They then had to cook a meal using these ingredients in just 15 minutes. There were lots of suggestions from the audience and advice from Chef Darren to help them come up with their dishes. The Red team went for a fusion of Italian and Mexican with pesto chicken, pasta with wilted greens and a mango, tomato and onion salsa. The Green team had to come up with a vegetarian dish and went for a Caribbean inspired theme with rice and beans, vegetable curry with coconut milk and sesame seed curried potatoes. There were plenty of volunteers to taste the food and then the audience had the difficult choice of choosing the winning team. It was very close but the Green team were victorious in the end!
The International Schools Choral Music Society (ISCMS) festival is one of the largest music festivals of its kind in Asia. For the past ten years the society and its events have given students from across the region the opportunity to work alongside the likes of Grammy award winning composer Christopher Tin and internationally recognised conductor Karl Jenkins to produce a performance in five days.
This year’s festival returned to Dulwich College Beijing, the first school to host the festival, to celebrate its tenth anniversary. More than 330 students from 20 international schools across Asia worked with acclaimed choral conductor Richard Gill, maestro Dr Robert Hasty and jazz legend Mike Vax to perfect a repertoire of choral, orchestral and jazz music to be performed in the Forbidden City Concert Hall.
On Friday 17 February, the ISCMS Big Band opened the festival with a jazz and blues performance at Dulwich College Beijing’s Wodehouse theatre. With a repertoire that included covers of Procol Harum and Radiohead, the big band performance set high expectations for the gala concert.
Two-time Grammy award winning musician Christopher Tin composed a piece to be performed at the ISCMS tenth anniversary gala concert. A Bird Came Down The Walk premiered on the 18 February, performed by the ISCMS students at the Forbidden City Concert Hall. This year’s Jenkins award winner, student Jordan Lin, composed choral piece Don’t Leave Me accompanied by piano that also featured in the gala concert repertoire. The finale saw the choir, orchestra and big band come together to perform Gershwin’s I Got Rhythm arranged by Dulwich College Beijing’s Head of Music, Paul West.
ISCMS festival 2017 in numbers
361 participants from 20 schools, with 52 from Dulwich College Beijing.
21 hours of rehearsals over 3 days
2 world premières (Christopher Tin and Jordan Lin) being performed at the 2017 gala concert with help from composer Christopher Tin who holds 2 Grammy Awards.
107 players in the symphony orchestra with 308 strings on the instruments.
235 singers in the chorus and 88 music stands on the Forbidden City Stage.
1,204 bottles of water for performers on Concert Day
1,400 audience seats in the Forbidden City Concert Hall
More than 2,088 emails from the Dulwich College Beijing Head of Music, Paul West, about the gala concert…
Of our students attend their first choice university
IB average points compared to world average of 30
iGCSE examinations graded A*/A
Top in China Outstanding Cambridge Learner awards in 2016
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