APAC Choir – A Story of Success

APAC Choir
APAC Full Choir Practice

APAC Choir might have been UNIS’s first APAC event, but Choir Director Brendan McGibbon and Activities Director Dirk Kraetzer with the cast of the UNIS Choir sure didn’t disappoint on Saturday night alongside their fellow choirmates.

The individual shows were short of nothing but spectacular, pieces ranging from acappela to opera, 15th century choir to 21st century songs or musicals. With each school getting two songs, the choirs have plenty of time to show off their unique style and flavor.

When it comes to the ultra-big-super-fusion-combo of choir team, audience’s get a full taste of what choral music is about. Conducted by the MBE Graham Sutcliffe, long time conductor of the Vietnam National Opera and Ballet, the choir explodes in a vivid display of the power of the voice.

Of course, what better way to start than to start with a bang? Carmina Burana, a triumphant of choral music, Karl Jenkins’s Songs of Sanctuary is a blast of exotic sounds, the Medley from Les Miserables had audience’s head moving with the rhythm, either tapping their shoes or even bobbing their head. The grand finale was the Vietnamese song “Trong Com” (the Rice Drum), Tran Thi Xuan, Vietnamese teacher, said: “it’s a great feat considering that most of the choir only heard of the song when they came to UNIS.”

The show was definitely a success; tickets for the show ran out by lunch (tickets were free). The office had to even offer 6:00 seats after 5:30 seats ran out; yet those too ran out quickly as well. The successes however do not only come from the speed tickets are given, nor the exuberant crowd cheering for an encore at the end of the show. For APAC Choir participants, it would have been the four days of bonding, singing, choiring with newly made friends from other school, culminating in a 2-hour show built by hard work and sweat, ending with a standing ovation from the crowd. If any class was lucky enough, over the event, the teacher would let them go to the theatre and see how the choirs practice. Inside, the choir could be blasting away with a song from Carmina Burana or if they’re on break, students lounge inside the art center, a student would break out a song on his guitar and slowly but surely, everyone join in on the singing and dancing. Duong Nguyen from grade 10 said: “it’s like one of those camping moments, when you’re with your friends and all boundaries disappear”. UNIS, in recent days, even got students lying on the grass hills with guitars strumming. Even for observers who just happened to be there, it’s very compelling to join in on the festivities. Khanh An Vu from grade 10 did not hesitate in saying that she “will definitely still be there for APAC Choir next year.” Looking around, people that used to not think much of Choir suddenly take an interest in joining next year.

All in all, APAC Choir was very successful and rewarding. UNIS was able to show that it’s capable of handling such an event, students gets a taste of choiring as an activity, and maybe, from now on, more and more such occasions shall occur at UNIS, providing students with more exceptional learning experience.

You can see APAC Choir pictures here