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BSK musicians excel in World Schools Competition in Spain
June 12, 2017, 4:30 pm

For the second music competition of the academic year, The British School of Kuwait (BSK) participated in the COBIS Senior School Music Festival, hosted by King’s College, Murcia in South-west Spain. COBIS stands for the Council of British International Schools and is a membership association representing over 500 organisations and hundreds of schools from all over the world.

The 2017 edition featured musical performances from 200 students performing in 15 different categories.  The schools taking part included:

  • King's College, The British School of Madrid, La Moraleja
  • King's College, The British School of Madrid, Soto de Viñuelas
  • King's College, The British School of Murcia
  • International School of Moscow
  • Park Lane International School
  • British International School of Ljubljana
  • British School in the Netherlands
  • The British School of Kuwait
  • King's College Alicante
  • British School of Bucharest

In the solo section, Hai Wei Li (Current Young Musician of The Gulf – winner at St.Christopher’s School, Bahrain in January 2017) performed on both Piano and Violin. For the Piano section he performed ‘Thousands of Birds Paying Homage to the Phoenix’ by Wang Jianzhong. Despite a stirring performance that was the opening item of the entire festival, he was placed second in the Key Stage 3 Piano class. For the Violin section he performed ‘Symphonie Espagnol’ by Lalo. This performance was particularly brilliant, accompanied by the school’s outstanding accompanist Miss Emily Jeffcott. However, Hai Wei was again placed second in the Key Stage 3 String class due to exceptional competition.

The second soloist was Vivian Sequeira who took part in the Key Stage 4 String class on the Violin. She performed the 1st Movement of the Concerto in C major by Kabalevsky, again accompanied by Miss Emily. This was a truly stunning performance and earned Vivian 1st place in this category.

BSK prepared two ensembles for the competition, one in the small instrumental group category and one in the large instrumental group category. The first group was I Piccoli (Italian for the little ones). The three members of the group were Sarah Aldashti (Violin), Luaidh Williams (Violin) and Hai Wei Li (Piano). They performed the 1st Movement of the Bach Double Violin Concerto and simply blew the competition away. Their fresh and skillful performance ensured 1st place in this category.

The second ensemble was the showcase group La Camerata, which included all nine of the musicians who had travelled to Spain. They performed two pieces, ‘La Bella Cubana’ by Jane White and the ‘Polka’ from ‘5 Pieces for 2 Violins’ by Dimitry Shostakovich. Their experience as a group really shone through during this event and there could have been no doubt that they were the best ensemble at the competition. This was rewarded with the 1st place in the large instrumental ensemble category.

There was one more surprise in store for BSK. For the first time at the COBIS Senior School Music Festival, the Jeremy P Hibbins Memorial Cup was awarded to the Best Ensemble and the inaugural winners were The British School of Kuwait. The Cup was kindly donated by the family of Jeremy Hibbins, an inspirational teacher and talented musician who founded The British School of Ljubljana but tragically passed away in 2013.

Clearly, BSK’s first visit to the COBIS Music Festival was a huge success, due in no small part to the hard work and dedication of their incredible violin teacher Miss Galina Bojilova, the enormous talent of their piano teacher Miss Emily Jeffcott and their wonderfully gifted students. It will be exciting to see what they can achieve in the years to come.

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