International Youth Music Festival in Shanghai

Written by Judith Bell

The Chisnallwood Graduate Jazz Band in Shanghai in July

We had 4 members of our current jazz band join with recent ex-students to form a performance jazz band to take part in the MISA International Youth Music Festival.

The band played in fantastic venues, played in a massed item, ran a masterclass, experienced Chinese culture, and enjoyed other cultural groups’ performances.

All band members had an amazing cultural experience over the week. They were able to interact with Chinese (including Uyghur) and Kazakh students who were attending the same music festival. They also were able to experience Chinese culture through the sights and sounds of Shanghai. This included hands-on cultural crafts at the Youth Centre of Art (Huangpu), visiting the Bund and Art Museum. They attended a Chinese traditional music masterclass, had tours of Oriental Land, our place of abode for the week, as well as Shanghai City itself. They had five separate performances as well as demonstrating in a jazz masterclass run by Judith in the Huangpu Youth centre of Art where they interacted and helped teach improvisation to students from different countries. They also played in the Shanghai Symphony Hall which is a multi-million dollar state of the art building. They learnt and performed a massed piece of music especially arranged to include them as well as a Chinese orchestra and ethnic Chinese, Uyghur, Kazakh groups. The massed piece required them to sing in harmony and even featured a violin solo by Maike Loof, as well as playing their jazz instruments in the massed orchestra. The students also performed in Chinese and 4 part harmony, performed poi, rakau, waiata in te reo, participated in formal ceremonies receiving  a trophy and giving a speech, and interacted well with students from other countries.

By Judith Bell