April 19, 2011
Each seed carries life and hope--thus will be nurtured, developing roots that will take the form of our Seeds of Hope School in Qufu, Shandong.
In March 2011, Yew Chung International Schools (YCIS) celebrated their Seeds of Hope project, a commitment borne from the overwhelming tragedy of the Sichuan earthquake in 2008. Through the project, YCIS pledges to build schools in areas of need in China, one school annually in every place where there is a YCIS campus. The occasion was marked by a tremendous musical performance on March 31 at the Grand Theatre in Qingdao City of Shandong Province, which was selected as the first location for the project.
Over 100 students from YCIS Hong Kong, Shanghai, Beijing and Qingdao made up the orchestra. Children aged seven to 18 graced the stage with musical arrangements provided by Gary Sanderson, Head of Music and Visual Arts Division. Performances took the form of solos, duets, full orchestral pieces and an extensive choir. The range of musical styles, genres and ensembles reflected the multicultural embodiment of YCIS and was epitomised by one magical piece, named Yi Meng Shan. Supported by the orchestra, Year 13 student Michelle Han accompanied as a violin soloist; alongside the solemn strings came the clear voices of two YCIS teachers, one Chinese and one Western. Gary Sanderson recalled this as “powerful, dramatic beauty--a pivotal and emotional union of the East and West, shining beside musical youth.”
The young players gathered from their different school locations just one day before the concert to combine all parts and components of their pieces previously well practised. “It was impressive given that the students had such little time to practise together,” said Mr. Sanderson. “That performance was, to date, the strongest delivery on technical skills by our students.” For one seven-year-old from YCIS Qingdao, her first experience playing the violin with a full orchestra and on a magnificent stage was simply “the best concert ever!”
In attendance were education and government official guests plus the members of the Yew Chung Directorate. Dr. Betty Chan, director of Yew Chung International Schools, delivered a welcome speech, depicting the importance of Seeds of Hope and the long lasting practical ways YCIS students can align with love and charity. A Primary student then came onstage to join Dr. Chan for a symbolic and meaningful seed sowing ceremony, before the concert concluded the evening on a high note.
Our grateful thanks to all donors, participants and attendees.