St George´s English School of Bilbao, Spain, hosted the biggest children´s concert of the Basque country in Spain at the end of January, with more than 200 children participating from Globeducate schools all around Europe; from Rome and Florence in the East to London and Faro in the West.
The event, Globeducate´s eighth International Music Festival, took the theme of “We are music” and welcomed students aged 7 to 18 from 20 schools in the group. As well as taking part in musical activities, the students stayed with host families and enjoyed cultural visits around the city, including the city´s Maritime Museum.
Marta López, Director of Music and concert director at St George´s said: “It was incredible from start to finish – and my experience as orchestra and choir conductor was so satisfying. It is impressive to see how music unites everyone, regardless of the language they speak or the country they come from: you give people a score and everyone plays in harmony, and that is the great power of music, it manages to unite and animate the soul.
“The final result was tremendous, we really enjoyed it! I even got everyone to stand up and dance! Everyone was delighted; some people have told me that they were moved to tears! To see, at the end, everyone together making music, I saw the true power of music to make people so happy. It was a great success.”
Mr Juan Martorell, Director of St George´s English School, said: “You could really see how the students enjoyed this event; the teachers were also fully involved and, although we are a small school, I knew that if we worked hard we could host all of the students. Logistically, it has been a challenge but the result has really been worth it. Hosting students in our homes (we have hosted two girls at home with my family), rehearsing with boys and girls from different nationalities and schools has been fantastic. The Music Festival is an unforgettable life experience for our students, which gives them a spectacular added value.”
Students returned to their schools having enjoyed the experience and gained new friends. Mao, Year 10, from EIB Victor Hugo, Paris, said: “I made many encounters and discoveries on this trip in Bilbao. I felt that our spirits came together through music. This trip will be a part of me as a precious memory and will stay my heart. I thank all the teachers, host families and friends for this wonderful experience.”
The event took place over four days, culminating in a closing ceremony conducted by Marta López Lacha and co-organised by Head of Music Aurkene Nuñez. The programme included:
Paristik Natorren, traditional, by St George´s English School choir. Conductors- Begoña Gandara Martínez and Óscar Buján Vázquez
1492, The Conquest of Paradise – Vangelis
Txoria Txori – Mikel Laboa
Hallelujah – Leonard Cohen
Rock around the Clock – Bill Haley
I will follow Him – J.W. Stole, with soloist, Tamazin Hayler (Nobel International School Algarve)
Musical arrangements: Ángel Briz, Silvia San Miguel
Narration: Ane Pascual, Daniela Yeste, Beatriz Arrieta, Alejandra Martorell, Victoria Munar, Gabriel Martínez