January 2022 became a musical month at Dalian American International School. After two successful choir concerts in the middle of the month, the Performing Arts Department hosted an instrumental concert on Wednesday, January 26th. Ms. Olga van Doorn, the band director who prepared and orchestrated the performance from the ground up, named this signature concert the Olympic Symphony to celebrate the Winter Olympic Games that commenced on February 4th in Beijing.
Olympics is an astounding event in the world of sport, and we gave the audience a brief overview of the Olympic elements and how they correspond with the DAIS community spirit at the beginning of the event. "Together for a shared future", the official motto of the Games, became our dominant for the night and chimed with the DAIS statement - "Together is Better".
The word symphony means a big musical performance consisting of 4 parts. Our Mixed Olympic Team (High School and Middle School bands) set the stage for the symphony, performing ‘The Beautiful Galatea’ by Franz van Suppe, ‘Rock Solid’ by Scott Watson, ‘Amadeus’ by W. A. Mozart, ‘The Blue Danube Waltz’ by Johann Strauss, and the exotic ‘Bazaar’ by Randall D. Standridge.
Then we invited the Beginning Band to the stage. They have only started their journeys in the world of music but have already reached almost Olympic level results in their category. This group started their performance with ‘High Hopes’, an inspirational anthem by ‘Panic! At the Disco’, and played a few more pieces after that. These young musicians are true Olympians – strong, hard-working, and striving for Olympic excellence.
Athletes in individual sports possess such qualities as perseverance and self-control because they must rely on their own strength and experience. In the third part of the concert Chris on flute and Matthew on piano performed ‘Pastore Svizzero’ by Pietro Morlacchi, and Michelle played ‘Hungarian Dance No. 5’ by Brahms.
At the end of the Olympic Symphony our Big Band performed a few beautiful and challenging musical pieces, including ‘Czardas’ (solos by Tommy on alto saxophone and Joestar on violin), ‘Windsong’ (solo part by two trumpet players, Shirah and Kevin), ‘Habanera’, ‘L’Estro Armonico’, ‘Cinema Paradiso’ (Tommy on saxophone) and ‘Viva Italia’.
We were truly amazed by ‘The Devil Went Down to Georgia’ - a mini play that narrated a story about good triumphing over evil, with Mr. Bryant performing a solo part on mic. And the highlight of the whole concert was ‘You and Me’. This musical piece was first performed during the 2008 Olympic Games in Beijing. Our graduate Peter Zhang, who is currently a student at Berkley University in the US, has written an arrangement for this piece as a special gift for our school.
The musicians demonstrated again that they are the champions! We would also like to thank the team who helped our musicians shine on the stage that evening: Mr. Bryant, Mr. Gifford and Mr. Reyna, Mr. Horn, Ms. Gulnora and Ms. Guan, as well as the school administrators.
Please watch the full concert video.
Click here to see more pictures