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SSIS Students Join in SIP 20th Anniversary Celebrations

December, 2014
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ssis-suzhou-sip_20th_anniversary_celebration_2Four minutes. A lifetime of memories, months of planning, days of rehearsing and hours of waiting all for just four minutes on stage at the Grand Theatre in Suzhou’s Arts and Culture Centre.

The Suzhou Singapore International School Elementary Choir received the honor of being the only international school invited to participate in the Suzhou Industrial Park 20th Anniversary Celebration in November to represent the expat families and international schools of SIP.

Months of planning and preparations included selecting a well-known and appropriate song, organizing performers representing all aspects of SIP and putting together a show that would impress top government officials from China and Singapore.

Ode to Joy from Beethoven’s 9th Symphony was chosen as the song for this special occasion. “Joyful, joyful sing together. Sing of glory, sing of love…” resounded in Chinese and English throughout the theatre, sung by the combined choirs of SSIS and the SIP Harmony Choir and joined by a group of dancers from the SIP Youth and Culture Centre. During their performance, familiar faces of the school and students could be seen as a video of SIP schools was played on the big screen behind them.

At Sunday night’s performance, six rows of top government officials lined the centre seats in the Grand Theatre. Among those present were officials from the SIP Administration, Suzhou and Jiangsu government and very special guests from Singapore and China. These included the Deputy Prime Minister of Singapore Teo Chee Hean and Vice Premier Zhang Gaoli of China, along with many other dignitaries from both national governments.

The children were congratulated by the Deputy PM of Singapore. Deputy PM Teo said that the children looked great and sounded wonderful. He appreciated the efforts of coming together with the Chinese choir as a symbol of partnership in SIP.

Receiving this honor, however, meant many hours of work for these students. While the students practiced at school during their regular rehearsals, there were several long nights after school rehearsing with the Harmony Choir. One special aspect of this event was the recording of the song. The Grade 5 choir members went to the Suzhou Broadcasting Station to record their voices. None of the children had experienced the process of recording in an official studio, and now have special memories from that experience.

All in all, the entire event was a brilliant success for the children and SSIS. The efforts of nearly 200 individuals who worked together to overcome challenges and scheduling helped to prepare and deliver a brilliant show. For this SSIS thanks all who were involved.


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