Dust and Dreams: An Original NIST Musical

“I don’t want to go to bed!” As parents, how many times have we heard these words? Too many, I imagine many of you saying. At the performances of Dust and Dreams in April, audiences were confronted by not one, but fifty confident eight and nine-year-olds from Year 2 and Year 3 pouting, complaining and sticking their tongues out with this message resolutely on their lips: “You can’t break me! Sleep won’t take me!”

Dust and Dreams is an original twenty-minute musical created by NIST elementary music teachers Craig Chambers, Mark Bourgeois and technical experts Surasak Kerdsin and Goravee Tipsuk specifically for our NIST students. It tells the tale of a young girl, Sanya, who argues with her parents about when is the right time for an eight-year-old to go to bed. As mum gives her an ultimatum–“Five minutes, missy!”–and dad does what he’s told, they leave her to get ready for bed. After cheekily revealing her pajamas underneath her day clothes, Sanya is at first dismissive and then grudgingly intrigued by a book her father has found from his childhood days.

As she reads the words in the book, The Sandman, it casts a spell on the young girl as she unknowingly invokes the title character, who dances around her room summoning and directing the spirits called the horrors and the sprites during the dream song “The Sandman”. As the dreams pass through degrees of comforting and disturbing images, Sanya is entranced and then shocked by the images being conjured, suddenly screaming and collapsing on the bed. She gradually falls asleep as the Sandman calms her by sprinkling her with magic sand.

When her parents return after five minutes, they find Sanya fast asleep with the book on her head; they know nothing of the disturbing presence of the Sandman and gazing lovingly on their daughter’s cuteness. The show ends with the rousing finale song “Follow Your Dreams” which points to the power that dreams have to paint images and experiences from our lives and perhaps even give us future paths and ideas as we grow.

Enthusiastic audiences loved the show, and the parallel casts of lead characters brought humour and expression to the roles despite their tender age. The cast’s passionate singing filled the room, leaving the audience singing the tunes as they left the specially adapted NIST Performance Studio. When all the words were sung and spoken and all the dust and dreams had been swept away, who is to say whether the show sent a message to young audience members on how to behave when going to bed at night? Perhaps it even encouraged them into further mischief. Surely not…but then we can all look cute when we’re asleep, right?

If you would like to know more about the NIST Elementary Music Department musicals, visit Mad Musicals.

Mixed Up! Returns to NIST This Friday

Mixed Up! is an annual fundraising concert held at NIST, where students from international schools around the Bangkok area join together for a night of awesome music. Performers of all kinds bust out their best chords to win the battle of the bands, with other members of the community attending to cheer on their friends and family, and to support a meaningful cause.

As with previous years, all proceeds from Mixed Up! go to Love Wildlife Foundation’s Slow Loris program. The Bang Phra waterbird centre serves as a rescue center for captured and confiscated lorises, and all funds raised help to support THB 5,000 worth of monthly costs, including food and medicine for the lorises. Enclosures, a specialized clinic, and other required facilities, in addition to regular maintenance and needs, are also being supported by these proceeds.

Slow lorises have grown to be a large part of Thailand’s exotic pet trade and are exploited in the tourism industry by being captured as photo props. Many of these lorises have had their teeth removed (cut down or pulled out) by traffickers to make them more manageable and a safer “pet” for humans. Yet this causes serious infections and makes it impossible for the lorises to survive if returned to the wild. They are also affected by extensive habitat loss. Though wild populations of slow lorises have declined rapidly as a result of these factors, we can do something about it.

To support the cause, all members of the international school community are invited to attend this wild student initiative. The event is of a lovely evening atmosphere, whereby delicious food stalls and drinks will be sold, to accompany the wonderful music.

Tickets are THB 100 and are sold at the NIST entrance from 7:00 – 7:25 AM every day leading up to the event. Tickets can also be purchased at the door of the event. The concert will be held on Friday, 11 March from 6:00 PM onward with an estimated end time of 8:00 – 9:00 PM. The NIST shuttle service will be available all throughout the day. Please feel free to contact Am Chunnananda (student organizer) at 18amc@nist.ac.th or Matthew Salvatore (adult supervisor) at msalvatore@nist.ac.th for further inquiries.

To stay updated with the final running order (band list) and updates from the crew, check out the Facebook page and Facebook event, as well as their YouTube channel.

“Lost in Space” Is Out of This World

When an intergalactic portal is opened between the galaxy Andromeda and the Milky Way, a lowly team of satellite repairmen must battle black holes, aliens and asteroid fields to overcome a menacing threat to planet Earth. When the dreaded Cyborgs enter the portal to claim the Milky Way for themselves, the fate of planet Earth is placed in the hands of the most unlikely of heroes: an engineer named Sparkie, a day-dreamer who loves to gaze longingly into space. Will planet Earth be saved? And will Sparkie really discover the truth about what lies beyond the stars?

View more photos of Lost in Space in our Zenfolio album.

Over the past several years, the NIST Music Department has built a reputation for creating entirely original and top-notch musical productions. From the Time Traveling Tuk Tuk to Supernova!, they have delighted NIST audiences with creative stories, catchy tunes, and amazing sets and costumes. Writers, producers and NIST teachers Craig Chambers and Mark Bourgeois carried on the tradition this year with Lost in Space, a story that took our community into the far reaches of the universe.

Featuring a record-breaking number of elementary students—over 250 in total—the show played to a packed theatre on all three nights in which it ran, with tickets having sold out almost immediately upon going on sale. The reason for the demand was clear when the lights dimmed. From the costuming and lighting to the amazing makeup, supported by our very own NIPTA and parent volunteers, the show rivaled professional productions in quality and entertainment.

With so many successes, and such a large number of young talents in the school, the only question remaining is where they will go next. We’ve gone to the stars and back, and our community is excited to see where we be transported in the coming years!

Concert Choir Performs at Lincoln Center in NYC

In an extraordinary opportunity, NIST International School’s Concert Choir took to the stage in New York City on Monday, 13 April when Distinguished Concerts International New York (DCINY) presented Ring of Fire: The Music of Southeast Asia at Avery Fisher Hall in the Lincoln Center. Featuring both traditional and contemporary pieces, the event included performers from NIST and other students from the region. The New York audience was thus treated not only to choral pieces from Thailand, but also China, Indonesia, Malaysia, the Philippines and Singapore.

The entire concert was directed Thailand’s own Anthony Giles, Director of HS Choirs and HS Fine and Performing Arts Chair at International School Bangkok. Adding an international flair, our choir, led by Mr. Nicholas Trebesh, were joined by their peers from International School Bangkok Chamber Choir, The British School Jakarta, International School of Guangzhou, Mark Morris High School Vivace Treble Choir and Advanced Mixed Ensemble.

Beyond their performance, the NIST students were also able to experience the creative side of New York. Staying in the arts district of Manhattan, they explored art and music shops, attended several Broadway performances, and visited several museums and landmarks. By offering them these unique opportunities, we aim to shift learning beyond the classroom and ground it in real-life experiences. Through their dedication and hard work, the NIST Concert Choir earned the results: their own moment to shine on the stage.


About Distinguished Concerts International

Founded by Iris Derke (general director) and Jonathan Griffith (artistic director and principal conductor), Distinguished Concerts International is driven by passion, innovative vision, a total belief in its artists, and unwavering commitment to bringing forth unforgettable audience experiences. DCINY is a creative producing entity with unmatched integrity that is a talent incubator, a star-maker, and a presenter of broadly accessible, world-class musical entertainment.

Thanks to DCINY for providing our students with this opportunity, and for the details about the event. Visit them at www.DCINY.org.

Instrumental Music Recitals End the Year with Style

 

NIST-Contemporary-Music-RecitalThe performing arts at NIST have steadily evolved over the past few years, adding new features and events regularly. Based on the wonderful performances of our students in the final events of this year, our instrumental music recitals have achieved new heights! Over the last two consecutive Mondays, performers from the NIST Instrumental Music Programme provided us with an eclectic mix of classical and contemporary music performances, all of which were well-received by the audiences.

In addition to the performances, many students were presented with their ABRM and Trinity College exam awards. Students who were unable to attend the recitals didn’t miss out on being applauded, as they received their awards from Head of School James MacDonald in a small, personal presentation ceremony. For more photos of the classical and contemporary recitals, as well as the ABRSM and Trinity award presentation, visit our Zenfolio albums:

Classical Recitals

Contemporary Recitals

ABRSM and Trinity certificates presentation