Panthers of ISKL #142: The IASAS Music Cultural Convention Delegates

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POISKL IASAS Music Delegates

From March 1 – 5, 2023, 24 HS students headed to the Jakarta International School (JIS) for Season 2 of IASAS Music! We met with each of the five divisions: Band, Choir, Composition, Piano, and Strings, to hear about their best moments, what they are most proud of, and advice to future delegates!

A special shoutout to Yuchu W. (G9), who the piano adjudicators chose to perform her solo in the masterclass as ISKL’s representative. Noah C. (G12), whose solo was featured at the Friday night showcase concert, along with our band, strings, and vocal small ensembles. Anderson W. (G11) and Noah C. (G12) represented ISKL in the composition category, and a special mention to three Seniors, Kyu Ri P., Noah C., and SeoHyun L., who received the honor of being 4-year IASAS Music delegates, which means they had the skills and talent to make it on our teams in Grade 9.

Here is their story:



IASAS Music Band Team

(Words by Ruby L. (‘23) )

Describe your most memorable moments as a team during the IASAS tournament.

One of our most memorable moments was our chamber music performance in front of an audience at the Jakarta International School (JIS)! All the JIS families and musicians across all divisions (band, strings, and choir) from all IASAS schools were there to listen to each IASAS team’s chamber music performance. The synergy that all the people there emitted together and the excitement that we finally got to play in front of such a big audience in a non-virtual environment made it so special! Especially as a band quintet, we were not only playing with each other but making eye contact and moving in accordance with each other – it felt as if we had become one organism altogether!

As a team, what were you most proud of?

As a team, we are most proud of the fact that we grew together not only as musicians but also as leaders. Music entails many social skills that go above and beyond simply playing the right notes at the right time. We learned to bond together and listen to each other, and above anything else, to actively seek ways to contribute to the team and each become a leader in different/unique aspects.

What advice would you give to other students who wish to participate in the IASAS Culcon Band next academic year?

As a Senior, having had IASAS Culcon band as the last IASAS before moving on to college, I want to tell other students who wish to participate next year to enjoy and cherish every moment in IASAS. Every performance you get to do and every interaction you make with other students from Southeast Asia are truly invaluable experiences and connections you will keep in your heart for the rest of your life.

High school life can be hectic with all the other things you need to invest your energy in, but I ensure that you can discover new versions of yourself and follow your most profound passions in the IASAS Culcon Band!


IASAS Music Chior Team

(Words by Noah C. (‘23))

Describe your most memorable moments as a team during the IASAS tournament.

The most memorable moment involving the team was our performance of the piece “Borte!” in front of the octet adjudicators. All of the vocal octets stayed to watch each other’s performances, which made the whole process so much more fun and rewarding. We had been practicing the piece for months and recently put together the final touches that made it come alive. We always talked about trying to have the piece peak on concert day, and it did!

Performing it was such an emotional experience. I could feel everyone’s connection with the piece, but most importantly, with each other. Everything perfectly fell into place, and we delivered an incredible performance that everyone in the group was proud of.

As a team, what were you most proud of?

I’m proud of everyone’s performances and musical abilities, but honestly, I’m most proud of the chemistry we developed during the IASAS season. The moments where we could be vulnerable and take risks in front of each other without the risk of judgment accumulated into the connection that made our octet performances so captivating.

What advice would you give to other students who wish to participate in the IASAS Culcon Choir next academic year?

The biggest advice is to take advantage of IASAS and every opportunity it provides. As a Senior who could only experience one IASAS despite being a 4-year delegate, I sit here grieving all the times I wanted to start conversations and get to know other participants but felt too scared to. Those opportunities are no longer available for me; if you aren’t careful, they’ll slip by quickly.

The people participating in CulCon are truly amazing and talented; it’s a diverse and vibrant group. It’s so rare to have the opportunity to meet with so many people just as passionate as you are. Please take advantage!


IASAS Music Composition

(Words by Anderson W. (‘24))

Describe your most memorable moments during the IASAS tournament.

Composing my symphony was a journey in itself; taking almost ten months to write, there were some challenges. I had some trouble involving the movement’s development section (the section of the music where tonality and harmonies are most unstable), and I reached writer’s block for a few weeks when I first tried to write this. However, eventually, with my composition teacher’s help, I finally finished it. It didn’t turn out how I initially imagined it to sound, but I’m very happy with what it’s become.

What were you most proud of?

I’m incredibly proud of how my piece turned out, especially having started composing two years ago.

My work was inspired by the first movement of Mozart’s 41st, or “Jupiter” Symphony, one of my favorite pieces of classical music. (The fourth movement in particular). The beginning motifs and the timbre of this movement were heavily inspired by Mozart’s symphony, down to specific tempo markings and the key signature. Written as the first movement for a more extended symphony, this piece is in the sonata-allegro form and aims to be reminiscent of the classical period.

What advice would you give to other students who wish to participate in the IASAS Culcon Composition next academic year?

Start early. It’s always quite competitive, and the notification for selection comes out a mere two weeks before the submission deadline. So, if you have a piece you’ve been working on for a year at that point, you have a considerable advantage over somebody who’s just learning about this aspect of IASAS Music now.


IASAS Piano Team

(Words by Zhao Yang K. (‘25))

Describe your most memorable moments as a team during the IASAS tournament.

Our most memorable moment as a team during IASAS was the masterclasses. As we witnessed selected players (including our teammate Aurora) perform and discuss their pieces with the adjudicators, we formed new friendships with pianists from many different schools! We still use our group chat to share piano memes and funny practice tips.

The adjudicators were so sweet – revealing the lives of our composers on an intimate level, and we delved into the rich stories embedded within each symbol on our sheet music. We even learned about Beethoven’s non-existent love life!

As a team, what were you most proud of?

As a team, we were most proud of our growth over the season – it wasn’t easy for us to create bonding time, being the smallest music team of only three people with a solo instrument. Without group rehearsals like the other teams, we sometimes listened to each other play in the practice rooms after school, reviewing posts for our team’s Instagram page and helping with all our page turns.

Our situation may have been awkward, but our team’s connection became all the more remarkable because of it. How else would we have created so many memes of our fellow pianist Paul?

What advice would you give to other students who wish to participate in the IASAS Culcon Piano next academic year?

One piece of advice for students wishing to join IASAS Piano next year is truly to love what you’re playing and, above all, start early; if you are truly passionate about the pieces you pick and begin at least half a year in advance, practice will become less burdensome as auditions draw near. Instead, it will become a space for your emotions to shine!

That being said, immerse yourself in the context of each piece and research the composer’s background and the period in which your piece was written. These strong insights will reflect deeply on your ability to bring out the piece’s message during playing. Even cultivating your passion for piano repertoire will open so many doors! So the amount of dedication you show does make or break your experience as a whole, before and even at the convention.


IASAS Music-Strings Team

(Words by Lamija M. (‘23) )

Describe your most memorable moments as a team during the IASAS tournament.

Our most memorable moment as a team was our Friday night performance. That was our last performance at the convention and our first performance in front of the entire IASAS music delegation. It was very memorable because we always enoy playing music together.

It was also very emotional in other ways afterward because that performance meant that our time as an octet was ending.

As a team, what were you most proud of?

I think we were very proud of all the work we’ve done together to achieve the result that we did. But, I believe we are also very proud of the bond we created during the whole IASAS process.

What advice would you give to other students who wish to participate in the IASAS Culcon Strings next academic year?

I’m not going to write things everyone has heard before, such as managing your time, making sure to practice, etc. I would advise not to think about this as much of a competition. Of course, the spirit of competition can sometimes help to push you forward, but it’s important to remember that this is about sharing music and learning new things.

Another piece of advice would be to make sure to get to know your teammates. IASAS music can be challenging sometimes, and having your team as a support system can make a difference.


Do you know of any student, teacher, parent, or staff who always have an anecdote to tell, love to share some insights into their passions and interest, or simply is a Panther through and through? Nominate them to be featured in our Panthers of ISKL stories by sending in your submissions here.

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