International School Basel
Fleischbachstrasse 2 | 4153 Reinach BL | Switzerland | +41 61 715 33 33
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MUSIC GROUPS AND ENSEMBLES

The Music Department at ISB offers a broad co-curricular programme, with numerous ensembles that meet during lunchtimes and after school. This programme provides students with a wonderful opportunity to contribute to the wider ISB community. It is also a great way in which to build friendships and enjoy making music with other people. Throughout the year there are concert events in which ensembles showcase their repertoire. Solo musicians are also given several forums in which they may perform.

ISB also offers private musical instrument and theory tuition. Learn more >>  

Middle and Senior School

Association of Music in International Schools

The Association of Music in International Schools (AMIS) organises festivals around the world for middle and high school orchestra, wind and choral ensembles. Each year, ISB gives students opportunities to audition for some of these groups, depending on dates and locations. In recent years, ISB students have attended festivals in Aberdeen, Vienna, Zurich, Bucharest, Luxembourg, Dusseldorf and Singapore. This year, we hope to take students to the following festivals:

  • Global Middle School Honor Mixed Choir Festival, Frankfurt (March 2019)
  • European Middle School Honor Girls’ Choir Festival, Zurich (May 2019)

Auditions will be held during the year; registration is not required for this activity. Please contact william.norris@isbasel.ch at Reinach Campus or laura.challoner@isbasel.ch at Fiechten Campus with any questions.

Chamber Music

Chamber music is one of the most exhilarating forms of music making, in which groups of between two and eight musicians perform together without a conductor. Students are encouraged to form their own groups, and Music Department staff will also match students of similar age and ability. Each ensemble has a regular practice slot, during which they receive dedicated coaching from one of the three music teachers. The Chamber Music Programme has proved tremendously popular with students. Ensembles in 2018-19 include:

  • Grade 9 Woodwind Quartet/Quintet
  • Sax of Fun! – the Reinach Campus saxophone quartet

Registration is not required for this activity. Please contact william.norris@isbasel.ch with any questions.

Choirs

The Reinach Choir and Fiechten Choir form an essential part of the musical life of the School. The repertoire ranges from classical to contemporary, and students play an important role in determining which pieces they wish to sing during the course of the year. These choirs perform at the Winter and Summer Concerts, the Grade 9 - 12 Music Competition, SongFest, and at the ISB Choral Extravaganza at the Elisabethenkirche.

In addition, Men2B – the hugely popular Fiechten male-voice choir formed in January 2016 – with have its third full year in 2018-19. The group performs its own repertoire, and occasionally joins forces with the Fiechten Choir.

Choir rehearsals in 2018-19 will take place as follows:

  • Reinach Choir: Monday and Friday break times
    Break Time Activity registration (by students) is required
  • Fiechten Choir: Monday and Thursday lunch times
    ISBX registration (by parents) is required 
  • Men2B: Wednesday lunchtimes
    ISBX registration (by parents) is required

Instant Orchestra

The immensely successful and popular Instant Orchestra project runs twice during the academic year. In both instances, approximately 60 student orchestral musicians are invited to participate in a programme involving three period 1-2 practices, followed by a half-day rehearsal and a concert performance. Members of staff are also invited to join the ensemble.

The first convening of this ensemble in 2018-19 will be in preparation for the Winter Concert in December, whilst the second will occur in the weeks leading up to the Grade 6 - 8 ISB Music Competition.

Registration is not required for this activity. Please contact william.norris@isbasel.ch with any questions.

Large Ensembles

String instrumentalists in Grades 6 - 7 are encouraged to join the Fiechten Strings, an orchestral group which performs a wide variety of repertoire. There is a separate ensemble for woodwind and brass musicians: the Fiechten Band. On the Reinach Campus, Grade 8 - 12 students have a plethora of ensemble opportunities. String instrumentalists can join the Reinach String Orchestra. Woodwind and brass musicians have three ensembles from which to choose: the Little Big Band caters primarily for students in Grade 8 - 10, whilst the Big Band is mainly for more advanced students in Grade 10 - 12. Finally, there is a Concert Band for woodwind and brass instrumentalists across Grade 8 - 12.

Large ensemble rehearsals in 2018-19 will take place as follows:

  • Fiechten Strings – Monday after school (Fiechten Music Room, 3.01)
    ISBX registration (by parents) is required
  • Reinach String Orchestra – Monday after school (Boulanger, E.08)
    Registration is not required. Please contact william.norris@isbasel.ch with any questions.
  • Concert Band – Tuesday break times (Palestrina E.12)
    Break Time Activity registration (by students) is required
  • Little Big Band – Wednesday break times (Palestrina, E.12)
    Break Time Activity registration (by students) is required
  • Fiechten Band – Wednesday and Friday lunchtimes (Fiechten Music Room, 3.01)
    ISBX registration (by parents) is required
  • Big Band – Wednesday after school (Palestrina, E.12 – until 17:20)
    Registration is not required. Please contact william.norris@isbasel.ch with any questions.

The Staff Ensemble

The staff ensemble – “Rust in Time” – brings together vocalists and instrumentalists from the faculties of our Aesch, Fiechten and Reinach Campuses. The group meets on Fridays after school, and performs at the Winter and Summer Concerts, as well as other events. Last year, the ensemble brought the house down with renditions of Bohemian Rhapsody and Hallelujah!

Please contact william.norris@isbasel.ch with any questions.

The Senior School Show

Each year, the Music and Drama Departments combine forces to produce the annual Senior School Show. Previous productions have included My Fair Lady, South PacificWest Side StoryAnything GoesThe Sound of MusicFiddler on the Roof, and Oklahoma. Preparations are already well underway for this year’s show: Guys & Dolls. Advanced student musicians in Grade 9 - 12 are invited to play in the band (by audition) alongside ISB staff and hired professionals.

Please contact william.norris@isbasel.ch or julia.mckelvey@isbasel.ch with any questions.

 

Junior School

In Junior School, students are offered the opportunity to develop their musical performance skills. They are encouraged to develop creativity and self-discipline. The main aim of the music program in Junior School is to develop and enhance the musical potential of each student. Consideration and respect for others are also important aims of any music-making activities.

Choirs

Students in Grade 2 - 3 and Grade 4 - 5 have the opportunity of singing in a lunchtime CHOIR. During the choir practices, we will focus on the individual singer by developing vocal skills, increasing knowledge of our own voices, developing music literacy and providing opportunities for solo/group performances. In addition, we will address the choral ensemble by developing group cohesiveness, building choral skills and fostering pride in participation.

Our singers will have the opportunity to showcase their achievements in various concerts throughout the year.

Schedule:

Grade 2-3:Wednesdays* 12:00 - 12:25 (Lunch Recess)
Thursdays* 12:00-12:25 (Lunch Recess)
Grade 4-5:Wednesdays* 13:10-13:40  (Lunch Recess)
Thursdays* 13:10-13:40  (Lunch Recess)

                
* Students registered for either choir will be alphabetically divided in two parts and will only attend one of the rehearsals during the week. The two parts will come together prior to concerts and rehearse as a whole choir.

ISBX registration (by parents) is required.

Junior School Orchestra

Students in Grade 4 and Grade 5 who play an orchestral instrument are encouraged to join our Junior School Orchestra. The orchestra rehearses once a week on Thursdays. Students are excused from one period of lessons by the homeroom teachers to attend rehearsals. In orchestra, students play a variety of repertoire from classical to popular music. They perform in school concerts and events throughout the year.

Registration is not required for this activity. Please contact dhivya.krishnan@isbasel.ch with any questions.

Recorder Group

This is an intermediate-level ensemble for Grade 4/5 students with previous experience in playing the recorder. The group will focus on various aspects of music such as rhythm, music notation, ensemble awareness and musicality, in a supportive atmosphere. The ensemble will have several opportunities to formally and informally perform.

ISBX registration (by parents) is required.

Violin Classes

Students in Grade 3 – 5 are offered the opportunity to join after-school violin classes. There are both beginner and intermediate level classes offered after school on Tuesdays (Beginner Class) and Wednesdays (Intermediate Class). In all of the classes, students will learn about proper violin technique, posture, bow hold, and intonation. They will learn to play as an ensemble in one and two-part pieces, with and without accompaniment. New students are welcome to join in the middle of the year, though they will need to contact the teacher directly to register. Please note this is a paid after-school class.

ISBX registration (by parents) is required.

About ISB

Situated in a beautiful and dynamic region of Switzerland, ISB is an English-speaking international day school which provides students aged 3-18 with the education, support and inspiration they need to become global citizens.

Admissions

 

ISB has many years’ experience supporting students and families from all over the world. We accept students throughout the School year, dependent on availability of space and fulfillment of entry requirements. 

Academics

ISB is an International Baccalaureate (IB) World School. Currently studied by over one million students in 148 countries, the IB prepares students with the intellectual, personal, emotional and social skills needed to live, learn and work in a rapidly globalising world.

Campuses

ISB is situated on three campuses, all easily accessible by public transport.

Student Services

The facilities, technological and personnel support on offer at ISB make a vital contribution to the academic, social and emotional development of all students at the School.

Student Life

Sports, drama, music, art, debate, representation, recreation – at ISB, there are numerous ways for students of all ages to cooperate and compete to improve existing skills or try something new.

Parent Community

 

Individual parents and parent groups constitute an indispensable part of the vibrant community of ISB. 

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