With today being the final day of the last term of Huili’s first academic year, it is the last opportunity before the holidays start for us to look back on everything that we have learned, enjoyed and discovered together. It is a time for self-reflection as well as celebration for our pupils, a time for acknowledging skills newly acquired, old talents sharpened and further discoveries to look forward to next year.
The first Huili summer concert, much like our winter concert, was a chance for our pupils to not only reflect on the skills that they have developed this semester as part of Huili’s expanding CCA programme, but also to share them with their parents through a series of on-stage presentations.
Taking place on 27th June in the College Theatre of our sister school, Wellington College International Shanghai, the summer concert was an unforgettable medley of music, dance and performing arts pieces.
A night to remember
The school orchestra (made up of pupils from grade 2-6) opened the concert with a highly polished performance of Mozart’s Symphony Number 25, 1st movement.
This was followed by some real crowd-pleaser renditions of popular movie score pieces, including themes from The Avengers, Star Wars, Pirates of the Caribbean and more.
Next the audience enjoyed the carefully choreographed and precise movements of pupils who attended the Chinese dance CCA, as they performed Xuan Xuan Xuan with a quiet intensity and utmost concentration.
The same can be said of the following violin ensemble, as they played Taiyang and Colour Red.
The Chinese instrument ensemble, made up of pupils from grades 1-6, then delivered their take on Wiz Khalifa’s See you again, which was a refreshing interpretation that came together fantastically on stage.
This was in turn followed by the string ensemble giving their rendition of Coldplay’s Viva la Vida – another emotionally charged yet finely tuned performance.
Next it was time for a choregraphed mashup of some very fresh and funky breakdancing and group dancing, delivered courtesy of the hip-hop CCA crew (grades 4-6).
The school production CCA group then treated everyone to a short excerpt of the classic musical Oliver, where they managed to transport the audience to the strangely grim yet cheerful streets of Victorian-era London as they performed I’d Do Anything. While Oliver will not be Huili’s next musical, their performance demonstrated that we have plenty of excellent singing, dancing and acting to look forward to regardless
Finally, the school orchestra closed the concert with their rousing medley of dance songs as well as the ever popular You Raise Me Up.
A special mention must go to grade 6C’s Maggie Yang and Jason Lu. Not only did they do a terrific job of serving as the concert’s joint Masters of ceremonies, they also wrote their own script for the evening, introducing all the acts in their own inimitable style.
A fantastic end to our first year
We are very proud of all the pupils who performed in Huili’s inaugural summer concert and we would like to take this opportunity to congratulate them for the exemplary attitude that they have displayed while exploring their CCAs throughout this semester and, indeed, the whole year. They have all put in a huge amount of hard work to make their performances as polished and presentable as possible, while always remembering that creative processes should be great fun as well as challenging.
Our pupils have also displayed an admirable level of maturity while getting to grips with the CCA programme. The vast majority of them were not familiar with this kind of educational setup, of being asked to choose from a vast array of activities to pursue. However, being a Huili pupil is all about understanding and showing our values and pushing yourself to try new and exciting things is an essential part of this process.
By taking risks, by challenging themselves to take on something new and unfamiliar in the hope of uncovering previously hidden talents and passions, our pupils have shown that they not only understand the Huili Values, they also practise them every day. To us, this is the most fitting lesson to bring the first academic year at Huili to a close, and the perfect memory to take away for the summer.
Finally, a special thank you goes to the Wellington College International Shanghai staff who once again made our pupils entirely welcome in their theatre. Thank you, Mr Larsen-Disney, Mr Mulliner and Ms Toto Wang. Our thanks also go to the Huili parent volunteers who were invaluable in helping us prepare for the concert by assisting with pupils’ hair, makeup, costumes and the thousand small tasks that need to be done backstage to successfully launch a performance of this scale. We are very grateful to you all.