Asian Middle School Honor Orchestra February 8-12, 2017

AMIS Asian Middle School Honor Orchestra Festival

Sofia Pelletier, Host
8-12 February 2017

Stephen Venema, Guest Conductor

Click here to view images from this festival

IMG_1145About This Festival

The first International Junior Honor Orchestra took place in 2001, but did not come under the AMIS umbrella until 2006 at the request of international string teachers.

In order to accommodate the increase in the number of participating schools, the AMIS Middle School Honor Orchestra divided into two separate European and Asian festivals in 2012.

Schools on the Asian and European continents are expected to audition for their respective festivals. Schools in other parts of the world are welcome to choose.

Screen Shot 2016-06-12 at 11.23.40

Past Festivals and their Conductors Include:

  Conductor Host School
2006 Darrell Townshend International School Vienna
2007 Matthew Spieker International School of Beijing
2008 Stephen Bonnette St. John’s International School
2009 Lorraine Davis Singapore American School
2010 Joanne Irwin American School in London
2011 Malcolm Yuen American International School Vienna
2012: Asian Middle School Honor Orchestra Created
2012 Hanrich Claasen Jakarta International School
2013 Jonathan Mann International School of Beijing
2014 Todd Weinhold International School of Manila
2015 Guillaume Odendaal International School of Beijing
2016 Stephen Bonnette Shanghai American School Pudong

The 2017 Asian Middle School Honor Orchestra will be hosted by Sofia Pelletier at Singapore American School, and conducted by Stephen Venema of Shanghai American School.


AMIS Festivals support the music programs in schools whose primary purpose is to serve expatriate children in various world locales. Applications are not accepted from students whose schools are outside of this international school community.  

Applicants must submit their auditions through a music teacher from their school, and must be active members of the relevant performing ensembles within their school. Any exceptions to the above must have prior approval from the Executive Director in order to audition.

String students in grades 6, 7, and 8 are eligible to attend this festival. See the audition instructions for full details. Alternates as well as full members will be chosen for the festival. Alternates are expected to practice the music to be ready for a position in the orchestra, should a position come available. Alternates do not pay fees until offered a place in the ensemble.


Click here for audition materials and information.

All auditions must be uploaded no later than 18 October 2016.

Role of Directors

A director who submits students for audition or enrolment does so with the understanding that he or she will be responsible for all local arrangements for participation, including but not limited to musical preparation, travel arrangements, fee payments, and communication with the Executive Director and the parent community.

A student may not participate in any festival unless accompanied by his or her director. If the director is unable to attend the festival, the student’s school will inform the Executive Director of the approved substitute chaperone.

Click HERE for more information about directors, chaperones and visiting parents.


Full payment for the festival is due on 14 December 2016.  A list of Fees can be found here.

Invoices are issued in pounds sterling.

Alternates do not pay a registration fee until offered a place in the ensemble

Please be advised that registration fees for AMIS events are never refundable.

Questions regarding fees and payment should be addressed to Tim Germann, Chief Operating Officer.

Applications for AMIS Financial Aid must be submitted no later than 17 November 2016. 


Student Housing 

All student participants in the festival will be housed with host families from Singapore American School for the 4 nights of the festival, starting Wednesday, 8 February. Any group arriving in Singapore prior to that date must make their own arrangements for accommodation until Wednesday.  If a student does not require housing on concert night, this must be clearly stated when registering students for rooming preferences.

Members of the Festival accept that staying with host families in other parts of the world is an important part of the AMIS philosophy, and a major part of the total festival experience in which they are to participate.  Teachers make roommate recommendations when registering their students. Students are housed in pairs. No student will be housed individually. In some cases, it may be necessary to pair a student with a student from another school. A school can request that three singers be housed together, but this request cannot be guaranteed. If a student does not require housing after the concert on Saturday night, this must be clearly stated on the housing request form. This status cannot be changed.

Adult Housing

Registered teachers and chaperones will be housed at

Holiday Inn Express Clarke Quay
2 Magazine Road
Singapore 059573
Tel:+65 6589 8000
Please do not contact the hotel directly regarding your booking.

S$220 per Queen Room per Night
Rate includes tax and breakfast

Registered teachers and chaperones will book directly through the RoomTrust System. A credit card will be necessary to secure your reservation. If you would like to extend your booking to include nights outside of the festival booking window, book your room as usual and send your specific extension request directly to RoomTrust, quoting your booking reference number. Please do not contact the hotel directly regarding your booking.

Enter the RoomTrust Booking System Here
Use Code wN869Lv2

The RoomTrust booking system is only for teachers and chaperones who are registered for the festival. Parents and friends may not book rooms through this system.


Successful auditioners must accept their place in the orchestra, or their alternate status, no later than 17 November 2016 via the link provided below

Screen Shot 2016-05-26 at 18.18.32


8 December 2016 is the final date for submitting all information about participants & alternates, housing requests and arrival and departure information via the online database, including

• emergency contact information
• allergies and/or dietary restrictions
• nationalities
• T-shirt sizes
• rooming preferences for host families
• arrival and departure information

Click here to access the online data base for this festival.

Directors should print out this festival acceptance agreement for each of their students and present the documents, signed, to festival registration on 8 February 2017.

Click HERE for more information about directors, chaperones and visiting parents.

Asian Middle School Honor Orchestra Members

Violin 1  
Alan Chang Shanghai American School – Pudong
Emily Chen Taipei American School
Lauren Cho Korea International School
Minjeong Cho Hong Kong International School
Andrew Cho Singapore American School
Clara Kim Hong Kong International School
Shannon Kim Korea International School
Geon Hee Kim Jakarta Intercultural School
Edgar Lee International School of Beijing
David Lee Shanghai American School – Puxi
Hannah Lee Hong Kong International School
Berton Leung Hong Kong International School
Ashley Li International School of Beijing
Nathaniel Liu Shanghai American School – Puxi
Sophia Liu International School of Beijing
Daigo Mimuro Canadian International School Singapore
Joann Namgung Korea International School
Gina Schuerpf Singapore American School
Sean Wilson Singapore American School
Kyungseo Yoon United World College South East Asia
Lewis Zhu Shanghai American School – Pudong
Violin 2  
Aria Campbell Hong Kong International School
Oliver Cheung Hong Kong International School
Brian Chiang Hong Kong International School
Shiny Han Shanghai American School – Puxi
Sean Jang Singapore American School
Jessica Kao Hong Kong International School
Yuna Kashiwa Shanghai American School – Pudong
Sharon June Kim Korea International School
Min Hyeok Kim Jakarta Intercultural School
Evelyn Lau International School of Beijing
Sihyun Lee Jakarta Intercultural School
Tai O’Malley Taipei American School
Saran Ogoshi Shanghai Community International School
Vasin Shnatepaporn International School Bangkok
Yuki Tamaki Taipei American School
Sophia Urbom Taipei American School
Amelia Wang Shanghai American School – Puxi
Yixuan Wu International School Manila
Jason Wu Hong Kong International School
Vanessa Yang Shanghai American School – Pudong
Sangitha Aiyer Singapore American School
Derek Chan Taipei American School
Aaron Chen Shanghai American School – Puxi
Eric Choi Singapore American School
Janice Choi Korea International School – Jeju
Nina Choophungart International School Bangkok
Katherine Chu Taipei American School
Devya Gummalam Jakarta Intercultural School
Ye Jin Jang International School Manila
Conner Kim Shanghai American School – Puxi
Min Kim International School Bangkok
Roy Liew Singapore American School
Jessica Pu Shanghai American School – Pudong
Jedi Siritantikorn International School Bangkok
Lucas Sta Maria Singapore American School
Matteo Sta Maria Singapore American School
Justin Tan Singapore American School
Elly Wolhardt Hong Kong International School
Jonathan Wu Shanghai American School – Pudong
Jiajie Zhang Shanghai American School – Pudong
Yoonjae Bae Jakarta Intercultural School
Eunji Bang Jakarta Intercultural School
Aaditya Bhasker Hong Kong International School
Hyunjun Chang Korea International School
Stacey Chung Korea International School
Kaitlyn Hu Taipei American School
Chelsea Hwang Hong Kong International School
Mina Kang Jakarta Intercultural School
Hee Seo Kim International School Manila
Edmund Lin Hong Kong International School
Amy Lu International School of Beijing
Irene Park Hong Kong International School
Se Woong Park Jakarta Intercultural School
Taichi Sasada Shanghai American School – Pudong
Jae Min Sim Jakarta Intercultural School
Daniel Sun Hong Kong International School
Christopher Wang Hong Kong International School
Elizabeth Won Hong Kong International School
Seungmin Woo Jakarta Intercultural School
Melody Wu Shanghai American School – Puxi
An Canh Hung Le International School Manila
Alvin Liu Hong Kong International School
Nicolas Millan Hong Kong International School
Nathan Nicholas Singapore American School
Yuan Wang International School Manila
Eric Wang Taipei American School
Max Xu Hong Kong International School
Brandon Zhou Singapore American School


Screen Shot 2016-05-26 at 18.38.20Vanishing Pointe – Richard Meyer

Suite For Strings – John Rutter

Overture to Lucio Silla – Mozart, arr. Dackow

Adagio – Tomaso Albinoni

Calypso Jam – Dean Marshall

Brandenburg Concerto 3 – JS Bach, arr. Isaac
Movements 1 & 2

Hoedown – Aaron Copland, arr. Bulla

Sakura, Sakura  – Traditional, arr. Elliot Del Borgo


About the Conductor

Screen Shot 2016-05-26 at 19.17.50Originally from Perth, Australia, Stephen Venema teaches middle school orchestra at Shanghai  American School. He began his training as a violinist, but due to his size, was encouraged to switch to viola at the age of 12. He went on to study Viola Performance at the University of Western Australia, receiving his Bachelor of Music (Performance). His career as a professional classical violist was cut short due to physical problems, however he enjoyed a successful career as a freelance classical/folk/jazz violinist playing his custom-made, seven-string electric violin before falling into the international teaching scene.

Stephen feels that he found his true calling in teaching international students, and is honored to conduct the Asian Middle School Honor Orchestra.

Concert Information

b_singapore_american_school_007 copyThe Gala Concert will take place at 6:00 pm in the on Saturday, 11 February at Singapore American School, in the SAS Auditorium.

The concert will be live-streamed on this link.

Tickets are not required, however guests will more easily access the campus by having their names added to the guest list. Please contact the host organizer.


Please ensure that guests are aware that the use of video is prohibited for all AMIS concerts. Recordings of the concert will be made available to the participating schools.

Concert dress code should be made clear to all your students and their parents.

Girls: white blouse with sleeves, long black skirt or dressy full length black trousers; black shoes.  No bare shoulders.  No bare midriffs.  No mini-length skirts.

Boys:  Plain white, long-sleeved dress shirt,  a black bow tie (which will be supplied at the festival) , black trousers, dark shoes and dark socks, preferably black.  No athletic shoes.

For Friday Assembly concerts it is customary to wear jeans and the festival t-shirt.

Arrival and Departure Information

Host family pick-up time is between 5 and 6pm on Wednesday, 8 February 2017 at Singapore American School.

Ground transfer between Singapore Changi Airport and the school on Wednesday will be provided by SAS. Those schools arriving prior to Wednesday will need to make their own arrangements for ground transport.

Late arrivals on Wednesday and/or extremely early departures on Sunday cause inconvenience to the hosts, and should be strenuously avoided. This may mean opting for a more expensive travel option, which is far preferable to inconveniencing our hospitable host families.

If airline connections are exceptionally difficult, it might be prudent to consider arriving a day early, staying in a hotel and doing some sightseeing with the students in advance of the start of the festival.


Host families are normally relieved of hosting responsibilities as of 10 AM on Sunday morning.  If your travel plans require a late departure on Sunday, it will be necessary for you to retrieve your students by 10 AM and create a program for the day.

Visa Information

It is the Director’s responsibility to check on the status of their students’ passports and, where necessary, visas. In many countries, it is now necessary, in addition, to have 6 months’ validity in the passport AND residence visa of your home country (if applicable) in order to apply for a visitor visa for another country. You should take care of visas as soon as the festival participants are chosen. If your visa application requires a letter of invitation, you will need make a request directly to Sofia Pelletier, festival host, providing the following information:

  • Full name of the student or teacher
  • Birth date
  • Nationality
  • Arrival and departure dates for Singapore
  • The name of the adult who will be traveling with the student
  • Address and fax number of the consulate from which you are obtaining the visa

Once again, this is the director’s responsibility.


AMIS Financial Aid

Funds for AMIS Financial Aid are provided by contributions and gifts. A limited number of financial aid grants to for students from AMIS member schools are available during each academic year.  Applications may be submitted for all band, choir, and orchestra festivals.  Financial aid is not available for workshops or for Solo & Ensemble Festivals. It is dependent upon the music teacher from each school to ensure that applicants are in true financial need, and that without a grant from AMIS, participation would be impossible.


  1. Alternates are not eligible to apply.
  2. A student cannot apply for financial aid for the same festival in two consecutive years.
  3. A student cannot apply for two festivals in the same school year.
  4. In general, financial assistance will be offered to no more than one student per school for any given festival, although the Financial Aid Committee may, in exceptional circumstances, decide to award assistance to more than one student from the same school.
  5. It is assumed that a student whose family members have the means to attend the festival are not in need of financial aid.
  6. Only those students who attend an AMIS member school are eligible for financial aid.

Application Procedure

  1. The financial aid application forms are available HERE
  2. Prepare hand printed or typed teacher and parent reports in large type. The parent of each student applicant is required to complete the parent financial aid request form and to return it to the music teacher.
  3. The music teacher must scan the 2 documents and email them to
  4. Both forms must be received before a student’s application can be considered.
  5. The decisions of the committee will be sent by e-mail to teachers making financial aid applications.


The deadline for financial aid applications can be found on the calendar for each individual festival.


  1. The maximum award is 50% of student travel/hotel expenses, not to exceed €500. In most cases the amount granted will be less than the maximum possible amount.
  2. AMIS will credit the applicant’s school in the amount of the award.

Answers to the most frequently asked questions regarding alternates can be found HERE.

Violin 1    
Alt 1 Seo Yeon Park Jakarta Intercultural School
Alt 2 Lana Lee Taipei American School
Alt 3 Claire Fu Hong Kong International School
Violin 2    
Alt 1 Minseon Gu Jakarta Intercultural School
Alt 2 Amber Wu Taipei American School
Alt 1 Shuang Shuang Li International School of Kuala Lumpur
Alt 2 Melissa Sjolin International School of Kuala Lumpur
Alt 3 Haley Doss International School Bangkok
Alt 4 Becky Schlesinger Singapore American School
Alt 5 Gaby Panganiban International School Bangkok
Alt 1 Joyce Ting Taipei American School
Alt 2 Olivia Hwang Shanghai American School – Puxi
Alt 3 Matthew Shen Shanghai American School – Pudong
Alt 4 Will Allen Singapore American School
Alt 5 Elliot Moe Singapore American School
Alternate Pinn Pithayanukul International School Bangkok