European Middle School Honor Boys’ Choir October 4-8, 2017

AMIS European Middle School Honor Boys’ Choir Festival

Bill Gilfry, Host
4-8 October 2017

Rhonda Schwartz, Guest Conductor
Douglas Beam, Accompanist


View Images from the 2016 Festival

About The Festival


2017 will be the twenty-first annual Boy Choir Festival for male singers in grades 6-8. Both treble and changed or changing voices are included, with most of the repertoire in three parts (Soprano, Alto, Baritone). The festival provides an opportunity for male singers of middle school age to work intensively for three days with many others of like minds. It sets out to prove that boys can sing very well together and can have a great deal of fun doing so. It is essential that participants have the maturity to spend up to six hours a day in rehearsal.

First created in 1996, the festival was split into European and Asian Choirs in 2013 in order to accommodate an increase in the number of participating schools.

Conductors and hosts for past festivals have included:

Year Conductor Host School
1996 Dianne Pritchett Münich International School
1997 Evelyn Smith American International School of Luxembourg
1999 Ian Thompson American School of Paris
2000 Peggy Jenks Antwerp International School
2001 Jo-Anne van der Vat American International School of Budapest
2002 Michael Lansdon American School of Paris
2003 Keith Montgomery International School of Aberdeen
2004 Hal Halvorsen Frankfurt International School
2005 Evelyn Smith Vienna International School
2006 Bruce Nelson American School of Warsaw
2007 Andrew Dittgen Antwerp International School
2008 Debra Damron American School of Paris
2009 Lydia Sabra International School of Aberdeen
2010 Adam Hart American School of Paris
2011 Keith Montgomery Shekou International School
2012 Kathy Heedles International School of Züg and Luzern
  2013: European Middle School Honor Boys’ Choir Created
2013 Keith Montgomery International School of Aberdeen
2014 James Libbey Ambrit International School of Rome
2015 Tony Mudra American School in London
2016 Jo McNally Frankfurt International School

The 2017 festival will be hosted by Bill Gilfry at Zurich International School, and conducted by Rhonda Schwartz.

Applying for this Festival

Schools on the Asian continent are expected to apply for Asian Boys’ Choir Festival at International School Bangkok in April 2018.

As a benefit of AMIS membership, priority will be given to member schools applying for Middle School Honor Choir Festivals. As a benefit of serving as festival host, the previous year’s host is also given priority for a festival. Any remaining places will be allocated to non-member schools. AMIS member schools that are wait-listed for a particular festival and are not admitted for participation shall be given first option to participate the following year.

Schools may apply 12 – 26 April 2017

Invitations will be extended on 28 April 2017

Schools must accept their place no later than 5 May 2017


Screen Shot 2016-03-16 at 13.41.02Eligibility

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.  

Participants 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.

Male singers in grades 6, 7, and 8 are eligible to attend this festival.
As most of the music will be arranged for SAB choir, each school is requested to bring 2 sopranos, 2 altos and 2 baritones. If a school does not have 2 baritones, they should bring at least 1 baritone and 5 students who are sopranos and altos.

Schools are each given 6 places in this festival.
A director who submits and application for participation 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.

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


Teachers are requested to audition their own students for the AMIS Middle School Choir Festivals. This should be a formal audition procedure designed to show that the singer can hold his own part and can learn fairly quickly. You will find below the vocalises that AMIS suggests you use for your auditions. Singers who struggle to match pitch should not be accepted by auditioning teachers.

It is recommended that teachers select their own alternates for this festival. Alternates would be expected to practice the music and would then be ready for one of the school’s places should one of the participants be unable to participate.

Students are responsible for the complete learning of all repertoire and should not be recommended unless they are able to meet the demands of performing challenging literature with other outstanding students. They must be capable of concentrating during long rehearsals each day. Students must be well prepared so as to insure a positive experience. It is the responsibility of each teacher to ensure that students are prepared.

It is highly recommended that you use the AMIS middle school honor choir audition materials when selecting your singers.



A list of fees for all AMIS events can be found here.

Invoices are issued in pounds sterling with the exception of those schools located in the euro zone, who are billed in euros. The euro amount will be determined by the exchange rates quoted by the AMIS bank on the day the invoice is issued.

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

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

Invoices will be issued on 14 September 2017 and must be paid by 2 October 2017.

Applications for AMIS financial aid must be received no later than 1 September 2017.

Student Housing 

All student participants in the festival will be housed with host families from Zurich International School for the 4 nights of the festival, starting Wednesday, 4 October. Any group arriving in Zurich prior to that date must make their own arrangements for accommodation until Wednesday.  If a student does not require housing on concert night 7 October, 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
Hotel Ibis Adliswil
Zürichstrasse 105
8134 Zürich
+41 44 711 85 85
Please do not contact the hotel directly regarding your booking.

CHF 129 per room per night for either single or double occupancy.
Rate includes breakfast and all taxes.

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 System here
Use access code q26G2ac7

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.



All directors must provide, for themselves and their students:

  • Emergency contact information
  • Allergies and/or dietary restrictions
  • Nationalities
  • T-shirt sizes
  • Arrival and departure information
  • Roommate Preferences

Students are housed in pairs. No student will be housed individually. 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, and that status cannot be changed. 

Registration will open on 16 August 2017. Deadline for entering all information is 12 September 2017.  Directors should also print out this festival agreement form to be signed by participants and parents. Present these forms upon your arrival at the festival.

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

Screen Shot 2016-03-16 at 13.50.53

Click Here to Register
The AMIS registration system is incompatible with the Firefox browser

Participating Schools

• American School in London, England

• American School of Madrid, Spain

• American School of Paris, France

• American International School Vienna, Austria

• Frankfurt International School, Germany

• International College Beirut, Lebanon

• International School of Amsterdam, Netherlands

• International School Brussels, Belgium

• International School of Düsseldorf, Germany

• International School of Luxembourg

• International School of Zug and Luzern, Switzerland

• Zurich International School, Switzerland



The Dawn’s Awake – Laura Farnell

Non Nobis Domine – William Byrd

Laudate Dominum – Dan Davison

Salaam Aleikum – arr. Farnell

Red River Valley – arr. Farnell

Wide Open Spaces – Sarah Quartel

Tres Cantos – arr. Marcos Leite

Hand Me Down My Silver Trumpet – arr. Rae Moses

I Know I’ve Been Changed – arr. Christopher Aspaas

Oba Se Je – arr. Aspaas

Rehearsal Sound Files

Practice sound files will be available on all parts in the repertoire. 


About the Conductor

Rhonda Schwartz has taught choral music at Jakarta Intercultural School, Hong Kong International School, the American School of Warsaw, and in the USA in Minnesota, Indiana, and North Dakota.

Mrs. Schwartz received her M.E. degree from the University of St. Thomas in St. Paul, Minnesota and her B.M. degree from Concordia College in Moorhead, MN. She holds certifications as a member of the Voice Care Network and as a teacher of Orff Schulwerk.

AMIS has been a very important part of Rhonda’s international teaching experience as she has enjoyed her collaboration with the organization for the past 15 years. She is currently a member of the AMIS Executive Board. She has conducted and presented at numerous festivals and conferences in many countries including Malaysia, China, Romania, France, Poland, and Turkey.

Concert Information

The Honor Boys’ Choir Gala Concert will take place on Saturday, 7 October 2017 at 7pm  at

Kilchberg Kirchgemeindehaus
Stockenstrasse 150
8802 Kilchberg


Please ensure that all guests are aware that the use of video is prohibited at all AMIS eventsA recording of the concert will be provided to each participating school.

Concert Wear
• Plain white, long-sleeved dress shirt with necktie
• Black dress trousers
• Black dress shoes.  No athletic shoes.

Arrival and Departure Information

Host family pick-up time is from 15:30 to 16:00 on 4 October at Zurich International School
Middle School Campus
Nidelbadstrasse 49
8802 Kilchberg

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 would 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.

If you are unable to be at ZIS by 4pm on Wednesday, 4 October, please notify the Executive Director.

Students will be dropped off at the directors’ hotel on Sunday morning, starting at 8am.
Host families are 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.  Please do not book a Sunday flight that departs prior to 10am.

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 Bill Gilfry, festival host, providing the following information:

  • Full name of the student or teacher
  • Birth date
  • Nationality
  • Arrival and departure dates for Switzerland
  • 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.

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