European Middle School Honor Girls’ Choir May 2-6, 2018

AMIS European Middle School Honor Girls’ Choir Festival

Chris Sabucco, Host
2-6 May 2018

Kathryn Bechdoldt, Guest Conductor


View additional images from the 2017 festival

View the 2017 Gala Concert


About this Festival


The Honor Girls’ Choir Festivals for singers in grades 6-8 are always among the most popular AMIS festivals of the year.  The festival is designed to give girl singers a chance to find out what it is like to work with many others of like minds. Most of the music is arranged for two-part, three-part, and occasionally four-part choir.

The middle school choral festivals have a long AMIS history. Initially, there was just one annual middle school choral festival for treble singers, both boys and girls. This expanded into additional festivals for boys’ girls’ choirs.

In 2010, the Middle School Honor Girls’ Choir was split into European and Asian Festivals in order to accommodate the increased numbers of participating schools.

Past Conductors and Host Schools Have Included:

  Conductor Host School
2004 Debra Damron International School of Düsseldorf, Germany
2005 Jo-Anne van der Vat-Chromy American School of Warsaw, Poland
2006 Barbara Retzko International School of Basel, Switzerland
2007 Debra Damron Bilkent University Preparatory School, Turkey
2008 Kathy Heedles Frankfurt International School, Germany
2009 Melodie Hausman Anglo-American School of Moscow, Russia
  ••• 2010: European Middle School Honor Girls’ Choir Created •••
2010 Dianne Pritchett St. John’s International School, Belgium
2011 Evelyn Smith International School of Luxembourg
2012 Jean Beeman American International School Vienna, Austria
2013 James Libbey St. John’s International School, Belgium
2014 Keith Montgomery International School of Stavanger, Norway
2015 Kathy Heedles American School of Paris, France
2016 Debra Damron American International School of Budapest
2017 Lisa Ross International School of Zug and Luzern

The 2018 European Middle School Honor Girls’ Choir Festival will be held at The International School of Düsseldorf, hosted by Chris Sabucco, and conducted by Kathryn Bechdoldt of the American School of Warsaw.  

Application Form

Schools may apply to participate in one of the following 2018 spring festivals:

• European Middle School Honor Girls’ Choir – Düsseldorf, Germany
• Asian Middle School Honor Girls’ Choir – Bangkok, Thailand
• International Middle School Honor Mixed Choir – Chennai, India
• African Middle School Honor Mixed Choir – Lusaka, Zambia
• South American Middle School Honor Mixed Choir – Santiago, Chile

In the event of over-subscription, priority will be given to AMIS member schools applying for Middle School Honor Choir Festivals. 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.


Screen Shot 2016-03-31 at 12.45.50


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.

Female singers in grades 6, 7, and 8 are eligible to attend this festival. As most of the music will be arranged for SSA choir, each school is requested to bring 2 first sopranos, 2 second sopranos and 2 altos.

Schools are usually given 6 places in this festival.  If space permits, additional places may be offered after registration information is complete, for a maximum of 9 singers.

Screen Shot 2016-06-16 at 11.55.35


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.

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.



IMG_3333-LA 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 21 November 2016 and must be paid by 15 December 2017.

Applications for AMIS Financial Aid must be received no later than 15 November 2017.


Successful applicants must accept their place in the festival no later than 22 November 2017 via the link provided below

Screen Shot 2016-06-16 at 11.58.52


All directors must provide, for themselves and their students:

  • Emergency contact information
  • Allergies and/or dietary restrictions
  • Nationalities
  • T-shirt sizesa
  • 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. 

Deadline for entering all information is 31 January 2018.  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 to Access the AMIS Data Base
Note that the Firefox browser is not supported by the registration system.

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


Participating Schools

A list of participating schools will be posted here on 22 September 2017

Housing  and Hotel

Student Housing
All student participants in the festival will be housed with host families from the International School of Düsseldorf for the 4 nights of the festival, starting Wednesday, 26 April. Any group arriving in Germany 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; this status cannot be later changed.

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
Radison Blu Scandinavia Hotel
Karl-Arnold-Platz 5
40474 Düsseldorf
Tel: +49 211 45530
Please do not contact the hotel directly regarding your booking.

Single: €139 per room per night
Double/Twin: €159 per room per night
Rates include 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 Booking Code F7Ahf86V

 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.


To be announced

Rehearsal Sound Files

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



About the Conductor

Katherine Bechdoldt teaches choral and general music at the American School of Warsaw. Prior to ASW, she served for 8 years as Middle School Choir Director at Hong Kong International School. She was the first educator to bring AMIS musicians to an AMIS festival, later hosting two festivals there.

Ms Bechdoldt was honored to conduct the AMIS Asian Middle School Honor Girls’ Choir 2015 in Shekou, China.

She holds a Master’s of Education from the University of Pittsburgh, and wrote her thesis on the use of music in the second-language classroom.

Concert Information

The Honor Girls’ Choirs Gala Concert will take place on Saturday, 5 May at 7pm in the Dahms Theater at

International School of Düsseldorf
Niederrheinstraße 336
40489 Düsseldorf
Tel. +49 211 9406 6


The concert will be live-streamed.

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

Concert Wear
Plain white top and black skirt (knee-length or longer) or dressy black trousers.
Flat or low-heeled dress shoes.

No high heels.  No bare shoulders or midriffs.  No mini-length skirts. The wearing of black leggings under a skirt or dress does not change the hemline expectation.  Directors, please help our young women and their parents to understand the conservative nature of concert dress.

Arrival and Departure Information

Late arrivals on Wednesday and/or early departures on Sunday cause an inconvenience to our hospitable host families; please take this into consideration when making your travel plans. This may mean opting for a more expensive flight option.

Host family pick-up time is on Wednesday, 2 May from 4:30 to 5pm at The International School of Düsseldorf. If airline connections are exceptionally difficult and a late arrival is unavoidable, 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 relieved of responsibilities at 10am on Sunday morning.  If your departing flight is late in the day, you will likely want to arrange a program for the day with your students. Please do not book a flight that departs prior to 11AM on Sunday without first consulting the AMIS Executive Director.  If an exceptionally early flight on Sunday is unavoidable, you may need to arrange for your group to stay in a hotel on Saturday night.

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 Chris Sabucco, festival host, providing the following information:

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

By continuing to use the site, you agree to the use of cookies. more information

The cookie settings on this website are set to "allow cookies" to give you the best browsing experience possible. If you continue to use this website without changing your cookie settings or you click "Accept" below then you are consenting to this.