European Middle School Honor Orchestra February 14-18, 2018

AMIS European Middle School Honor Orchestra Festival

Joy Edenfield, Host
14 – 18 February 2018

Stephen Bonnette, Guest Conductor


View the 2017 Concert Video

View Additional Images from the 2017 Festival


About This Festival

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  • 2001: The International Junior Honor Orchestra Festival created
  • 2006: The festival moves under the AMIS umbrella; name changed to The AMIS Middle School Honor Orchestra.
  • 2012: In order to meet the increase in participating schools, the event is split to create two separate European and Asian festivals

Past conductors and host schools include:

  Conductor Host School
2001 Martin Braun American International School Vienna
2002 Rick Stengaards American International School Vienna
2003 Kenneth Slavett John F. Kennedy School Berlin
2004 Kenneth Slavett TASIS International School UK
2005 Kenneth Slavett International School of Brussels
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: European Middle School Honor Orchestra Created •••
2012 Christina Chen-Byers John F. Kennedy School Berlin
2013 Mindi Loewen Zürich International School
2014 Hanrich Claassen Frankfurt International School
2015 Lorraine Davis American School of the Hague
2016 Darrell Townshend International School of Vienna
2017 Mindi Loewen International School of Brussels

The 2018 European Middle School Honor Orchestra will be hosted by Joy Edenfield at the American School of Madrid, and will be conducted by Stephen Bonnette.


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 16 October 2017.

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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 15 December 2017.  A list of Fees 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.

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 15 November 2017. 

Student Housing 

All student participants in the festival will be housed with host families from the American School of Madrid for the 4 nights of the festival, starting Wednesday, 14 February. Any group arriving in Spain 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. A school can request that three students 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 Emperador
Gran Vía 53
28013 Madrid
Tel: +34 915 47 28 00
Please do not contact the hotel directly regarding your booking.

Single: €127 per Room per Night
Double: €140 per Room per Night

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 

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 8 November 2017 via the link provided below

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13 December 2017 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

Directors should print out this festival acceptance agreement for each of their students and present the documents, signed, to festival registration on 14 February 2018.

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

European Middle School Honor Orchestra 2018
Stephen Bonnette, Conductor

Orchestra members will be listed here on 1 November 2017


To be announced

About the Conductor

Stephen Bonnette attended Michigan State University, where he had the privilege of studying low brass pedagogy with Leonard Falcone and conducting with Kenneth G. Bloomquist. While teaching in Jeddah, Saudi Arabia, his students participated in the inaugural International Honor Orchestra Festival in Frankfurt. In 1992, Stephen was hired to create a string program at the Osaka International School, and during his tenure in Japan, he studied double bass with Minowa Sensei and classical guitar with renaissance specialist Sano Sensei.

Mr. Bonnette has taught orchestral music at Singapore American School since 2002. He has been an enthusiastic supporter of the AMIS organization in each of his overseas postings, highlighted by an appearance as guest conductor for the 2008 AMIS Middle School Honor Orchestra Festival in Waterloo, Belgium, and the 2016 Asian Middle School Honor Orchestra in Shanghai, China.


Concert Information

The Gala Concert will take place at 7:00 pm in the on Saturday, 17 February in the Center for the Arts at

The American School of Madrid
Calle America 3
Pozuelo de Alarcon
28223 Madrid
Tel. +34 91 740 1900


There are no tickets, however concert attendees must have their names on a guest list for security reasons. Please register your concert guest via email to 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

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, 14 February from 4 to 5:30pm at The American School of Madrid. 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 Joy Edenfield, festival host, providing the following information:

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

Click HERE for answers to frequently asked questions regarding alternates.

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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