Middle School Honor Mixed Choir January 18-22, 2017

AMIS Middle School Honor Mixed Choir Festival

Emily DeRosier, Host

18-22 January 2017

Melanie Brink, Guest Conductor
Abbey Smith, Accompanist


View Images from the 2016 Festival

View the 2016 Gala Concert Video

About This Festival


2017 will mark the twenty-second annual honor choir for for middle school mixed voices. Both treble and changed or changing voices are included, with most of the repertoire in three parts (Soprano, Alto, Baritone). Males are welcome on all three voice parts.

Past Conductors and Host Schools Have Included…

  Conductor Host School
1996 Phillip Bell American School of Paris, France
1997 Stephen Sager International School of Düsseldorf, Germany
1998 Janet Bouwmeester International School of Düsseldorf, Germany
1999 Hal Halvorsen Münich International School, Germany
2000 Kathy Heedles Münich International School, Germany
2001 Keith Montgomery International School of Stavanger, Norway
2002 Barbara Retzko Zürich International School, Switzerland
2003 Melanie von Spreecken International School of Düsseldorf, Germany
2004 Melodie Hausman American School in London, England
2005 Rhonda Schwartz Bilkent University Preparatory School, Turkey
2006 Darlene Elkins Münich International School, Germany
2007 Jo-Anne van der Vat-Chromy Singapore American School
2008 Patricia O. Brown International School of Aberdeen, Scotland
2009 Keith Montgomery American International School of Dhaka, Bangladesh
2010 Darlene Elkins Zürich International School, Switzerland
2011 Thomas Lehmkuhl American School of Doha, Qatar
2012 Joseph Curtis American Embassy School New Delhi, India
2013 Darlene Elkins International School of Beijing, China
2014 Myra Boyadzhieva International School of Turin, Italy
2015 Melodie Hausman Tianjin International School, China
2016 Paige Short International School of Amsterdam, Netherlands

The 2017 Honor Mixed Choir Festival will be hosted by Emily DeRosier at the American School of Dubai, and conducted by Melanie Brink from The American International School of Muscat, Oman.

Applying for this Festival

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Applications will open on 1 September, 2016. Schools may apply for one of the following festivals:

• Middle School Honor Mixed Choir – Dubai

• Middle School Honor Boys’ and Girls’ Choirs – Jakarta (Asian Schools Only)

• Middle School Honor Girls’ Choir – Switzerland (European Schools Only)

In the event of oversubscription, priority will be given to AMIS 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.



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 schools 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 and female 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.

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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.

Soprano Auditions Suggestions | Alto Auditions Suggestions | Baritone Auditions Suggestions

Audio accompaniments for all middle school audition suggestions can be found HERE.

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.


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 17 November 2016.  Payment must be received by 14 December 2016.

Applications for AMIS financial aid must be received no later than 12 November 2016.

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Student Housing 

All student participants in the festival will be housed with host families from the American School of Dubai for the 4 nights of the festival, starting Wednesday, 18 January. Any group arriving in Dubai 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

2727465Registered teachers and chaperones will be housed at
Ramada Chelsea Hotel
Al Barsha
+97 14 5019000
Please do not contact the hotel directly regarding your booking.

Single: AED 475 per room per night
Double: AED 550 per room per night
Rates include breakfast, taxes, and ground transport between the hotel and the school.

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 g8h3iG7H

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. 

Deadline for entering all information is 16 November 2016.  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.

Registration is now closed.
Please contact the Executive Director with any update information.

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

Participating Schools

screen-shot-2016-10-10-at-10-25-42Anglo-American School of Moscow, Russia

ACS Egham International School, England

American International School of Bucharest, Romania

American International School Dhaka, Bangladesh

American International School of Johannesburg, South Africa

American International School of Muscat, Oman

American School of Bombay, India

American School of Doha, Qatar

American School of Dubai, U.A.E.

Chadwick International School, South Korea

GEMS American Academy of Abu Dhabi, U.A.E.

International Community School of Addis Ababa, Ethiopia

International School of Düsseldorf, Germany

John F. Kennedy School Berlin, Germany

Kodaikanal International School, India

Saudi Aramco Expatriate School, Saudi Arabia

Singapore American School

Wellspring Learning Community, Lebanon



Ose Ayo (Sunrise Song)
Traditional Yoruba; Nigeria
Arr. Brian Tate

Jubilate Deo, Alleluia!
Judith Herrington

Sih’r Khalaq (Creative Magic)
Jim Papoulis

We Can Dream

Ballin’ the Jack
Arr. Matt Myers

Kooloona Wahed (We Are One)
Kyle Pederson

Barso Re
A.R. Rahman; Arr. Ethan Sperry

La Mia Stella
Ivo Antognini

We Are the Voices
Jim Papoulis

Rehearsal Sound Files

Practice sound files are available for all parts on all pieces in the repertoire. These sound files are intended to support, not replace, the work carried out by directors in ensuring that their singers have a solid learning of all material prior to travelling to Dubai.

Click HERE for soundfiles


About the Conductor

Melanie Brink bwMelanie Brink, a native of South Dakota, moved to Oman fifteen years ago to begin a choral music program at The American International School of Muscat (TAISM). In addition to being a wife to Greg and mommy to Caleb (9 yrs.) and Noah (6 yrs.), she teaches about 200 choir students in grades 6-12 at TAISM. Her degree in Vocal Music Education is from Augustana University and she earned a Master’s in Educational Leadership from Southwest Minnesota University. She prioritizes developing heart within her ensembles; each year designing and facilitating a choir retreat for her ensembles at TAISM. As the year progresses she leads inclusion activities and themes that promote a sense of belonging in the ensemble; promoting community, healthy singing and a meaningful experience. The selection of repertoire and telling a story through connection and design in the performance is a process she deeply enjoys.

Melanie applies her training of the Mindfulness in Education Institute, a practice of centering – paying attention to the present with her students. She has also completed the Thinking Collaborative (Adaptive Schools) Seminar which presents a productive, practical set of strategies for developing collaborative groups in becoming effective and better equipped to resolve complex issues around student learning.

Since March 2004, Melanie has served as the founder and Artistic Director of TAISM’s annual Festival of Choirs. She oversees the coordination of the event and works closely with each year’s guest conductor from the United States. Over 3,000 students have participated in the TAISM festival in 14 years. Melanie is also a member of American Choral Director’s Association and will be attending the national ACDA conference this March in Minneapolis. She loves to challenge her students to audition for the prestigious AMIS honor choirs and treasures being part of the AMIS family. This will be Melanie’s first time conducting an AMIS festival, for which she is beyond grateful and excited.

Concert Information

The Gala Concert will take place on Saturday, 21 January 2016 at 7pm in the ASD Theatre at

article_5851American School of Dubai
Intersection of First Al Khail and Hessa Street
Opposite the Saudi German Hospital
Al Barsha
Dubai, United Arab Emirates
Phone:+971 4 395 0005


The concert will be live-streamed on this link.

Tickets are free of charged, but must be procured in advance via this linkConcert attendees must print out their tickets for presentation upon arrival at ASD, along with a governmental picture ID.

Please insure 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 Dress Boys:
• Plain white, long-sleeved dress shirt with necktie
• Black trousers
• Dark shoes and dark socks, preferably black.  No athletic shoes.

Concert Dress Girls: 
• Plain white top
• Black skirt (knee-length or longer) or dressy black slacks.
• Flat or low-heeled dress shoes.
No high heels.  No bare shoulders or midriffs.  No mini-length skirts. Directors, please help our young singers and their parents to understand the conservative nature of concert dress.

Arrival and Departure Information

Host family pick-up time is on Wednesday, 18 January from 3:15 to 4pm at the American School of Dubai. Transportation from the airport to the school will be provided by ASD.

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.


Sunday is a school day at ASD. Host families will be relieved of hosting responsibilities as of 8 AM on Sunday morning.  Transportation to the airport will be provided by ASD. If your travel plans require a late departure on Sunday, it will be necessary for you to retrieve your students in the morning 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 arts@asdubai.org with “Visa letter request” on the subject line, providing the following information:

  • Full name of the student or teacher, as it appears on the passport
  • Birth date (spell out month)
  • Nationality
  • Name of school
  • Arrival and departure dates for the United Arab Emirates
  • 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 financial_aid@amis-online.org.
  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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