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A Celebration of the Arts
By Ole Wasner, Director of Arts

I am very happy to share with you just some of the many enjoyable moments that were to be had at this year’s ISZL Arts Week on the Riverside Campus. It has been a celebration of our students’ (and staff’s) skills in and dedication to the Arts, as well as a shining example of meaningful cross-campus collaboration. 

Opening this year’s performances was the Wengen Brass and Wind Band with approximately forty musicians from the Zug campus.

Trumpet and saxophone sections of the Wengen Brass and Wind Band completely focused

Like the Wengen String Orchestra and the Wengen Guitar Ensemble who also performed during the week, they presented a programme rehearsed during their weekend retreats to Wengen. These retreats were supported by a number of High School musicians who helped with rehearsals and practice. Our thanks go to Louise Bruce at the Chalet Bergheim for hosting a total of nearing 120 musicians across the three weekends – you can read more about the retreat weekends here.

Solo performers included David in Grade 7, who gave a very moving rendition of Vivaldi’s ‘Vieni, vieni o mio diletto’, Cassidy with a very stylish performance of a flute sonata (thanks to Mr Smith for accompanying), and our Grade 11 and 12 IB music students. Grade 9 drama students gave the audiences a taste of their studies performing their duologues, and Tuesday saw a very courageous performance by a group of Grade 8 drama students showcasing their exploration of improvisation as a dramatic technique. Also a big shout out to the Riverside Singers: under Ms LeGuen’s baton, they not only performed on the first night, but they then took their programme ‘on the road’ for a performance at the Guthirt Church in downtown Zug on Tuesday night.

The Riverside Singers performing

In total, this arts week included about one hundred performers representing students from Grades 4 to Grade 12, with more than fifty different items being performed during the three nights.

The ISZL Jazz Orchestra in action, Ms Wasner, Lukas and Etienne on saxophones

The Thursday of Arts Week was all about the visual arts; visitors were treated to a student-curated exhibition in our Arts Factory showing artworks by students from all divisions from Grade 3 to 12, a demonstration of life-drawing skills, and a chance to meet this year’s visiting artist Mr Anthony Jegu who had been working with students from all divisions. 

Whilst the examples mentioned present only a snippet of all of the individual and group successes in the Arts, it is also right to mention that putting on four evenings of concerts, drama performances and an exhibition, plus a number of weekend workshops is not without its fair share of difficulties. For one, there is the continuous challenge of finding unconventional solutions to the on-going problem of access to rehearsal spaces, studio spaces, and performance venues across the school. A big thank you to all our colleagues and the leadership team based at the Zug campus for dealing with all the logistics of getting our younger artists ready for their performances and exhibition at the Riverside campus. In addition, I extend a huge thank you to Mr Schicker’s maintenance team for setting up and putting away chairs, display boards and cleaning, and I am as ever grateful to Mr Carr, Ms Jarvis and Ms Stephenson for their continuous support with sound engineering, recording, photography, and publicity. Without these arts’ aficionados, arts week as we know it would not be possible. Finally I would like to thank the Fund For Excellence for its support with our visiting artist.

We have several upcoming events in the Arts, which I hope that you will support by attending. There is the ongoing Grade 7 exhibition on the Zug Campus, the Zug Voices on the Singing Christmas Tree in Zurich on Monday 10 December and the Seasonal Concert on Tuesday 11 December. In the new year I am looking forward to seeing you at the High School drama production of ‘The Great Gatsby’ at the end of January, the IB music recital in early February, and at the Primary School musical production of ‘Pandemonium’ also in early February.

As always, it is my pleasure to be involved with so many engaged, kind and enthusiastic students who manage to make ISZL such a vibrant and entertaining place to be.

 

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