Cultural Convention: Music at ISM

Article By: Grace Stevens
Photograph By: Jiyoon Kang

For the fourth time this school year, the ISM campus is once again swarming with students from the other five IASAS schools. However, this time, instead of athletes, musicians stream through the hallways watching and eagerly – sometimes nervously – awaiting their next performance. The IASAS Cultural Convention features debate and forensics, art, drama/dance, and music performances from each school. This season, ISM has been fortunate enough to host IASAS music, an event that features 27 participants (three pianists, eight band members, eight strings players, and eight vocalists) from each school who have traveled to Manila for a chance to showcase their instrumental and vocal skills. In addition, some of the best musicians from around Manila and even an international conductor have traveled to ISM to watch and give feedback on performances.

Of course, none of this could have been possible without the long hours of planning by Ms. Hillman and ISM’s very own two fine arts student groups: the Fine Arts Council (FAC) and Tri-M Council. When organizing big events like these, Claire S., a sophomore member of the FAC, says that “[they] really need to think about everything. There’s everything from housing to the folders are passed out when the students get to school.”

Besides organizing and scheduling music performances, many FAC and Tri-M students are also involved in their own performances. When asked about how she juggles both participating in and planning this event Anne S., a junior member of the FAC as well as IASAS choir, admits that, “It’s not that easy, but you just do the work when you have time.”

Although CulCon is not an athletic IASAS event, the campus spirit is no less hustling and exciting.  In such a diverse school environment, it is important to have variation in extracurriculars as well. In an interview with Ms. Hillman, she notes the importance of balance. “You need to have both to complement the arts, inspire people watching,” she says, “and that’s just the same with the sports, but in a different way.”