The Aberdeen International Youth Festival 2010
Aberdeen International Youth Festival (AIYF) in Aberdeen, Scotland "brings together and presents the best young performers and performing companies. It is a unique multi-arts event and has a reputation for attracting some of the finest young dance companies, classical dance academies, youth orchestras, bands and music ensembles from around the world." It is an annual festival that I have been privileged to be a part of twice - in the years 2000 and 2003. :)
This year, the Opening Ceremonies for AIYF 2010 has just kicked off - welcoming groups including The Hungarian Dance Academy, the Edinburgh Youth Orchestra, Pure Brass - one of UK’s top Brass Quintets, Cheremosh - a dance group from Canada, Doina Folk Ensemble from Romania, The Norwegian Girls Choir and so many more.
My AIYF Experience
I was then with the University of the Philippines Concert Chorus (UPCC) - my first time to go to Aberdeen was a mere 1 year after I joined the choir. It was a wonderful and memorable experience to be part of something like the AIYF - to meet other young people who were as passionate to the arts as we were - ballet dancers, theater groups, instrumentalists, choir singers, and orchestra players from Russia, Belarus, Norway, Hungary, Scotland, England, Africa, China, Iceland and numerous other places...
One memorable part for me was the singing of the National Anthems of all participating groups. Us being a choir, we would had to learn the National Anthems of Germany, England, China, Japan, and others, and perform it during the Opening Ceremonies.
Another memorable part was the rehearsals for the International Variety Gala, which included different performance groups, and the Choral Concert where all participating choirs perform together. The rehearsals are where you get to meet and interact with people from other groups.
At the end of the festival you always have a difficult time saying goodbye to awesome artists who have become wonderful friends in such a short span of time.
The Parade, the daily concerts and Newspaper Features
The UPCC, being a festival favorite, always had a full schedule in Aberdeen with 2 sometimes 3 performances daily on top of the rehearsals. It was an exhilarating time for all of us, you can almost say we felt like celebrities in Aberdeen, with our faces on posters all around the town, the sold out tickets to every show, the autograph signing and the "Can we take a photo with you?" became normal occurrences. Haha! :p
The news clipping below was during the 2003 AIYF - that's me on the right, and Liz, my girlfriend on the left. In the middle are Kaich (now of the Ryan Cayabyab Singers), Gabo, and our Pianist, Joy.
Our courier, who is up to now one of our good friends, was named Celio. He even learned a few Filipino words from us and the whole group became really fond of him. We have remained in touch, thanks to technology (aka Facebook).
Below, another news clipping, with one of the Festival organizers. That's me again on the rightmost. :p
Needless to say, if given a chance I will surely come back to the Aberdeen International Youth Festival - if not as a performer, as one of the couriers perhaps? Haha.
If you are from Europe and want to help out in the festival - I can guarantee it will be a memorable experience for you as well. :) If you are a performing group and wishing to participate, visit their website for more information: http://www.aiyf.org
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