Marymount International School Rome
The MAIS Honor Choir is open to singers in grades 6-8 exclusively, from MAIS member schools. It is for students who show excellence in singing and musicianship and who consistently display a high level of personal character and discipline. Previous years have included performances in Barcelona, Madrid, Valencia, Rome, Lisbon, Casablanca, Trieste, and Tunis. Each school may bring 12 students; more may come depending on availability and upon request.
In November, each group receives the music that has been carefully selected by the choir conductor. Each choir practices the songs as individual groups until spring when the activity begins. Yearly, approximately 10 choir groups from various American international schools travel and convene to form a choir group.
Music teachers must integrate, organize and train the choir group. The students attend choir practices daily; they learn about the songs and their significance. The activity takes place over 4 days, during which the choir conductor, the accompanist, music teachers, and the choir, perfect signing in different languages, try out for solos, and coordinate dance movements for each song.
Students not only participate by singing they also play accompanying instruments. To ensure the kids also learn and experience the culture and history of the city they are visiting, cultural excursions are included. The group performs twice, once at the host school for the benefit of the student body and the main performance which is open to the public. All proceeds from the concert are donated on behalf of the MAIS Honor Choir to a charity chosen by the host school. The diversity of the songs combined with the diverse backgrounds of the children themselves who work hard to come together as a group makes for a unique and outstanding performance.
Joy Edenfield, Festival Conductor; Choir and Orchestra Director, American School of Madrid
Joy Edenfield is the choir and orchestra director at the American School of Madrid and previously was the head of secondary music at the Carlucci American International School of Lisbon. She has played cello and piano and sung professionally for many years in the United States and Europe. Joy has spent the past 23 years as a choral and orchestral music educator and was the MAIS Honor Choir Festival pianist for 11 years before taking over the position of festival conductor.
Ed Aldcroft, Founder and Director of the Barcelona English Choir, MAIS Choir Accompanist
He founded the Barcelona English Choir in 2012 to provide an opportunity for people to practice and improve their English-language skills whilst also developing their singing voice. The choir is completely open-access, and it now comprises 230 people of all ages and over 20 different nationalities.