A Guide to IASAS Cultural Convention

For those new to ISM or new to the cultural aspects of IASAS, here is a short guide to IASAS Cultural Convention.

IASAS Cultural Convention is held over 3 days with an addtional travel day either side. The dates this year are  February 28th to March 4th, making the convention days the 1st to 3rd. There are three parts to this event, each of which is held at a different IASAS School:

  • IASAS Music- hosted this year by Taipei American School (8 strings players, 8 band members and 8 choir singers accompanied by 3  pianists playing solos as well as performing in octets)
  • IASAS Debate and Forensics- hosted this year by Singapore American School (18 students competing in the areas of Debate, Impromptu speaking, Oral interpretation, Original Oratory, and Extemporaneous speaking)
  • IASAS Art/ Dance/ Drama- hosted this year by ISM! (8 Dancers presenting a 20 minute perfromance, 8 actors presenting a 45 minute perfromance and 5 artists accompanying 25 pieces of Art add to an exhibition. In addition, 2 tech delegates  design and run the tech elements for Dance and Drama. )

Being part of a Cultural Convention group is essentially the cultural equivalent of making a varsity sports team. All students who are involved have completed some form of audition or selection process. The students of our cultural ‘teams’ are called delegates and represent ISM against other IASAS schools.


Each school sends 27 musicians: 8 strings players, 8 band members, 8 choir members and 3 pianists. Each member of the group completes a solo performance on their chosen instrument in front a panel of adjudicators who will give a detail critique of the student’s playing. Each of the strings, band and choir soloists are supported by one of the 3 pianists. The groups also present as octets. The convention culminates in a showcase of performers from the various schools that have been recommended for an Honors award based on their solos or octet performances.


Prior to travelling, IASAS Music holds previews for the ISM community. There are two previews, which have different programs so that each soloist and octet gets a chance to practice in front of an audience. This means that there are two wonderful nights of music to look forward to next week. All players involved are of an advanced standard so if you enjoy classical music please put the following dates aside:

  • Wednesday, February 21st at 5pm in the Little Theatre
  • Friday, February 23rd at 5pm in the Little Theatre


Debate and Forensics is a competitive convention with four different events being contested for gold, silver and bronze medals:

Debate– 6 Debaters break into two groups and compete over several rounds, which culminate in a final.

Original Oratory– 3 students prepare an original 5-7 minute speech prior to the convention the convention. The piece is marked on both content and performance.

Oral Interpretation- 3 students each learn a poem, short story or extract from a longer text of 5 to 7 minutes in length.  They present this and are evaluated upon how well they are able to covey thematic significance and character development through by using an array of oratory techniques.

Extemporaneous Speaking- Prior to the convention, schools submit a range of topics related to current affairs. These are sorted through and a selection of questions is created. Meanwhile, the 3 extemporaneous speakers spend as much time developing their understanding of topical current affairs and collecting a file of possible source material. In each round, the students are given a choice of two questions and then have 30 minutes to prepare a 5 to 7 minute speech which answers the question.  Evaluation is weighted 70% for content and 30% for delivery.

Impromptu Speaking- Our 3 impromptu speakers will each compete in three rounds to make it to a final. Each round sees them handed two topic choices and then given 1 minute to prepare a 3 to 5 minute speech on the one of their choice. Evaluation is weighted 60% for content and 40% for delivery.


Monday, Fe 19th and Tuesday, Feb 20th in the LT


Each of the 6 IASAS schools brings 5 artists, 8 dancers and 8 actors to participate in workshops and to also share prepared work. This means that over the 3 days of the convention there will be many performances and an art exhibition to appreciate:

Art- Art delegates spend the first morning of the convention hanging an exhibition of the 6 schools’ art works. Each school brings 25 pieces of art that can come from a wide range of mediums, including painting, photography, graph design, sculpture and more. The 5 delegates that are present will each have at least one piece on display but there will also be work from students who are not present. The Art opening takes place on the first evening of the exhibition and then hangs until the opening of the last shows. During the convention, each piece is critiqued by delegates and this feedback is given to the artists. In addition to this they participate in 3 workshops and a trip to Intramurous.

Dance- Prior to the convention, each school choreographs a 20 minute dance based around a theme or story.  This will be shared during the convention with other delegates but is also open to the ISM community to watch. This performance will then be critiqued by the workshop leader and all other delegates. The Dancers also participate in 5 workshops led by a Dance professional.

Drama- Prior to the convention, each school prepares a performance of no more than 45 minutes in length to share with delegates and other interested members of the ISM community. The type of theatre can vary greatly.  These performances will each be critiqued by workshop leaders and all other delegates.

Tech- Two tech delegates are chosen who run the technical aspects of the Dance and Drama performances.


When are Art/ Dance/ Drama/ Tech Previews? 

Thursday, Feb 22nd at 5pm and Saturday, Feb 24th at 3pm in the FAT.

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