Category Archives: Debate/Forensics

Congratulations to IASAS Cultural Convention Delegates

IASAS Cultural Convention 2014 ran from March 5th to 9th in three locations around Asia and saw some amazing performances in all diciplines. Students are all back at school now suffering from post IASAS blues and dreaming of next year’s inspirational peformances. To enjoy this year’s IASAS  moments again, go to the following places:

IASAS Music Convention, hosted by International School of Kuala Lumpur

Follow this link to find a copy of the Friday and Saturday night concerts:

Follow these links to see pictures from the convention:

IASAS Music Opening 2014 (Video) –
IASAS Debate and Forensics, hosted by Taipei American School
Here are the winning Forensics speakers in action:
Here are other speakers in action:
IASAS Art/ Dance/ Drama. Hosted by Jakarta international School
You can find all the Drama and Dance performances, including ISM, on this page:
IASAS Dance 2014Drama IASAS 2014Music iasas 2014IASAS Forensics 2014

IASAS Cultural Convention Previews

This week is IASAS Previews befor the IASAS Cultural Convention Delegates travel to Kuala Lumpur (Music), Taipei (Debate and Forensics) and Jakarta (Art/ Dance/ Drama). It would be great to see people at these events. Here are the schedules for the events:

Wednesday, 26th February @5pm in the AMR- Music Previews (Part One)
Thursday, 27th February @ 3pm in the Little Theater- Forensics Previews
Thursday, 27th February @5pm in the FAT- Dance and Drama Previews
Dance- En route
Drama- Hotel Cabana
Friday, 28th February @5pm in the AMR- Music Previews (Part Two)
Saturday, 1st March @3pm in FAT- Drama and Dance Previews
Drama- Hotel Cabana
Dance- Enroute

IASAS Cultural Convention Review















Between February 27th and March 2nd, nearly 20% of High School students were involved in some way with this year’s IASAS Cultural Convention.

IASAS Debate and Forensics

At 5am on the Wednesday, 17 students left ISM bound for Jakarta and the IASAS Debate and Forensics part of the Convention. Over the three days, students competed in the various events which culminated  in finals on the Saturday. This year, the following students all made the finals in their respective areas:

  • Malvika Subramaniam for Oral Interpretation
  • Kerry Tinga for Oral Interpretation
  • Mia Kawazu for Original Oratory
  • Akshar Bonu for Impromptu speaking
  • Akshar Bonu for Extemporanous speaking
  • Ellice Tordesillas for Extemporanous speaking

The final results saw Kerry eventually bring home the bronze medal for her  insightful piece that took us into the mind of a middle aged man on the verge of a breakdown. Meanwhile, Akshar delivered an Impromptu speech that encouraged the audience to laugh, to think and to ultimately award him gold.


By 8am on the Wednesday, the 27 Music students was also bound for the airport, with Singapore being their destination. Throughout the convention, each music student completed a solo performance in front of a panel and then received a comprehensive critique, which is an invaluable learning experience. They also performed as part of one of ISM’s octet groups for strings, band or vocals. In addition to this, all students participated in large group music rehearsals with highly experienced workshop leaders. On the Friday night some students were also invited to perform in a Showcase Concert while others were invited to participate in the Finale Festival Concert on the Saturday night. ISM is proud to say that all three octets performed in both evening performances, which is a real credit to the depth of talent being fostered in the Music department. In addition to the octets, several students were invited to perform their solos in the showcase or were given honored positions in the finale:

  • Gaea Morales- Vocal solo
  • Moonie Sohn- Two vocal solos
  • Yifeng Yang- Flute solo
  • Jae Woo Jang- Flute solo
  • Jeongmook Lim- Oboe solo
  • Jun Woo Jang- Clarinet solo
  • Keum Seok (Steve) Nam- Tuba solo
  • Yining Zhang- Piano  for Festival Finale
  • Jimin Kim- Concert Master for Strings in Finale
  • Eun Jee (Nikki)  Kang- First Chair for Second  Violin
  • Jeongmook Lim- Festival Band Tuner

IASAS Art/ Dance/ Drama

Once the students had left for Jakarta and Singapore, groups from all the other IASAS schools started arriving for 4 nights in manila to participate in the Art, Dance and Drama section of the festival. Over the three days, six 20-minute dances, 6 45-minute Drama performances and a 125 piece Art exhibition were staged. It was a whirlwind of tech rehearsals, workshops with professionals and team pictures on the jeepney brought in to bring a local touch to the proceedings.  This year, Yek Barlongay, the ISM HS Dance teacher, and Tami Monsod, the ISM HS Drama teacher both staged original pieces inspired by Philippines history. The beauty of these pieces is captured by ISM teacher Brandon Hoover in his wonderful photographs of the event. Here is a link to the website where these pictures can be viewed and downloaded:

Beyond the wonderful exhibition and engaging performances, the most outstanding feature of the event for other schools seemed to be the hospitality and commitment of all the other ISM students involved in running the event. This started with a brave group of 20 singers, dancers and actors who opened the show with a variety act that aimed to introduce Filipino culture to our visitors. There was also a team of  students who helped the visiting schools with all the technical elements of the show from programming lights to making set changes possible. There was of course another large group who were dedicated to documenting the event through photography, video and writing. Here is a link to the special edition of the Bamboo Telegraph put together especially for the event:

Then there were the ushers, the host families, the t shirt sellers, the food organisers and the guides who all committed their time and energy to making sure ISM was perceived as welcoming and helpful. Such a large event requires a lot of coordination  and flexibility; the adult tech crew, the Fine Arts Office staff and the wonderful Fine Arts Council have been invaluable in all aspects of bringing the show together.



Previews and Cultural Convention schedule

ISM hosts the 31st IASAS Cultural Convention (Art/ Dance/ Drama)!


On Wednesday the 27th of February 117 actors, dancers, technicians and artists arrive from the other IASAS schools. This is great experience for not only those involved but also the ISM community. During the convention there are plays, dances and an art exhibition to come and enjoy (see schedule below). In addition, the week prior to Cultural Convention is dedicated to previews (see schedule below).


Some people I’ve talked to seem a little unsure of the format of Cultural Convention. With this in mind, I decided to put an explanation together for those who might not completely understand the workings of this part of the IASAS Program.

The 31st IASAS Cultural Convention is held over 3 days from February 28th to March 2nd. There are three parts to this event, each of which is held at a different IASAS School:

  • IASAS Music- hosted this year by Singapore 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 Jakarta International School (17 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 piece, 8 actors presenting a 45 minute play and 5 artists accompanying 25 pieces of Art add to an exhibition)

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.

If you wish to read a description of the format for each discipline, please click here for the full version of this information sheet:


Previews are held in the week prior to the actual Cultural Convention. This is a chance for students to test their works on an audience and also a chance for people to enjoy the parts of the convention that are travelling. (Please: note this is a change since last week because Forensics has decided to have an extended preview.)




Here is a link to the full music previews program:

IASAS Music Preview Program


Over three days, IASAS Art, Dance and Drama delegates all participate in workshops to develop their skills. The most anticipated parts of the convention, however, are the performances and an art exhibition opening. Here is a list of what is on offer:










This is a link to the live streaming of performances:


While we welcome the ISM community to enjoy these performances and the Art Exhibition, we would appreciate you taking into consideration the following recommendations:

BE ON TIME: You will notice that timings are very precise. This is because the theatre is in use the whole day for technical rehearsals. There is no time allowance for lateness. With this in mind you must arrive before the start time. Latecomers will be refused access, even if you have a child performing.

SWITCH IT OFF: These plays are the culmination of months of hard work, please turn all phones off. It is an expectation of all audience members to adhere to this. You will not be able to leave to take a call during any performance. IASAS is very serious about this rule and it is considered the height of bad manners to admit audience members who are not aware of this. We want to make a good impression as the hosts and lead by example.

NO PHOTOGRAPHY: We have a team of student photographers and a photography expert taking photos. We are also videoing all performances and copies of these will be available via the Fine Arts Office. Flash photography is distracting.

CONSIDER CONTENT: These performances are meant for a HS audience. While most performances are family friendly, we advise discretion when bringing MS audience members to watch. The ISB Drama group has already advised that their performance on the Saturday morning is not suitable for those children less than 13 years of age. MS students, who want to watch JIS Dance and ISM Drama, will be admitted to the theatre at 1.30pm.










Cultural Convention 101

At the HS parent coffee morning the other day, a parent said she was a little unsure of the format of Cultural Convention. With this in mind, I decided to put an explanation together for those who might not completely understand the workings of this part of the IASAS Program.

The 31st IASAS Cultural Convention is held over 3 days from February 28th to March 2nd. There are three parts to this event, each of which is held at a different IASAS School:

  • IASAS Music- hosted this year by Singapore 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 Jakarta International School (17 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 piece, 8 actors presenting a 45 minute play and 5 artists accompanying 25 pieces of Art add to an exhibition)

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 20th at 5pm in the Little Theatre
  • Friday, February 22nd 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.


Original Oratory and Oral Interpretation take part in previews week. Some of the delegates perform in between the Dance and Drama previews on the following dates:


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 year ISM has choreographed a dance based around 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; this year we have a shortened Shakespearean play, a montage of short comedic scenes, a long form improvised performance, a futurist piece and a piece about Edgar Allen Poe. ISM has a devised piece based around the lives of people in World War II Manila.  These performances will each be critiqued by workshop leaders and all other delegates.

Here is a schedule of previews that are being held in the week prior to Cultural Convention:

Music Preview (Part 1) Wednesday, 20th February 5pm Little Theatre
Dance/ Forensics/ Drama Thursday, 21st February 5pm Fine Arts Theatre
Music Preview (Part2) Friday, 22nd February 5pm Little Theatre
Drama/ Forensics/ Dance Saturday, 23rd February 5pm Fine Arts Theatre


The Music previews involve a different group of musicians in each show so plan to come to both if you wish to see all the delegates perform.





IASAS Cultural Convention Previews

The previews for IASAS Music, Dance, Drama and some Forensics events are next week. Here is the program:

  • Music Part One: Wednesday, February 20th @ 5pm in the Little Theatre
  • Dance/ Forensics/ Drama: Thursday, February 21st @5pm in the Fine Arts Theatre
  • Music Part Two: Friday, February 22nd @ 5pm in the Little Theatre
  • Drama/ Forensics/ Dance: February 23rd @ 5pm in The Fine Arts Theatre

Here are the posters for each:

Events in November

November Update

The first two weeks back after break have been extremely busy for the Fine Arts Office: there are a total of 5 trips going out, 4 of which are international events, and also many auditions taking place. In addtion to to this the premier Dance event and main HS Music concert for Semester One are taking place.

Global Initiative Network in Singapore- MS and HS delegates attend

Last year ISM hosted the Global Initiative Conference, (GIN) a massive undertaking with over 400 students in attendance. This year the conference has shifted to Singapore, with two school’s co-hosting a joint MS/ HS conference that brings together 650 students from around Asia. This was an excellent opportunity for ISM to send their first ever MS GIN delegates. Ms. Gitanjali Paul, Mr. Tom McLean and Mr. Cory Wiley chaperoned 6 HS students and 6 MS students for the 3 days of the conference. Besides participating in various workshops focused around the theme of ‘Time to Act; Time to Change’, students also went on ‘eco-excursions’ and listened to world-recognised keynote speakers from various NGO groups. There was also time for some fun and socialising in the form of a Peace Concert and Global NGO fair.

The workshops on the final day encouraged students to apply what they had learned to their own schools and to start formulating plans that encourage environmental and social change within their own community. Every year ISM formulates a school wide priority, which the faculty uses to guide improvement in a certain area of school life. This year one of these goals was formulated and implemented by students. The plans that derive from the GIN conference will be used to further enhance the environmental sustainability guidelines already being developed by the committee of students spearheading this initiative. If you would like to know more about this conference, please refer to the website:

Excellent Result for ISM at the Robotics VEX Competition in Taipei

This year a new course, Robotics, has been introduced to the HS curriculum. The Robotic club has already been a popular afterschool activity for some time and ISM attended its first robotic competition last year. So, as our team of 8, packed several robots up for the trip to Taipei on Thursday November 8th, hopes were high that our ISM Robots would impress.

The updates throughout the weekend were all promising and in the end one of our ISM teams made it to the final! With 16 teams in attendance, this was a fantastic achievement for such a new program. In the finals the ISM Team Narwahl robot and a Taipei American School (TAS) robot were in an alliance that was beaten by an alliance of two other robots by TAS.  This robot team consisted of Rom Villarica, Steve An, Steve Nom and Lucas Ramos.  The team also won the Inspire Award for the most helpful/ inspiring team and robot.

SEAband 2012

SEAband is the South East Asian Band Festival for both MS and HS Music Students. This year the event was host by Faith Academy nad so ISM decided to send 17 musicians to take part in 2 days of workshops that culminated in a concert on Saturday, November 10th. Learning to work as a big band and having the opportunty to work with 8 othere schools from around SE Asia made the event both memorable and educational. Pictures are to come.

Model United Nations Travels This Week

HS students are gearing up for IASAS cultural events this month. The first group travelled to Taipei American School on Wednesday for IASAS Model United Nations (MUN). If you are unfamiliar with the workings of an MUN conference, please feel free to refer to the event website:

Essentially, students are assigned roles that shadow the real positions used at the actual United Nations. Students then spend many hours researching and preparing to fulfill the responsibilities of their role in a simulated sitting of the United Nations. This year’s conference theme is ‘Public Health and Sustainable Development’.

One of the big honors of any MUN conference is being chosen to be an Officer of the Secretariat and therefore chair a specific MUN committee. This year we have two students taking up these challenging roles: Aksar Bonu will be chairing the United Nations Economic and Social Council while Mariella Salazar will be chairing the World Health Organization.

MS Drama attends Bangkok ISTA Festival

Back in August, Ms. Purdue and Ms. Grev selected a group on 20 students to attend an International Schools’ Theatre Association Drama festival in Bangkok. The festival runs from the 16th to the 18th of November and is hosted by Ruamrudee International School. The theme for this festival is ‘Fluidity and Change’.  Waves and canals and channels of communication. So organisers have opted to start with a tour down the main water artery of Bangkok city, the Chao Phraya River, with the aim of exploring the waves and canals as channels of communication. The field trip will culminate in a visit to a sacred Thai temple where the connection between old and new will be explored.

On their return to Ruamrudee, the students will then participate in workshops that develop different drama skills whilst developing the ideas explored on the trip.

AMIS Music Selections Are Made

November is the month where a lot of selective arts events run auditions and then start putting together performances that are often taken to international events. This process actually started back at the start of October when MS Music students submitted recordings to The Association for Music in International Schools (AMIS) in the hopes of attending one of the Asian festivals. The results were announced last week with 12 ISM students being selected to travel to various events.  This year the Asian Middle School Honor Orchestra &
Middle School Honor Mixed Choir will be held together and is hosted by the International School of Beijing from January 23rd to the 27th, 2013.  Four strings players and a choir of 6 will travel to this event. The next week, from January 30th to February 3rd, the International School of Yangon will host the AMIS International Asian Middle School Honor Band with 2 ISM musicians in attendance.

IASAS Cultural Convention Auditions

Auditions for Music, Dance and Drama Cultural Convention delegates are in process. Some names have already been announced but I will post a whole list here once the final decisions are in.

Forensics and Debate groups are already working together and will make selections once all students have had a chance to come to grips with the conventions of each discipline.

This year the Cultural Convention ‘season’ is especially exciting because we are hosting the Art/ Dance/ Drama Cultural Convention from February 27th to March 3rd, 2013. This will require a large group of student and adult volunteers so check your calendar and see if you are able to host any of the visiting delegates!

The month ahead in Fine Arts

This month there are many Arts events right here at ISM to come and enjoy:

  • November 20th– Grade 5 and 6  Beginners’ Music Recital in Little Theatre @ 5pm
  • November 23rd– Tri M Jazz Night in the LT @5.30pm (tickets are being sold at the cashier for this event and then all proceeds are contributed to charity)
  • November 24th– K-12 Dance Recital in the FAT @3pm
  • November 29th– HS Music Concert in the FAT @5pm (Theme: Myths and Legends)

IASAS Debate/Forensics Results

We are extremely proud of all of the fine work presented by our Debate and Forsnsics team members at this year’s IASAS Debate and Forensics convention at Singapore American School.

Of the 8 ISM delegates who made it to the finals, 5 delegates brought home medals.

Extemporaneous Speaking:  Akshar Bonu: Gold Medal (Alonzo Virata: Finalist)

Oral Interpretation: Kei Matsunami: Gold Medal &  Lynn Yu: Bronze Medal (Young Sun Park: Finalist)

Original Oratory: Sofia Benares: Bronze Medal

Impromptu Speaking: Cody Clifton: Bronze Medal (Luke Smith: Finalist)

Complete results can be found at the SAS Convention website.

SAS student reporters also interviewed a number of our ISM delegates and the video reports can be viewed at The SAS EYEOnline site.

Congrats to all of our Bearcat Debate and Forensics delegates and thank you for representing ISM with wit, wisdom, intellect, and grace.



8 ISM Finalists for IASAS Forensics!

8 members of the ISM Forensics team have advanced to the finals at IASAS Cultural Convention 2012.

Impromptu Speaking: Luke Smith and Cody Clifton

Original Oratory: Sofia Benares

Oral Interpretation: Lynn Yu, Young Sun Park and Kei Matsunami

Extemporaneous: Akshar Bonu and Alonzo Virata.

Finals will be available on live stream from SAS.  Schedule can be found HERE

Livestream link HERE

Very proud of all of our Bearcats!