This morning we were delighted to welcome back former pupil Mike King who had arranged for a visit by thirty-nine students from Bao-Lai Junior High School and seven Year 6 pupils from Jian-Shan Primary School. The children sing in an Indigenous Taiwanese Choir and come from Kaohsiung in Southern Taiwan.

Bao-Lai Junior High has only 72 students but over half of the children are from the  indigenous Bunun community. The Bununs are famous for their eight-part polyphony (simultaneously combining a number of parts, each forming an individual melody and harmonising with each other).

The Choir was founded in 2015 and is conducted by Dr Chen. On 14 July 2018, Bao-Lai Junior High School Chorus joined the 10th World Choir Games held in Tshwane, South Africa. This event is known as the singing Olympic Games and the Choir successfully competed against thirteen other choirs to win the folklore category and qualify for the World Choir Games 2020, which will be held in Belgium.

This is the Choir’s first trip to the UK and Blue Coat was lucky enough to be chosen as their first venue. The children really ‘raised the roof’ in Chapel this morning and their joyful singing and dancing was truly infectious.

Visiting Principal, Mr Lo from Bao-Lai spoke a little about school life back in Taiwan and the children learned that his students attend school from 7.30am and are often still working after school until 8.30pm! Mr Lo was very pleased to visit Blue Coat and to learn about our School’s history stretching back nearly 300 years and to take a tour of our facilities.

Pre-Prep also came up to hear them and the Choir in turn had the chance to participate in our Graffiti Classics Workshop. Graffiti Classics have been entertaining the children today as part of our music enrichment day. The workshops were interactive and great fun, full of energy and some great classical music.  Culminating with a sellout concert this afternoon this has been an amazing and hugely rewarding week for everyone. What a treat!

We hope that your children will come home talking about this morning’s cultural exchange as well as the wonderful workshop.

Mrs Dredger and Mr Nicklin