XLIS Secondary Music Spring Concert
Music is truly a universal language. No one embodies that construct more than Chace Williams and Michael Skillern. These young musicians embarked upon a daring project to bring 21st century western art music to students and audiences in Xi’an, China. This project will also bring Williams on a journey to China, cementing an everlasting connection between the American Midwest and the Shaanxi province of central China.
This concert serves as the world premiere of Williams’ new work for young wind band, The Battle Approaches, dedicated to the Xi’an Liangjiatan International School (XLIS), the XLIS Bands, and their director, Michael Skillern.
Band Director and Secondary Music Teacher Michael Skillern, reached out to Chace Williams earlier this year and commissioned him to write a captivating piece of music for a young wind band as a gift to the Xi’an community. “It was so special to our students to have an authentic piece of music that was uniquely theirs. To have a piece of music dedicated to you is such a golden experience,” says Georgia, USA native, Michael Skillern.
Chace Williams is an American composer currently based in Ohio. His works have been performed across the United States, China, and Romania. He was on hand at Xi’an Liangjiatan International school from May 18th-May 24th to present workshops and activities to primary and secondary students regarding music and music composition. Some of his activities included rhythm/reading activities with Primary students and Electro-acoustic/performance art activities with secondary students.
When asked about the importance of using music as a device to drive cross-cultural connection, Chace Williams replied, “"It is necessary for all cultures to share and teach each other about our arts as much as possible.”
The Asian premiere of The Battle Approaches for Wind Band took place on May 22nd at 2:00pm in the Blue Dragon Theater at Xi’an Liangjiatan International school in Xi’an, China. The XLIS Intermediate band also premiered another work, entitled Shining Light, by American composer Michael Standard.
In addition to performance by the XLIS beginning and intermediate bands, the secondary music department also featured recorded/live performance of student compositions, student-led popular music ensembles and the XLIS Choir directed by Lars Jefferson.