Fobisia Advanced Orchestra and Choral Festival at British International School Ho Chi Minh City

On 19 September 2019, a group of 15 BSJ students and three staff members flew to Vietnam to participate in the Fobisia Advanced Orchestra and Choral Festival, which was held at the British International School Ho Chi Minh. 

Just under 135 students from eight other schools from across South East Asia joined our BSJ students to participate in the festival. With the exciting addition of a choral element to the festival, attendance numbers were at an all-time high.

The festival comprised of two and a half days of intense rehearsals that culminated in a very impressive concert on Sunday afternoon. Rehearsals took many forms and included combined and individual orchestra and choir rehearsals as well as sectionals that allowed students and teachers to work on specific areas of the music.

The repertoire for the festival was carefully selected to challenge the students whilst taking into account an international element with music from British, Japanese, Austrian and South African composers being selected for the programme.


The Orchestra, and combined orchestra and choir pieces were conducted by Adrian Tan. Adrian completed his Masters in Music Studies (Conducting) studying with Maestro Imre Pallo at the Sydney Conservatorium of Music. After completing his studies, Adrian returned to Singapore, his country of origin and was appointed Music Director of the Singapore Wind Symphony and the Braddell Heights Symphony Orchestra. He also served as the Music Director of the Saigon Philharmonic Orchestra from 2014 until 2017. Adrian’s manner and professionalism with the students was outstanding and the performance standard he elicited from the students was truly inspiring.


Choir Conductor Gareth Groves brought equal amounts of experience and professionalism to the choral aspect of the festival, producing three outstanding choir performances. Gareth studied singing under Mollie Petrie and John Hugh Thomas and enjoyed working as a professional singer with several opera companies, choral societies and choirs. He also toured across Germany singing under the baton of Stephen Jackson. 


On the third and final day of the festival students and staff gave a festival concert which was broadcast live on YouTube and can be found at this link:

The Music department here at BSJ are all very proud of the achievements of the students who participated, and congratulate them for their effort, determination and focus through rehearsals and in the final performance.

Mr Stephen Tomlinson - Head of Music