Every year St. Kilian’s takes part in this musical spectacular. It is a competition organised by the network of German Schools abroad. Organised over a number of rounds it allows students to compete in a number of categories from classical to pop and pitch their talent against that of students from other German schools. Students from St. Kilian’s and Eurocampus have enjoyed enormous success over the years in this competition. The event in Dublin is organised by Ms Anne Thielemans and Mr Daithi O’Driscoll. Competitors are from 11 other German Schools in Northern and Eastern Europe, including Paris, London, Helsinki, Oslo, Stockholm, Copenhagen, Tallinn, Prague, Budapest, Moscow, London and Sofia and – of course – Dublin. If you are interested in competing please contact Ms Thielemans or Mr O’Driscoll and listen out for the announcements.
Jugend Musiziert (JuMu) is one of the longest standing and most renowned German music competitions and has been organised for young musicians (age 8-21) by the Deutsche Musikrat on an annual basis since 1963. Almost every known German classical musician (violinist Anne Sophie Mutter and clarinettist Sabine Meyer, to name but two) started his or her career as a winner of Jugend Musiziert, and for many young musicians, success at the final stage of the competition has led to scholarships, master classes and participation in renowned orchestras.
While most of the competitors live in Germany, anyone attending a German school abroad and anyone living abroad with a German passport is also eligible to compete.
The competition takes place over three rounds. The first round (‘Regionalwettbewerb’) is held in some 150 locations in Germany and at individual German Schools abroad. The second round (‘Landeswettbewerb’) takes place in one location in each of the 16 Bundesländer (Federal States), and, for the German Schools abroad, is organised by one German School in each of the three participating regions of Jugend Musiziert: Eastern Mediterranean, Western Mediterranean and Northern/Eastern Europe (which Dublin is part of). The third round is the national final (‘Bundeswettbewerb’), hosted by a different German city every year. At this stage the ca. 20,000 young competitors who show their skills in round 1 have been whittled down to around 2000, with the prize winners usually performing at an incredibly high standard and the very best being rewarded with prestigious awards or scholarships.
The solo and ensemble categories in which the competitors perform vary from year to year. This year, solo categories include string instruments, percussion and Pop singing, while ensemble categories include piano and wind instrument duo, piano chamber music, vocal ensemble, Early Music and harp ensemble.
JUGEND MUSIZIERT IN ST KILIAN’S
St Kilian’s has been involved in Jugend Musiziert since 1997 when the region Northern and Eastern Europe was formed for participating German Schools Abroad. Ever since, pupils who excel at the first round of the competition are sent forward to whichever German School hosts the ‘Landeswettbewerb’ that year. This is where the Kilian’s participants have a distinct advantage over their colleagues in Germany: While competitors in Germany usually just travel to the capital of their respective Federal State for the second round, perform and travel back again, Kilian’s students get to spend close to a week in an exciting Northern or Eastern European capital, form friendships with pupils from all kinds of linguistic and cultural backgrounds, and quickly succumb to the very special JUMU atmosphere that has become known as ‘JUMU-Fieber’. How attractive this can be is shown by the fact that even beyond their time in St Kilian’s many of them can be seen to organise, help out or simply check in when it’s time for JUMU again.
Jugend Musiziert has been so successful in St Kilian’s that it has actually sprouted an offspring: Kinder Musizieren – a much less regulated and smaller scale competition for younger children to show off their talents and vocal category of their choice. Following the lead of the Deutsche Schule Helsinki, Kinder Musizieren was introduced to St. Kilian’s by Barbara Davitt in 2009. Usually taking place in the morning of the opening day of the local JUMU competition, it has certainly added to the general buzz in the school on that weekend.
From fairly modest beginnings (there were often not more than 5-8 competitors in the first round of JUMU), the competition has grown considerably in recent years, not least due to the introduction of the ‘Pop Singing’ category that attracts talents right across the school.