At the beginning of this year, Year 12 Dulwich College Shanghai Pudong student Larrissa was thrilled to find she had won the 2020 Jenkins Award for her original music composition. Her piece was set to debut with a full orchestra at this year’s ISCMS festival – but sadly, due to the COVID-19 outbreak, the festival was cancelled and her piece never played.
Rather than dwell in the disappointment of not being able to reunite with her ISCMS friends nor hear her piece performed, Larrissa decided to write another song – this time, to spread a message of encouragement, positivity, and resilience to the Dulwich College International and ISCMS communities during this challenging period.
In a mere 48 hours, she composed a beautiful piece of music. The song, written in Chinese and English, is a powerful showcase of love and compassion to those in China and abroad as the viral outbreak continues to spread globally. She then asked the friends she made from ISCMS - many of whom are from the global Dulwich family - to play the song and make a music video with her, demonstrating that we can continue to support each other despite being physically apart.
When asked how she managed to compose this song while managing online learning, Larrissa explained: “The onset of online learning was quite difficult for me – it wasn’t even the workload, but just the seemingly interminable wait to go back to school, and missing all of my friends and teachers. The support from family and teachers made the challenges I faced while composing and making the video a whole lot sweeter. Hopefully, all of us can spread this message of hope and put a smile on our faces wherever we may be.”
We are so proud of the way Larrissa is galvanising her community in a show of support to those affected. She is a shining example of how our students continue to exercise their student agency, no matter their learning environment, to bring the community closer together.
Listen to Larrissa’s original piece, High in the Sky, below.