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July 1, 2014

After a highly-successful year of music, drama and dance at the British School of Bahrain, MASK (Music And Stage for Kids) and the Academy of Performing Arts I would like to take this opportunity to thank our staff, students and sponsors for their dedication and hard work.MASK is extremely grateful to Alosra for its continued support of our Broadway-style shows which now date seven in total – Oliver, Wizard of Oz, Bugsy Malone, Annie, Circle of Life, West Side Story and Peter Pan. Many thanks must also go to the huge number of students, parents and willing volunteers who have assisted with such productions.Without sponsorship these events would not be able to happen and this year our loyal supporters Alosra not only sponsored MASK but also the Academy of Performing Arts in its entirety, which meant that we were able to put on additional high-profile events. These included the recent BSB Variety Performance at the Cultural Hall, the BSB Christmas Variety Performance and the fabulous Bahrain Young Performers Festival (not to mention the stunning Christmas 'flashmob' that took place at Saar Alosra in December 2013).This year we would also like to thank VIVA who also showed generous support for our production of Peter Pan.Our new dance school, with students ranging from aged three to adult, entered 50 students in the internationally-recognised IDTA examinations this year under the tutelage of our fabulous dance teacher, Louise Chapman.


Students were examined in a variety of styles including ballet, hip hop, modern jazz, contemporary and tap and all students passed with 30 gaining distinction and 28 gaining merit.  Our Hip Hop team gained an outstanding 95 per cent, which was the highest result in any IDTA exam worldwide for this year. Many thanks to Miss Louise, we shall miss you as you depart for Australia.The Academy of Performing Arts also had its first year of LAMDA (London Academy of Music and Dramatic Art) exams with over 50 entries and all students gaining merit or distinction, including Hannah Harrison who gained Grade 8 LAMDA Music Theatre with Distinction, attaining her Gold Medal.  Hannah also gained a Merit in her Grade 7 Trinity Singing this year as well as four distinctions for IDTA dance examinations, as did Cameron Icelli.   This year has seen an unprecedented number of students entering the higher grades in both Trinity and ABRSM music examinations with four candidates achieving Grade 8 singing, seven achieving Grade 7 singing and eight achieving Grade 6, many with merit and distinction.  None of this would be possible without the tireless enthusiasm, professionalism and commitment of the APA staff, namely Bradford Longfellow, Leah Churchill, Gavin Stewart, Mary Vaillancourt, Szabi Nigo, Sachi Kitabatake, Mohamed Zowayed and Michele Icelli whom I would like to thank personally.  I would also like to thank the students of the APA and the BSB who have given the team hours of happiness, because it is important to remember that the arts should provide an inspiring, active and fun learning experience!Lydia Martin,

director of Performing  Arts at the BSB.


As the summer heats up, it is beauty pageant season once again. The Filipina Ikaw Na (FIN), a women's group in Bahrain under the Filipino Club, is conducting a search for Filipino women to vie for the title of Miss Philippines – Bahrain 2014.The candidate must be single (no children), 18-26 years of age, with Filipino blood, at least 5 feet 4 in, hold a valid visa, have no tattoo and be of good moral character.The aim of the contest is to honour the values, intelligence, grace and charm of Filipino women. It will be based on the judgment of personality and beauty by the judging panel, consisting of eminent personalities and sponsors.


Miss Philippines Bahrain's mission is to develop women of goodwill as role models for the Filipino community in Bahrain. It will also continue to promote the heritage and Filipino culture and the inner beauty of the Filipino people.  The winner will receive a round-trip ticket (Philippines-Bahrain), cash and fabulous prizes. The runners-up will also win cash and other prizes from the organisers and sponsors.The finals of the pageant will culminate in a grand coronation night on September 26.Screening, interview and orientation of applicants will be on July 18, between 3-6pm at Lost Paradise of Dilmun waterpark in Zallaq.  Please bring the following: Passport copy, CPR copy and NSO birth certificate, proof of employment, 2x2 picture, one whole body picture and print out of smart card. Dress code is 'smart casual' and also bring a swimsuit. For further details contact Sally Nochefranca on 33933437, Ethel Varona on 351151173, or Regina Apostol on 34462157.Rosemarie Hernandez,  chairperson of  Filipina Ikaw Na (FIN).I heard a radio show recently about the advantages of having a kitchen garden. If you are living in a house surrounded by land it is easy to grow your own vegetables.However, many of those living in condominiums or flats in multi-storey apartment buildings can still plant tomatoes, parsley, wheatgrass (which helps keep you young) or flowers and plants on a balcony, or ledge.


There is so much pleasure to be found in eating a vegetable grown by your own hands and I understand there are other important advantages too, such as people who keep active and indulge in a little gardening are less likely to suffer from conditions associated with aging.Balbir Singh, by email.

For more stories covering arts and entertainment, please see HispanicBusiness' Arts & Entertainment Channel

Source: Gulf Weekly (Bahrain)

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