Qatar’s leading youth choir has just won Best Video in the prestigious Michelangelo International Music Festival online edition Winter 2021. The Qatar Youth Choir recorded To Sit and Dream, by Rosephanye Powell, for its “Walk with Me” fundraising program, which highlights the plight of child refugees and aims to support their education. Every element of the video was created by the choir, with singers Rehan Valsan Pillay and Ghita El Mernissi devising, directing, filming, and editing the final product. Soprano leader Nayna Nair takes the starring role, and all the actors are choristers.
“I’m so proud of the choir,” says Rehan. “The Qatar Youth Choir has given me amazing opportunities to stretch my boundaries and explore my interest in music and beyond. It was an honor to direct my fellow singers in my first video. Shooting a story like this, with such beautiful music, is a dream come true and I hope it will be the start of my film career. Winning the award is an incredible bonus.”
The multi-award-winning Qatar Youth Choir, which is sponsored by the Swiss International School, represented Qatar at the World Choral Expo in Lisbon in 2019. It currently has some spaces available for young adults aged 13+ who love to sing, while its sister ensemble, Qatar Junior Choir, is also recruiting singers, aged 8-12 years. In December, Qatar Junior Choir released its own world premiere, of Bela Bartok’s poignant Don’t Leave Me, set to animation, also for Walk with Me.
Alena Pyne, who directs both choirs, says:
“We’re looking for young people with a passion for singing, and there’s no need for them to have prior experience.” She adds, “We work hard but there are great rewards. The choristers will tell you it’s a lot of fun, but singing in an ensemble also has many of the benefits of playing team sports. Everyone prepares and practices and works together, and each individual’s voice counts towards the overall result, which as you can tell from these videos, can be absolutely stunning.”
Evidence shows that children and young people who join choirs are likely to be or to become high achievers, disciplined, and able to focus. They learn not only musical skills, but the organization, the art of listening, teamwork, and adaptability: skills they take into their other studies and carry forward in their everyday lives.
Source and image credit: Press Release
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