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Bibliotheca Alexandrina's Children Choir to perform in German Int'l festival

Egypt's Children Choir will be the only choir from Arab countries to participate in this year's Dresden International Choir Festival

Ahram Online , Wednesday 27 Apr 2016
Children Choir
Bibliotheca Alexandrina Children Choir sings at the Cairo International Airport as they head for their performance in Dresden, Germany (Photo: Rodica Ocheseanu)
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Egypt's Bibliotheca Alexandrina Children Choir is heading to Dresden where it will patticipate in the International Choir Festival (Internationalen Kinderchorfestival Dresden) that takes place between 28 April and 4 May.

This is the first time the BA Children Choir participates in an international event which gathers choirs from around the globe.

Egypt's choir is also the only such ensemble from an Arab country performing in this year's Dresden festival.

Before leaving to Germany, the group posted photos on social media documenting each step of the way.

One of their last posts featured the choir singing at Cairo International Airport.

Rodica Ocheseanu, the BA Children Choir choirmaster (and also the Bibliotheca Alexandrina Choir's choirmaster), who has been working with this ensemble for a number of years, told Ahram Online that a total of 38 students of ages spanning eight to 17 have been chosen to participate in the event.

The students are set to perform an amalgam of traditional and religious songs, ranging from songs by iconic Egyptian master musician Sayed Darwish, to the Islamic song Talaa Al-Badr Alayna, and the Coptic song Gholghosa, Ocheseanu said.

“The students will perform the national anthem in tomorrow’s opening concert,” Ocheseanu said, adding that “We hope to make Egypt proud.”

According to Ocheseanu, the students receive a broad music training that mostly relies on Western music compositions topped with Egyptian compositions.

The choir will undertake a number of performances throughout the five-day Dresden festival, including a solo concert and another alongside other choirs.

On one of the days they will participate in a workshop, where choir ensembles will teach each other a song from their respective countries.

For this workshop, the BA Children Choir will contribute AtshanYa Sabaya by prolific composer Baligh Hamdy.

The BA Children Choir was established at the Bibliotheca Alexandrina in 2002 and has evolved quickly since 2014.

Some of the choir's members have been with the ensemble for four years, while others joined only a year ago.

Children Choir
Members of the Bibliotheca Alexandrina Children Choir at the Cairo International Airport as they head for their performance in Dresden, Germany (Photo: Rodica Ocheseanu)

The BA Children Choir operates under the umbrella of the Bibliotheca Alexandrina Arts School, which offers courses, workshops and seminars to people of different age groups, including singing classes, choir, and classes on a wide range of musical instruments.

For children aged five or older, the school is a centre for learning art, ballet, cinema, short animation and theatre. Music courses are offered to children and adults alike.

“Usually the students are up to 18 years old, but we are expanding and offering more classes to adults,” Noha Ragheb, head of the BA Art Education Centre, told Ahram Online.

“Theatre is offered to children between seven and 18 years old, and we have two productions per year. We start with shadow theatre, then develop to short sketches, and then we introduce them to traditional theatre,” Ragheb added.

Students attend classes in the evening after school, and complete several courses over the course of a year.

“We are very excited that we got accepted as the only Arab country. It is also a new experience for the children as they will be staying with hosting families arranged by the festival."Ragheb said.

Children Choir
Members of the Bibliotheca Alexandrina Children Choir at the Cairo International Airport as they head for their performance in Dresden, Germany (Photo: Rodica Ocheseanu)

 

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