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Art Alert: Upper Egypt children's choir to perform in Cairo

The children’s choir is managed by the Association of Upper Egypt for Education and Development

Ahram Online , Tuesday 22 Nov 2016
Upper Egypt Children Choir
Upper Egypt Children Choir performs at Talaat Harb Cultural Centre on 20 June 2016 (Photo: Ati Metwaly)
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Views: 2244

Coming straight from Upper Egypt's towns and villages, a unique children's choir will give a performance on Saturday 26 November at Cairo's Beit El-Seheimy.

The children’s choir is managed by the Association of Upper Egypt for Education and Development (AUEED), a non-profit association established in 1940 by Father Henry Ayrout with the aim of providing education and development services to four main zones of Upper Egypt: Minya, Assiut, Sohag and Luxor.

The concert will comprise the best works from the choir's repertoire collected in the association's "book of songs," including compositions by Sayed Darwish, Marcel Khalife, Sheikh Imam, and Sayed Mekawy to lyrics by Mahmoud Darwish, Fouad Haddad, and Ahmed Fouad Negm, among others. The evening will also present some traditional songs representing the specific regions from which the children hail.

The choir is one of the many projects in which the association, which focuses on funding and running schools, also seeks to educate children and young people through music.

The idea of the choir goes back to 1987 when Sister Celeste Al-Khayat of the Sacred Heart Society decided to establish the ensemble and handpicked children with beautiful voices from local schools, reaching out to both Christians and Muslims. In total, the ensemble counts some 60 children and young persons, aged between ten and early 20s, living in villages scattered across Minya governorate, 250 km south of Cairo. The choir brings together children from Muslim and Christian families, from small towns and villages, boys and girls. 

The choir is managed by Hanaa Gameel, who has been in charge of its operational aspects since 2004 (and worked with the association since 1994) while Hayam Tawfik, a holder of PhD in Arabic Music from Cairo’s Ain Shams University trains the choir since 2000.

Read more about the choir here

Saturday 26 November, 7pm
Beit El-Seheimy, Haret El-Darb El-Asfar, Qism El-Gamaleya, Cairo

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