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Cairo Celebration Choir to represent Egypt in 2016 World Choir Games

The choir was founded in 2000 by Egyptian maestro Nayer Nagui and consists of over 100 members

Ahram Online , Wednesday 29 Jun 2016
Cairo Celebration Choir
Founded in 2000 by maestro Nayer Nagui, the Cairo Celebration Choir consists of over 100 members. (Photo: Miriam Benyamein)

The Cairo Celebration Choir (CCC) will represent Egypt at the 9th World Choir Games, which will take place between 6 and 16 July in Sochi, Russia.

The CCC will be the only choir representing Egypt and will compete in the Folkloric category with a compilation of folkloric songs from one of their iconic repertoire elements, Aghani Bel Arabi.

The choir will perform songs by late Egyptian composer Sayed Darwish arranged by maestro Nayer Nagui, who is also the choir’s founder. The songs include Telaat Ya Mahla Nourha, Ya Balah Zaghloul, El Helwa Dih/Zourouni medley and Ya ward Ala Foll we Yasmin.

The CCC will also be performing the aforementioned songs in the "friendship concerts" that take place all over Sochi, in addition to an array of other songs, including Atshan ya Sabaya by Awatef Abdel-Kerim and Marmar Zamani by Gamal Abdel-Rehim.

The choir will also participate in the festival’s closing ceremony where they will be performing alongside 23,000 participants from 73 countries.

According to the event’s website, the World Choir Games were founded in 2000 as an “international choir festival taking place every two years on different continents.”

“The event is based on the Olympic ideals, which aim to peacefully unify people and nations connected by song in a fair competition. Unrelated to artistic levels, this approach challenges personality and team spirit alike.”

The festival is organised by Interkultur and invites “all amateur choirs of the world… to head for a 11-day journey through the whole world of choral music at the World Choir Games 2016 and to perform in the competitions, in Friendship Concerts and to perform together on stage for huge singing projects.”

Egypt is one of three Arab countries participating in this year’s edition of the World Choir Games, the other two being Jordan and Lebanon. 

Speaking to Ati Metwaly earlier this month, Nagui underlined that, for the Cairo Celebration Choir, this will be the first 35-member journey, travelling in such a big group having been made possible with support from Egypt’s Ministry of Culture, Naguib Sawiris, Media-Arts for Development (MADEV) as well as BTM, who offered costumes for the choir.

Founded in 2000, the Cairo Celebration Choir consists of over 100 members.

The choir has performed works representing several music schools: French repertoire with Gabriel Fauré's Requiem, Italian with Rossini's La Petite Messe Solennelle, German as represented by Schubert's Stabat Mater, Latin/Spanish with works by Guastavino, and explored English style with Handel's Ode for St Cecilia's Day. 

The choir has a few international appearances under their belt, in Morocco and France, among other tour events.

In 2012, the choir participated in the Czech Republic's Prague Voices 2012 Festival, winning the Silver Level Diploma.

Apart of Western classical works, their repertoire also includes compositions by Arab composers, arranged by Nagui. The choir regularly joins the Christmas performances staged annually at the Cairo Opera House.

Most recently, on 16 June, CCC gave Egypt’s premiere of Ludwig van Beethoven’s Mass for soloists, chorus and orchestra in C major, Op. 86 at the All Saints Cathedral. The event which, included yet another Egypt premiere –Zur Namensfeier overture in C major, Op. 115 – was repeated in Basilique Cathédrale on 17 June.

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