The American University in Cairo (AUC) discussed the launch of the 'Spring 2021 Concert Series' as well as the Department of the Art’s Music Program's latest initiatives at a virtual media roundtable discussion held last Monday.
Speakers at the media roundtable include: Associate Professor and Director of the Music Program Chelsea Green; Ashraf Fouad, AUC Concert Series Director and Adjunct Professor; Nesma Mahgoub 'AUC Concert Series' Member, Adjunct Professor and Singer as well as, Junior Student of Music Technology and Music Performance Tasneem Elaidy.
The discussion was followed by a live stream of the Mosaic Quintet, performing selected works by Egyptian pioneers in Arab music from the mid-1800s to the mid-1960s and many other Arab musical forms.
In its official press release, the AUC explains that the AUC Music Program’s Concert Series presents 13 professional concerts - this year - followed by six student performances at the end of the semester.
"This year [the] AUC Concert Series includes Pawel Kuzma and Taha El-Mansy performing the Lineage: Music for classical guitar; Isis string orchestra’s performance, from Classical to American Music; a Lions of Cairo performance; Baroque and Before as well as, an Opera for peace Concert, which will feature young Arab singers performing with Cairo Festival Orchestra," revealed the press release.
Ashraf Fouad said that the AUC Concert Series is one of the oldest and most prestigious within the region.
“[The] AUC Concert Series has been present since the founding of the University,” he added.
Also according to the press release, “This series hosted the legendary Umm Kalthoum along with American Pianist and Composer Herbie Hancock at Ewart Memorial Hall. The same series invited the Cairo Conservatory and Cairo Ballet. Ewart Hall also witnessed Gaetano Donizetti’s Don Pasquale — an opera buffa, or comic opera in three acts by Italian Composer Donizetti — in collaboration with Cairo Opera House, featuring AUC students [alongside] professional singers. Also, a section of The Bolshoi gave a special performance of The Nutcracker ballet [in this series].”
The roundtable also presented the AUC’s Music Program which teaches theory, literature, and performance of music as well as, the theory and practice of music technology with an orientation towards performance and study in both Western and Arab music.
“The Bachelor of Arts in Music Technology is the only degree of its type in the region. We have students coming from Lebanon and other areas of the Middle East to study with us. The program offers cutting-edge technology, including a recording studio and a mastering studio. Our students not only get the theoretical knowledge but also, get a lot of practical experience,” said Chelsea Green, Associate Professor and Director of the Music Program.
With COVID-19 disrupting the music industry and live concerts worldwide, AUC’s Music Program had to get creative, using the latest technology to live-stream concerts.
According to Fouad, “Everyone is welcome to attend our concerts, whether face-to-face or through live-streaming, as some events are open to a limited number of audiences, and others are only live-streamed.”
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