2018 trophies QPSCoyQatar Primary School Choir of the Year (QPSCOY) competition returned for its second edition and lined up 12 choirs from schools across Qatar.

Held at the Shangri-La Hotel Doha over three days and organised by Doha College, the contest was aimed at developing choral singing among children in Qatar, providing a platform to meet and learn from peers, perform to a wider audience, and enjoy a dose of healthy competition.

Since its launch in 2017, the successful ripples of QPSCoY on choral singing in Qatar is evident, with school choirs being formed especially for the competition, and new choirs joining year on year. As a measure of how much QPSCoY catalysed the passion for singing, the Dukhan English School choir travelled 80 kilometres twice a day for three days to sing alongside the other competitors!

Returning lead adjudicator Greg Beardsell, an international choral expert from the UK, was delighted to see a significant increase in the number of engaged children this year.  As part of the event, he hosted a specialist singing workshop on day one, for 450 enthusiastic musical students from participating primary schools.

The competition was also lucky to have the musical expertise of several auspicious guests including Kees Wieringa (Dutch pianist and composer, currently residing in Qatar as Director of the Sheikh Faisal Bin Qassim Al Thani Museum), Giovanni Pasini (Chief Conductor of the Qatar Youth Orchestra and the Qatar Chamber Choir) and Olga Protopopova (Principal of the International Centre for Music in Doha).

Dana Al Fardan, Qatari composer who wrote the bespoke song Wings of the Falcon for the inaugural competition in 2017, was thrilled to reprise her role as QPSCoY Ambassador. She said she looks forward to welcoming more choirs next year.

The competition was graced with a performance by the Doha Youth Choir, a highly accomplished group that performs internationally and whose members receive specialised training in sight-singing, notation and theory, vocal technique and music interpretation. With exposure to a great variety of classical and contemporary choral repertoires alongside their elite training under the expert direction of Alena Pyne, the youths were delighted to perform and inspire their younger peers at the event.

Alison Keane, Music Teacher at Doha College and Founder of QPSCoY, expressed high hopes for the future of the competition.

I am extremely grateful to this year’s organisers for their hard work in continuing my vision for choral singing. I will look forward to witnessing the growth of QPSCoY and take great pride in giving this legacy to the wonderful State of Qatar.’

QPSCoY Director Steph Gomaa, Director of Music at Doha College, said he was thrilled with the standard of choral singing displayed throughout the three day competition. 

It shows how much time, effort and hard work talented young singers have been putting in, not to mention their incredible music teachers.’

Competition Results:

  • First Place – Doha English Speaking School ‘Voice Squad’
  • Second Place – King’s College Doha
  • Third Place – Dukhan English School ‘Descants’
  • Stagecraft Award – Doha College ‘Fortes’
  • Repertoire Award – Doha College Al Waab
  • Vocal Skills Award – Doha British School

Cover Image: First place winners, Doha English Speaking School, during their performance.