Qatar Youth Choir, the country’s leading youth choir, won the ‘Best Video’ award in the prestigious Michelangelo International Music Festival online edition, Winter 2021.

The choir recorded To Sit and Dream by Rosephanye Powell, for its Walk with Me fundraising programme, which highlights the plight of child refugees and aims to support their education.

Every element of the video was created by the choir, with singers Rehan Valsan Pillay and Ghita El Mernissi devising, directing, filming, and editing the final product. Soprano leader Nayna Nair takes the starring role and all the other actors are choristers.

Rehan, one of the singers, said he is proud of the choir. He said that the choir has given him amazing opportunities to stretch his boundaries and explore his interest in music.

It was an honour to direct my fellow singers in my first video. Shooting a story like this, with such beautiful music, is a dream come true and I hope it will be the start of my film career. Winning the award is an incredible bonus.

Do you love to sing?

The multi-award-winning Qatar Youth Choir, sponsored by Swiss International School (SISQ), also  represented Qatar in the World Choral Expo in Lisbon in 2019. It currently has available slots for young adults aged at least 13 years old who love to sing. Its sister ensemble, Qatar Junior Choir, is also recruiting singers, aged eight to 12 years old.

In December, Qatar Junior Choir released its own world premiere of Bela Bartok’s poignant Don’t Leave Me, set to animation, also for Walk with Me.

According to Alena Pyne, who directs both choirs, they are looking for young people with a passion for singing, and there’s no need for them to have prior experience.

We work hard but there are great rewards. The choristers will tell you it’s a lot of fun; but singing in an ensemble also has many of the benefits. Everyone prepares and practices and works together, and each individual’s voice counts towards the overall result, which as you can tell from these videos, can be absolutely stunning.

Evidence shows that children and young people who join choirs are likely to become high achievers, disciplined and able to focus. They learn not only musical skills, but organisation, the art of listening, teamwork and adaptability – skills they take into their other studies and carry forward in their everyday lives.

Both choirs welcome enquiries. If you wish to know more, send an email to [email protected].

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