The brightest of Qatar’s musical talents are set to shine on the international stage this month as more than 700 young participants gear up for a glorious, one-of-its-kind musical spectacle organised by Moving Young Artists (MYA), the Qatar-based non-profit foundation that has been nurturing and inspiring local young talents for more than three years.

Driven by a desire ‘to inspire a deep love and knowledge of music in the Qatari community’, the Qatar National Music Competition (QNMC), under the patronage of Qatar National Commission for Education, Culture and Science (NatCom), seeks to create a competitive platform that encourages the best in music creativity and performance in Qatar. Sponsored by Vodafone Qatar and in collaboration with Katara, the Qatar Philharmonic Orchestra (QPO) and Marsa Malaz Kempinski, the competition will be a significant artistic event on the national and international stage.

As much a celebration of music, culture, education, and unity, the much-awaited event will be held starting on 15 October at the Katara Drama Theatre, and will culminate in a gala concert on October 19.

Open to anyone with a flair for music and not more than 18 years old, the competition is sub-divided according to age — 11 and under, 14 and under, and 18 and under — and instrument of choice — piano, winds, strings, vocal, percussion/harp/guitar, and composition.

MYA co-founder Sonja Park said establishing this competition has been one of their foremost goals when they arrived in Doha nine years ago.

This is the very first time that such an event is taking place in Qatar; an entire week where children from around the globe, including young Qataris, will gather under one roof to make music, focus earnestly, play all kinds of instruments, and learn to be a team player whilst playing in ensembles.’

The QNMC’s vision is to propel Qatar into the international music festival stage, points out Joris Laenen, co-founder of MYA.

We at MYA, believe that music participation is an integral element in the fabric of an enduring society. With the QNMC, we are creating a competitive platform to encourage the finest in music creativity and performance, which runs parallel with Qatar’s sports, art, design, architecture, and other goals. Since Qatar doesn’t have a long history of music education, the QNMC would like to also offer adult Qatari musicians this opportunity to present their talent.’

There are plenty of prizes in the offing at the QNMC. In each category, Gold, Silver, and Bronze medals, and a diploma will be awarded. Every participant will receive a certificate of merit for their performance. The Vodafone Grand Prize, reserved for the standout performance in the entire competition, provided by Vodafone, and a special ‘Qatar’s Best Award’ for best performance by a Qatari artist, provided by the Qatar National Commission for Education, Culture and Science, are among the most coveted.

MYA, which aspires to develop music education programmes for children, believes that music participation is an integral element in the fabric of an enduring society. It is out of a desire to inspire a deep love and knowledge of music with the Qatari community that MYA has put together this first edition of the QNMC.

It is through this far-reaching vision that the QNMC will contribute to the Qatar National Vision 2030 by helping develop Qatar’s human, social, and economic goals, by strengthening collective desire and will, and creating a mindset for excellence among the youth, Park and Laenen feel.

Spectators are warmly invited to come and see the competition in action.

Audience tickets for the competition classes are free, and are available on a first come, first served basis. Timings for the competition schedule can be viewed through this link. Tickets for the Gala Concert will be limited to those awardees and performers.