After last year’s inaugural competition, ‘Qatar Primary School Choir of the Year’ (QPSCoY) returns for another celebration of song and friendship, and healthy competition.
The 12 choirs represent nine international schools in Qatar, including, for the first time, schools from Dukhan and Wakra. The competition is designed to give children of varying backgrounds and degrees of experience an opportunity to compete in an enjoyable and educational context.
This year’s competition takes on a new format designed to maximise fun and enjoyment for all. Prior to the qualifying heats, all competing children will have the opportunity to participate in a ‘BIG SING’ choral workshop led by Greg Beardsell, certain to have the children spellbound and inspired if last year’s smaller sessions are anything to go by.
Greg uses a variety of techniques to teach children incredibly complex musical ideas within a short period of time. This gets them over the ‘mental barrier’ that singing in four, or more, parts is ‘hard’. Last year saw children who reached the finals, singing in playgrounds across Doha, bringing an excitement and enthusiasm to choral singing that has been effectively infectious. And indeed, six new choirs are joining this year.
Greg Beardsell is Music Director of the ‘Cross Border Orchestra of Ireland’, the ‘London Youth Chamber Choir’, the ‘Irish Youth Choir’ and Deputy Artistic Director of the ‘National Youth Choirs’ of Great Britain. He is Music Director of the ‘National Youth Training Choir’, artistic lead for their Widening Access and Engagement projects and last year was responsible for founding and directing the inaugural ‘International Youth Choir Festival’ at the Royal Albert Hall. He works worldwide as conductor, adjudicator, workshop leader and presenter and most recently has gathered together thousands of school children in Arenas across England and Ireland to perform together.
QPSCoY is delighted to see a return guest performance by the highly accomplished ‘Doha Youth Choir’, which was founded and directed by Alena Pyne, fresh from a tour in Croatia to sing in the interval of the second QPSCoY final, to inspire their younger peers.
QPSCoY is also extremely fortunate to have Qatari composer Dana Al Fardan returning as the competition’s Ambassador. Dana wrote the competition anthem ‘Wings of the Falcon‘ in 2017. Earlier this year saw the debut of her work ‘Sandstorm’ at the Haymarket Theatre and she has subsequently returned to collaborate with Lebanese-British actor, singer and songwriter Nadim Naaman on a new musical – ‘Broken Wings’.
The competition will be held at Shangri-La Hotel Doha on 15-17 April. Check out this link for more information about the musical event.