Posted on February 26, 2019

‘Qatar Primary School Choir of the Year’ (QPSCoY) competition returned with a bang for its third edition and lined up 15 choirs from schools in Doha, Mesaieed, Al Wakra and Dukhan. Organised by Doha College and held at the InterContinental Hotel The City over three days, the contest aimed to develop choral singing among children in Qatar by offering a platform to meet and learn from peers, perform to a wide audience, and enjoy a dose of healthy competition.

QPSCoY launched in 2017 and sparked huge interest in choral singing: new choirs formed especially for the competition, and existing choirs attracted great numbers of new members. The standards have increased year on year, to heights that seemed unattainable a few years ago.

One of the highlights of the three-day event was the largest choral workshop ever held in the country, involving over 700 children singing together. They were thrilled with the new techniques, beats and tunes learned under the inspiring leadership of Greg Beardsell (pictured), a world-renown choral expert who flew from the UK especially for the event. Greg was the lead adjudicator of the competition, joined on the panel by Sonja Park (world-class musician and co-founder of ‘Moving Young Artists,’ “Qatar National Music Competition’ and ‘International Chamber Music Concerts Series for Peace and Unity’) 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).

The third edition of Doha College 2 [].jpgDana Alfardan, 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 joined the choral workshop to record “Wings of the Falcon” with all 700 children singing the rousing anthem together.

Mark Young, conductor of winners Descant from Dukhan English School – himself awarded as best conductor – spoke about his choir’s achievement: "Descant comprises 47 children from Years 5 and 6, representing a diverse cross-section of the school community, who have a passion for singing and enjoy performing. Music is a popular subject, hobby and passion for many of the children, who perform at high standards both in vocal and instrumental competitions and examinations. The children invested their hearts and as a result, the many tears that were shed reflected just how much this recognition meant to every one. It has been a privilege for our children to perform alongside other school choirs and be involved in such an outstanding musical experience."

DC Principal Dr Steffen Sommer expressed his delight at the success of QPSCoY 2019: “Yet again, Doha College has contributed to generating and promoting excellence in Qatar. The musical talent, precision of coaching and musicianship displayed made it clear that the competition has now reached a level which will, almost by default, lead to more searching challenges in the future and, with it, generate yet a higher level of performance. Having created such a self-perpetuating culture of excellence is a noteworthy contribution to the vision for Qatar 2030.”

QPSCoY would like to thank sponsors InterContinental Hotel The City, 51 East Music Square, Fnac Qatar and Symphony Events and Productions.

The third edition of Doha College 3 [].jpg

Participating choirs and results:

American Community School

American School of Doha Dragon Voice Squad

Doha British School – Ain Khaled

Doha British School – Al Wakra

Doha College Cantabile

Doha College Fortes (Stagecraft Award)

Doha College Prestos

Doha English Speaking School Cantabile

Doha English Speaking School Voice Squad (Third Place)

Dukhan English School Descant (First Place and Conductor Award – Mark Young)

GEMS Wellington School

King’s College Concert Choir (Second Place and Voice Skills Award)

Mesaieed International School Primary Choir

Sherborne Qatar Prep School Choir (Repertoire Award)

Swiss International School Qatar