Qatar German 2017 Year of Culture Concert: A Night of Wonder and Music

 18 Apr 2017 - 10:58

Qatar German 2017 Year of Culture Concert: A Night of Wonder and Music

The Peninsula

On April 8, at the the Fifty Fifty Concert, presented by the Doha Youth and Junior Choir with a visiting choir from Germany, the Magdeburg Knabenchor, hosted at the German International School of Doha, the audience experienced a magical musical extravaganza. The concert engaged each one of its audience, from music professionals to amateurs, in an experience so powerful that it was difficult to disregard the effect of the music. From the moment the doors opened, there was a feeling of heightened expectation in the audience, an excitement about what was to come, perhaps the preparation of the venue and the intent on the faces of the young singers had something to do with it. The place twinkled and sparkled, the ambiance of a school hall totally masked by clever lighting and backdrops. The evening had added stimulus with the presence of officials from the Qatar Museums Authority represented by Mohammed Nasser Al Othman and the German Ambassador H.E. Hans Udo Muzel who formally opened the concert.


From behind the audience rose this beautiful sound, and the Doha Youth Choir processed onto the stage singing a simple yet poignant Asalaam  Aleykum arranged by their Director Alena Pyne. The voices of the singers of DYC, crystal clear and in perfect harmony, carried the message of unity and cultural understanding directly to the hearts of the listeners.  Doha Youth Choir tackled songs from around the world in different languages and the variety of songs, touched on the universal message of music as a healer that brings communities and even religions together. Under the direction of the exceptionally talented Pyne’s hands, the singers, ranging from 11 to 18 years, sang softly, showing great vocal technique and control. 

These singers, according to Pyne, will travel to Latvia to perform with the National Choir School in Riga later this month where they will sing these and the rendition of Ah Ya Zein that is beautifully arranged by their Director – these young people will do Qatar proud.

Mohammed Nasser Al Othman, Director of Public and International Relations at Qatar Museums Authority also expressed his views on the event. "The Fifty Fifty concert was a beautiful evening, expressing musically the special ties between our two countries. The visiting Magdeburg Knabenchor gave a great concert of traditional German choral music.  Our own Doha Youth & Junior Choirs performed superbly in Arabic, Georgian, Latvian, German, Serbian and the Junior Choir's performance of the New Zealand war dance - the Haka - was delightful.  However the ethereal sound of the tuned glasses together with Doha Youth Choir's voices has remained with me ever since, it was remarkable,” said Al Othman. “We express our thanks to Alena Pyne and all who were involved for presenting such a fitting concert to celebrate our two countries. Qatar Museum Authority wishes the Doha Youth Choir 'Mabrook' as they prepare to represent Qatar in Latvia later this month."


The third group to perform on the night was  the Doha Junior Choir, a considerably younger choir, both in terms of the ages of the singers and experience, as this Choir was formed just under two years ago They gave another beautiful performance of simple songs culminating with a surprising New Zealand war dance and folk song.  The second half comprised the visiting choir Magdeburg Knabenchor who sang a very traditional German choral programme including young boy sopranos in their mix.  The choir ages spanned from 8 years to 39 years old.  The tenor and bass arranged songs were magnificent, their voices blended in perfect harmony  and  although there was some imprecision in the younger voices, they gave a great performance of German, French and Italian choral repertoire.   

The concert closed with Estonian Arvo Pärt’s Summer Waltz, performed by all the choirs, 100 voices on the stage, accompanied by some string players from Qatar Music Academy.  This was a fitting and joyous end to an outstanding concert. A musical extravaganza that made the crowd wishing for more…

This programme, according to Pyne would not have been possible if not for the support of  Millennium Hotel, Yamaha Fifty One East / FNAC, Saracen Community Initiative, German Embassy, Qatar Museums Authority, Goethe Institut, Radisson Blu Hotel Doha, German International School of Doha and Doha College, all of whose support was critical to the success of the concert.

But the stars of the show, were none other than the voices of the talented singers under the able guidance of a passionate yet committed leader like Pyne, who wishes to take the Doha Youth Choir to the epitome of success through music and cultural exchanges.