ChoirFest Middle East: Watch choruses from around the Arab world stand together in harmony

The annual festival released two videos to bring a smile to the public

If you ever attended ChoirFest Middle East, then you will know that the highlight of the annual music festival is the grand finale.

The week-long event concludes with local ensembles and regional guest choirs coming together for an epic mass music performance full of choral standards and new takes of modern pop tracks.

Music is essential to our mental balance, particularly in difficult times

Shelley Frost, ChoirFest Middle East co-founder

What makes the moment special is not just the amazing talent on display, but the camaraderie and chemistry shared by artists whose craft often lacks the recognition it deserves.

With this year's festival cancelled due to the coronavirus pandemic, event organisers managed to celebrate this enthusiastic artistic community through the release of two virtual performances, featuring 200 singers from more than 28 nationalities. All of the singers live in the Arab world.

The videos begin with the virtual choir members introducing themselves before they get into song.

The junior choirs perform a radiant version of It's Alright by the vintage soul group The Impressions. While, the senior group took on Brave by US singer-songwriter Sara Bareilles.

"It was important for us as a choral community that, regardless of the challenges, we find a way to live this moment together,” festival co-founder Shelley Frost tells The National.

"There is enormous power in standing together, even virtually, and raising our voices in harmony."

Some of the choirs involved in both videos include Abu Dhabi's Blue Fever and The British School Al Khubairat, Dubai's Chorus Omnis and Dubai Chamber Choir, while some of the regional groups joining in are the all-female Syrian group, Gardenia Choir, Morocco's Chorale Alboughaz and the Anqoud Choir from Lebanon.

Until the return of ChoirFest Middle East, Frost hopes these videos will cheer up viewers during these challenging times.

“The message is that music is essential to our well-being and mental balance. Particularly in difficult times. It is also a source of great joy and expression,” she says. "Our hope is that these performances give the community at large as much joy in witnessing as we did in their creation.”

Updated: July 16, 2020 01:30 PM


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