Posted on November 08, 2017

Ms Ilenia Torsello, the Woodwind Specialist who designed the new logo, explained how she went through many options and after months of different attempts and team consultations, they agreed on the design that now adorns their new centre. “Musiqaa means, of course, music in Arabic; the M represents the stave in motion, to suggest our fluidity, and the Q is a stylised treble clef.

There is also a conductor’s baton to suggest that the students can rely on our steady guidance and leadership. It was like a dream come true, how something that was in my mind and stemmed from my hands is now visible to everybody and will build the brand Musiqaa.”A 30-strong group of Doha College students participated in the Qatar National Music Competition, which took place recently in Katara; quite astonishingly, more than half

Dr Steffen Sommers, Principal of Doha College, spoke of his endorsement of the academyAcademy: “I am delighted to support Musiqaa, Chantelle and her talented team of musicians. They provide an amazing teaching and learning experience for our students, which enhances our formal music department. Establishing academies Academies under the Doha College banner has been a useful way of developing complementary services to support our students’ learning and develop their skills.” Chantelle Laubscher, Head of Musiqaa, added: “Right from the start, I was blown away by the passion that the students have shown for learning music. We are fortunate to have secured incredibly talented teachers, and it is’s very rewarding to see how our children progress in an art and a skill that transcends civilisations.”

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Doha College has always been a steadfast supporter of the arts and particularly music. Its students have played in concerts alongside Qatar Philharmonic Orchestra and have been also involved with the ‘Moving Young Artists’ Programme. Doha College held the first ‘Qatar Primary School Choir of the Year’ competition earlier this year, and is proud to support Musiqaa in its endeavoursof them received awards and special jury prizes. This number excludes the 50 members of the Doha College “Fortes” Choir, who also won First Prize in their category.

One of the most awarded young musicians was Prama Yudhistira, in Year 10 at Doha College, who received no less than five awards: First Prize in the Piano – 18 and under category, Qatar Philharmonic Orchestra prize, best Chopin performance award, Indonesian Ambassador's Award and the Swiss Ambassador's Award. Prama explains how music became such a great part of his life: “One thing that stood out to me most when I was little was a piece I heard, called Piano Concerto No.1 by Tchaikovsky, and I thought it was wonderful. I listened to the piece over and over again and never got bored, so I decided to start practising piano with the goal of playing that piece. The thing I enjoy most about music is the fact that it is a good way to express yourself while enjoying it at the same time.”

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The competition, which saw children and adults competing in 17 categories over an entire week, was founded by ‘Moving Young Artists’ (MYA) to promote the transformative powers of music, the value of creativity through playing music and an appreciation of cultural diversity. The categories were incredibly diverse, including a mix of Arabic and Western genres and instruments, and the winning performances were of exceptionally high standards. Doha College’s youngest competitor was Jason Phipps, who had not yet turned 6 at the time of the QNMC; he was awarded First Prize in the Solo Strings, 11 and under category – where the age limit was nearly double his actual age. He started violin lessons at Doha College at age 3, and now studies with Musiqaa’s Angela Leite. His little sister Hannah, now in Pre-School, has also started lessons at Musiqaa and has ‘big’ Jason to serve as an inspiration.

Sonja Park, founder of the QNMC, said about the competition: “Ever since I arrived in Qatar, establishing this competition was one of my goals. To find new talents, to support, to encourage and to give them platforms to grow, to learn and to shine!!  It was overwhelming in a positive way to see so many talents in Qatar, and I am positive it will only grow more and more!”

The Doha College students who took part in QNMC are trained externally at academies and music schools such as the International Centre for Music, Qatar Music Academy, DC-based Musiqaa and others, in addition to the music curriculum taught in school. For them to have walked away with such a collection of accolades is a testimony to the quality of their external tuition as well as the musical environment fostered at Doha College. The school encourages music education through its formal music tuition curriculum, its Enhanced Curriculum activities such as choirs and orchestras, its partnership with the Musiqaa Academy, its ‘Qatar Primary School Choir of the Year’ competition, and the involvement of its students, staff and parents in a multitude of musical pursuits like community orchestras, choirs and ensembles.

A number of selected winners, including Prama, will perform a concert at the Sheikh Faisal bin Qassim Al Thani Museum (the Amphitheatre) this Friday at 6 pm.