After two and a half years of planning, the Choir of London Trust Bursary Scheme began in earnest in August 2008 with the arrival of the first four recipients of the new awards: Adam Rafidi, Naseem Al-Atrash, Lina Sleibi and Nirvan Abou Shoushah (pictured above at the Albert Hall, from left to right).

Designed to provide talented young performers between the ages of 12 and 18 with the kinds of inspiring educational opportunities that are difficult to come by in the Occupied Territories, the annual scheme aims to complement the groundbreaking work of the various music education organisations with which the Choir of London has worked in Palestine since 2004.  The programme in 2008 was supported by the British Council and the Qattan Foundation, and was operated in conjunction with a number of British partner organisations, including the Gloucester Academy of Music, the National Chamber Music Course, and the Royal Academy of Music.

During their stay in the UK, the students followed a tailor-made musical programme featuring a residential instrumental course, individual teaching at the Royal Academy of Music in London, and opportunities to experience top-quality professional music in London (including a visit to the Royal Albert Hall to watch Daniel Barenboim conducting the West-Eastern Divan Orchestra).  With the help of a specialist education team, they also explored musical composition, working over several days to create their own brand new work. 

One of the highlights of the fortnight was a special recital at London’s Wigmore Hall, for which the students were joined by members of the Choir of London and Orchestra, including guest soloists Allan Clayton (tenor), Jane Mitchell (flute) and Stewart French (guitar). The event was introduced by Samuel West, who has twice toured to the West Bank as a member of the Choir of London, and last year directed performances of The Magic Flute in Ramallah, Bethlehem and Jerusalem.

Choir of London Bursary Scheme 2008

To see photographs taken during the fortnight, please click here. You can read an article about the Bursary Scheme here.

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The Choir of London Trust is a UK Registered Charity no. 1112757.

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