Esol Education News
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By: Bahaa Daou, UCA Music Teacher and Arabic Choir Director
The UCA choir was launched in 2008, when sitting director Walter Day asked me, then an Elementary Music Teacher, to form a choir in order to participate in a local competition. What started with 67 students from Grades 3 through 6 has, over the last eight years, become the cornerstone of the UCA Visual and Performing Arts department and a second family for many of our students.
Over the past eight years the UCA Arabic Choir has participated in many local, regional and national competitions where they have been the recipients of numerous awards. One of the highlights of the 2015-2016 school year was the choir’s first place finish at the Lebanese Youth School Choir Competition held at UNESCO in Beirut. “Eight years later many of our original choir members were seniors or ninth graders and they had to leave choir since they have official exams. With a large percentage of students being new to choir, the experienced students and I had to provide significant support and maintain our high expectations for performances. Our students’ effort, combined with their commitment, made the transition easy. Their efforts and dedication lead our choir ranking first in Lebanon, out of more than 50 school choirs participating.
Nadine Abi Akar from Grade 10 remembers the first day she entered the Music Room where rehearsal meets are held, “I was so shy and afraid of what was going to be a new page in my life. As years passed, the UCA Choir family made me feel at home, providing every member with support, love, and friendship. We won many awards and celebrated many successes in various competitions as one family. Being part of this made me proud of what we achieved and made me believe in what anyone can do with practice and determination. I am honored to be a part of this family that will always be an inseparable portion of my heart and memory.”