A summer of chorals
August 1th 2013
Workshop with the Maestro Alfonso Caiani and participation to the "Palestine Choral Festival"
The choirs are very important for the Custody of the Holy Land and the Magnificat. Choral singing educates the harmony of being together in a nice way, which is organized and rewarding. Also the choirs have their public and social dimension which are expressed in concerts and liturgies. The Magnicat has two choirs, which fall in their educational assignments: the choir Yasmeen ("Jasmine") formed by teenage girls, "white voices", and the Yasmeen Buds composed of the younger children. To these is added the Choir of the Custody of the Holy Land , formed by adults. In the main liturgical celebrations or special occasions the choirs of the Holy Land (i.e. the choirs of the Magnificat, the Custody and parish choirs) merge to form a larger choir, sometimes even with the participation of foreign choirs.
Given the importance of the choirs in the activities of the Magnificat and the Custody of the Holy Land, it is reserved for them a very thorough training. In the academic year 2012-2013, the Custody and the Yasmeen choirs have been entrusted to the Lithuanian teacher Lina Pudziuvelyte , who has remained one year in Jerusalem as a volunteer, working with great passion and talent. After her departure these choirs went back under the tuiton of Hania Sabbara, the director of the school.
The choirs sing well if the directors are good. To foster this, the Magnificat organized from 15th to 20th June a seminar exclusively for choir directors. For this purpose was invited the master Alfonso Caiani, from France. The master Caiani was the director of the children's choir of La Scala in Milan and professor of the Academy with the same name, then director of the choir of the Fenice in Venice and currently director of the choir del "Thèâtre du Capitole" of Toulouse, which is the second largest opera house in France. The seminar was attended by some of the older pupils of the Magnificat: Khoulud Sabbara , Yacoub Gazzawi and Nadine Hani Shaheen and teachers Kreitem Younan and Miriam. In addition to the same students, who made the "guinea pigs" in the exercises, also joined some chorister girls from the Yasmeen choir. With great devotion and sympathy Alfonso Caiani has deepened especially the technical aspects of vocal and choral methods for a proper direction, by providing the Magnificat with the same expertise which he imparts to the great European musical institutions.
During August the Choir of London organized the first "Palestine Choral Festival" which was also attended by the choirs of the Magnificat and the Custody of the Holy Land. It was a major event for the quantity and quality of the initiatives: more than thirty events in one week including concerts, seminars, lectures, multiple activities and parties with extraordinary choirs from England, France, Germany and Australia (about twenty six) who joined the Palestinian groups, bringing music and joy to Jerusalem, Bethlehem, Nazareth, Ramallah and in many villages of Palestine, including some refugee camps. The Magnificat hosted the seminar/concert in the church of Saint Saviour on August 28th and was invited to perform in the closing night of the festival, in Ramallah on Saturday 31th. The Magnificat participate in this event with the children of the Yasmeen Buds Choir, directed by Miriam Younan accompanied on the keyboards by Hani Kreitem. A special honor was reserved for Hadeel Sabat a Magnificat student who accompanied with the flute the Choir of London receiving a flattering recognition from the public and from the festival director Michael Stevens, with thunderous applauses.