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AUS choir Nassim Al Saba to perform in New York
American University of Sharjah (AUS) choir Nassim Al Saba will travel to New York next week to perform a series of Arabic and Western concerts. In preparation for this, the choir performed a send-off concert last night, March 26, at AUS. The concert included Arabic and Urdu secular and sacred pieces.
AUS community members turned up to support the choir as they prepared for their upcoming tour to New York City, April 2-9. The tour will include performances at Carnegie Hall, New York University, City University of New York and an interfaith concert at the First Unitarian Church in Brooklyn Heights, which will feature choral music from the three Abrahamic faiths: Islam, Judaism and Christianity.
"Normally, Arabic music is performed with one melody, and it is up to the performers to manifest artistry by performing within the context of that singular melody," said Dr. John Perkins, who teaches music and interdisciplinary courses at AUS and conducts several choirs. "Western, four-part, choral music consists of generally four different melodies making up a whole. This choral style has been applied to many different cultures across the globe. The synthesis of Arabic music with the choral genre attracts a wide base of listeners, and even enhances cultural aspects due to the nature of singing in four parts."
"We hope to promote the idea of peaceful co-existence by offering Arabic music through the Western choral genre. This music itself is emblematic of such harmony that is possible between cultures and religion," added Dr. Perkins.
Nassim Al Saba, the only Gulf-based Arabic choir performing Arabic choral (harmonic/polyphonic) music, was formed in 2010, as a response from music students at American University of Sharjah who wished to share their Arabic heritage and build cultural bridges with Arab and non-Arab countries. The choir hopes to promote the idea of peaceful co-existence by offering Arabic music through the Western choral genre.
The AUS choir recently placed second in the first-ever Adult Choir of the Year competition presented by The Score, a new series of international classical concerts and outreach music programs developed to enrich and deepen the classical music scene in Dubai.
Nassim Al Saba is part of the Performing Arts Program of the AUS College of Arts and Sciences. AUS students can complete a minor in music, with concentrations in piano and voice, as part of their undergraduate studies. They can also take music courses as electives.