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Dozan wa Awtar concerts to make Christmas season ‘shine with joy’

By Jean-Claude Elias - Dec 13,2016 - Last updated at Dec 14,2016

Dozan wa Awtar choir members pose for a group photo during a rehearsal session in Amman last week (Photo by Jean-Claude Elias)

AMMAN — It is not every day that a Jordanian choir reaps two gold medals at an international competition in which more than 12,000 singers from all over the world participated. 

It happened in Sochi, Russia, at the 2016 World Choir Games, and the choir is Dozan wa Awtar vocal ensemble. The medals were awarded to the choir in the categories of “Music of Spirit and Faith” and “Folklore with Accompaniment”.

Now, the 30-member choir is again at work, preparing for a series of Christmas concerts, titled “Shine with Joy”, that will take place at the Haya Cultural Center in Amman, from December 16 to 19, with one concert scheduled every day.

Conductor Nedy Muna took a break at a rehearsal last week to explain to The Jordan Times that this year’s programme will include mainly Arabic songs, and a few in English. 

Many of the pieces are adapted from traditional English carols, with some of the Arabic lyrics written by Ayoub Tams. 

The audience will be treated to “Laylat Eid”, “Winter Wonderland”, “Angels We Have Heard on High” and other well-known songs. 

There will even be an African number, “Turn the World Around”, that the ensemble will interpret, adding a zest of pleasant choreography to their performance.

Dozan wa Awtar has been touring Jordan and singing all over the country, in remote places where people do not usually have the opportunity to attend high quality live musical events. 

“This year, Jordan has achieved so much on a global stage from sports to film, arts and academia. Our global contribution to world culture and society is also recognised in music, after Jordan’s participation in the world choir games in Russia,” Muna said. 

“We are extremely proud to have taken Jordan’s musical heritage out to the world, and we are excited to be performing back in our beloved home country again, in front of our generous and loyal fans,” he added.

David Stansbury, who acts as the choir’s public relations office added: “This will be their first major series of domestic concerts since representing Jordan in the world choir games in Russia this summer.”

At a rehearsal session attended by The Jordan Times last week, the singers displayed first-class technical skills, smart choice of songs, uplifting spirit and the one ingredient that is the essence of any musical act: genuine soul. 

There was also a sense of unity among the 30 members and their conductor that makes all the difference.

 

Dozan wa Awtar was established in Amman by Shireen Abu Khader several years ago. The musician now resides outside the country but continues to closely follow the choir’s activities.

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