In line with its vision that aims to foster a creative and vibrant musical culture, the ESNCM focuses on continuously developing its academic programs. It thus decided to strengthen its partnerships with local and international communities, striving to refine its students’ talents and provide them with opportunities to communicate with international institutions and specialized teachers and professors worldwide. Such strategic relations have made possible that lessons and specialized workshops are given to advanced students who study voice and various instruments, with a special emphasis on strings, jazz, and improvisation. Among these important connections are partnerships with Geneva University of Music, Carolina University, Berklee College of Music, and Friends of the Edward Said National Conservatory of Music UK–PalMusic. Furthermore, the Conservatory has entered into a distinguished partnership with the Lebanese singer Rima Khcheich who has given advanced-level lessons in Arabic music to help establish the Department of Arabic Singing during the past academic year. In addition, the Conservatory has offered music lessons with the distinguished Russian professor Marina Solvavia and the well-known English composer Julian Broughton.
It is worth mentioning here that these partnerships included the developing of individual lesson programs for Conservatory students in order to nurture them and build up and invest into their capabilities, despite the prevailing dire conditions in the country and the ongoing closures due to the spread of the Covid-19 pandemic. Moreover, these partnerships have enriched musical experiences and enabled around 250 students to benefit from the expertise of distinguished musicians from reputable international conservatories via distance learning.
The ESNCM organized summer programs in all its branches. Opening its doors for students who wished to participate in summer activities, it offered specialized musical training for group participants under the supervision of Conservatory teachers in the Eastern music ensemble Takht and the Jerusalem Children’s Orchestra as well as the Conservatory Orchestra. The various offerings further included summer courses of individual lessons on a range of instruments within the Anamel and Natatif" programs; about 300 students from the various branches participated with excellent results under these challenging circumstances.
The launching of the young composer program entitled Music is Life, as part of Gaza’s summer offering, deserves a special mentioning. This program aims to develop the abilities of outstanding Conservatory students, particularly through theory courses, by teaching them the basics of musical composition. Forming a nucleus for creating future composers among young people in the Gaza Strip, Music is Life introduces students to various techniques of musical composition, a skill that is very rare in Gaza, and furthers a culture of modern composition and music arranging.
It should be mentioned here as well that the weekly performances for students were - and still are - an integral part of Conservatory students’ educational weeks; they culminate in students taking exams. The branches also held graduation ceremonies during which they distributed certificates of proficiency, according to the Conservatory’s levels, to all students who passed their instrumental exams. Furthermore, a series of music presentations were given in schools, Finally, the ESNCM is proud to highlight the achievements of our talented pianist Mark Kawas who is the youngest student to be awarded a full scholarship in the United Kingdom, supported by a large contribution from the Al-Jabsha family. The Conservatory wishes to extend its congratulations to Mark and expresses its gratitude to his generous supporters!