The “Gaza Sings” Choirs
The huge choir project run by the ESNCM in the Gaza Strip, known as “Gaza Sings”, plays a unique and vital role in the organization’s mission to bring music to every Palestinian home. This year there are 440 children – 92 boys and 348 girls – singing in the choirs, which are run in twelve middle schools around the Gaza Strip. Many schools in Palestine operate morning and afternoon sittings, so although the choirs operate in ten physical locations, two of the schools have two different student bodies. Auditions are held in each school for children between 5th and 8th grade to join the choirs. Four coaches from the ESNCM cadre - Ibrahim al-Najjar, Mahmoud Shaqlya, Mohammad Zahir and Sherine Zidan - train the choirs twice a week for an hour and a half each time. For special events there is one joint rehearsal with all the choirs before concerts which include all the choirs singing together. Overall the reaction of family, students and audiences to the project has been overwhelmingly positive, and many of the choir members have continued to sing with the choirs after their transition to high school. Several choir students have also gone on to join the ESNCM Gaza branch as regular students to learn instruments.
The schools are:
- Al-Ma’mouniyyeh Girls’ Junior High School in Eastern Gaza (Morning and Afternoon sittings)
- Gaza New Elementary Boys’ School in Eastern Gaza
- Al-Shati Preparatory Girls’ School in al-Shati camp in Western Gaza (morning and afternoon sittings)
- Al-Zaytoun Preparatory School for Girls, Western Gaza
- Kingdom of Bahrain Boys’ Junior High School, Western Gaza.
- Al-Manara Joint School, central Gaza
- Deir al-Balah Girls’ Preparatory school, Deir al-Balah camp.
- Dalghazi Preparatory Girls’ School, Maghazi Camp
- Girls’ School of Hope, Khan Younis
- Al-Madinah Al-Munawwarah Preparatory School for Girls, Rafah