New Promising Ensembles
As part of its educational mission and to expand its range of ensembles, the Conservatory established Al-Mathhabjiyeh, a group named after the choirs that support a solo singer, known in the past as the madhhabjiyeh. It features strong voices with an abundant vocal range. As the choir’s establishment coincided with the holy month of Ramadan, it presented evening performances titled ‘Ramadan Jana’ that were led by the Conservatory’s Suhail Khoury and Hani Asaad, with the participation of distinguished artist Amer Hlehel, in both Al-Zahra Restaurant and the garden of the National Conservatory of Music. The proceeds of the evening were allocated to support student scholarships and develop Arab music groups in Jerusalem.
Furthermore, the ensemble titled Psalm Singers of the Nativity was established in Bethlehem. Byzantine in character, it brings together distinguished voices from students of the Conservatory and the choirs of churches in Bethlehem. Ibrahim Khair recited a group of Good Friday hymns at the Melkite Catholic Church of Our Lady of the Shepherds, which was captured in a remarkable video that was promoted widely on social media platforms.
Among the main activities launched yearly by the Conservatory is Layali Al-Quds (Jerusalem Nights), held in cooperation with Yabous Cultural Center. This year’s program slogan, “Jerusalem is a beacon of cultural radiance,” emphasized the fundamental role that the city of Jerusalem plays as a never-ending source of inspiration and a center that does not accept marginalization. The festival presented a series of performances of the play The Philosopher Al-Bouiji by Caravan Theater with the actress Mona Al-Basha in the garden of the Conservatory. The program also included a segment of street rhythms, presented by the percussion trio that features Issa Mishaal, Elias Arbid, and Muhammad Al-Salaymeh, together with Singer Miral Ayyad. A classical music concert was performed in Yabous Cultural Center’s Marrakesh Hall featuring a flute-oboe duet, the ensemble Maqamat Al-Quds gave a special performance at the Palestinian National Theater‒Al-Hakawati, and the festival was concluded by Banat Al-Quds (Daughters of Jerusalem), an ensemble led by Suhail Khoury in a wonderful concert, creating a distinguished ambience.