One of the most awarded young musicians was Prama Yudhistira, in Year 10 at Doha College, who received no less than five awards: First Prize in the Piano – 18 and under category, Qatar Philharmonic Orchestra prize, best Chopin performance award, Indonesian Ambassador's Award and the Swiss Ambassador's Award.
The competition, which saw children and adults competing in 17 categories over an entire week, was founded by ‘Moving Young Artists’ (MYA) to promote the transformative powers of music, the value of creativity through playing music and an appreciation of cultural diversity. The categories were incredibly diverse, including a mix of Arabic and Western genres and instruments, and the winning performances were of exceptionally high standards.
Doha College’s youngest competitor was Jason Phipps, who had not yet turned 6 at the time of the QNMC; he was awarded First Prize in the Solo Strings, 11 and under category – where the age limit was nearly double his actual age. He started violin lessons at Doha College at age 3, and now studies with Musiqaa’s Angela Leite. His little sister Hannah, now in Pre-School, has also started lessons at Musiqaa and has ‘big’ Jason to serve as an inspiration.
Sonja Park, founder of the QNMC, said about the competition: “Ever since I arrived in Qatar, establishing this competition was one of my goals. To find new talents, to support, to encourage and to give them platforms to grow, to learn and to shine!! It was overwhelming in a positive way to see so many talents in Qatar, and I am positive it will only grow more and more!”
The DC students who took part in QNMC are trained externally at academies and music schools such as the International Centre for Music, Qatar Music Academy, IAID, DC-based Musiqaa and others, in addition to the music curriculum taught in school. For them to have walked away with such a collection of accolades is a testimony to the quality of their external tuition as well as the musical environment fostered at Doha College. The school encourages music education through its formal music tuition curriculum, its Enhanced Curriculum activities such as choirs and orchestras, its partnership with the Musiqaa Academy, its ‘Qatar Primary School Choir of the Year’ competition, and the involvement of its students, staff and parents in a multitude of musical pursuits like community orchestras, choirs and ensembles.