COBIS Music Festival returns in full harmony: Doha College hosts live and online event
In collaboration with the Council of British International Schools, Doha College hosted the COBIS Music Festival, the first live post-pandemic event with international participation, welcoming over 120 students from nine schools across three continents.
The hiatus did, however, bring two positive changes: it opened the way for an online section focused on composition, and for the live streaming of the awards presentation, followed by a performance of the Festival Anthem, performed by the students attending in person.
The three-day event gave the students participating in person the opportunity to perform in a range of solo and ensemble categories (including a brand-new Battle of the Bands category), take part in musical workshops, and explore unique sites in Doha.
The competition was honoured to welcome two internationally renowned, multifaceted music professionals - adjudicators Rob Johnston and Paul Barker. In addition to judging the live event, Rob conducted a very engaging workshop for all the participants, while composer Paul Barker listened to over 70 pieces that were entered in the four composition categories.
The overall winner of this year’s event was Rancheng Xu from the British School of Bahrain, who – aged just 10 – performed with breath-taking virtuosity and spell-binding ease. Play the video below to be enchanted by his exquisite performance of Chopin’s Polonaise in G sharp Minor.
Park Lane International School from the Czech Republic enjoyed great success at the event, winning no fewer than three categories, namely Vocal Lower School Classical, Vocal Lower School Contemporary and the newly launched Battle of the Bands, and earning a special commendation as well. Their teachers were obviously ecstatic!
The category winners are listed below (a special mention to Moritz Reininghaus, who won the Lower School Piano Solo category back in 2019, not knowing he would turn 17 by the time he would return – and win again!)
Rancheng XuBritish School of Bahrain
Lower School Instrumental Award Winner
Moritz ReininghausBritish School in the Netherlands
Upper School Instrumental Award Winner
Simon MaresPark Lane International School
Lower School Vocal Classical Award Winner
Park Lane International School
Lower School Vocal Contemporary Award Winner
Adebola OyelamiChildren's International School
Upper School Vocal Classical Award Winner
British International School of Riyadh
Upper School Vocal Contemporary Award Winner
Doha CollegeInstrumental Ensemble of the Year
St. Saviour's School Ikoyi
Choir of the Year
Park Lane International SchoolBattle of the Bands Award Winner
Lower School Rising Star
Oribi IbisikiUpper School Rising Star
COBIS Young Musician of the Year 2023
Instrumental Ensemble of the Year
Anne McChesney, Runner Up
Gyu Ryang Lee, Runner Up
Taline Majzoub, Special Commendation
Helen Kozlowski, Special Commendation
Gabriel Haddon, Rising Star
Another special mention goes to the other “Rising Star,” namely Oribi Ibisiki from the Children’s International School Lagos, who raised the roof with his exhilarating, max-energy drumming. He thrilled the audiences with three mind-blowing solos in the individual, instrumental ensemble and battle of the bands categories (although unrecognisable as his chorister alter ego in the choir category!).
|Lower School Instrumental Winner||Rancheng Xu|
|Lower School Instrumental Runner Up||Anne McChesney|
|Lower School Instrumental Commended||Daniel Pukhau|
|Upper School Instrumental Winner||Moritz Reininghaus|
|Upper School Instrumental Runner Up||Gyu Ryang Lee|
|Upper School Instrumental Commended||Xanxue (Sandy) Wang|
|Lower School Vocal Classical Winner||Simon Mares|
|Lower School Vocal Classical Commended||Taline Majzoub|
|Lower School Vocal Contemporary Winner||Emilija Bagdasarjan|
|Lower School Vocal Contemporary Commended||Barbora Jurikova|
|Upper School Vocal Classical Winner||Adebola Oyelami|
|Upper School Vocal Contemporary Winner||Aiyla Iqbal|
|Upper School Vocal Contemporary Commended||Zainal Zainalabdeen|
|Upper School Vocal Contemporary Commended||Helen Kowlowski|
|Instrumental Ensemble of the Year||Doha College|
|Choir of the Year||
St. Saviour’s School Ikoyi
|Battle of the Bands Winner||Park Lane International School|
|Lower School Rising Star||Gabriel Haddon|
|Upper School Rising Star||Oribi Ibisiki|
|Lower School Free Composition||Alex Whitten, Compass International School Doha|
|Lower School Songwriting Composition||Riley Franz Casinillo, Haileybury Astana|
|Upper School Free Composition||Sarah Al-Hajj, Dubai English Speaking College|
|Upper School Film Composition||Valentin Joudrier, British School in the Netherlands|
|Upper School Electronic Dance Composition||Santiago Granada, Colegio Anglo Colombiano|
|Upper School Songwriting Composition||Michael Xie, Wycombe Abbey School Changzhou|
|Young Composer of the Year||Sarah Al-Hajj, Dubai English Speaking College|
|COBIS Young Musician of the Year 2023||
Ms Steph Gomaa, Director of Music at Doha College, extends enormous gratitude to COBIS for fostering camaraderie and cultural exchange through this incredible event, and the Westin Hotel Doha for their colossal work with logistics, visas, rooming and so much more.
It was an absolute joy to see schools come together again for a competition that celebrated the power of music to unite and inspire. The memories and friendships formed here in Doha will stay with the young musicians forever. We eagerly anticipate their future endeavors and the beautiful melodies they will keep on bringing to our lives.