Doha College recently hosted the COBIS Music Festival 2023, in partnership with the Council of British International Schools (COBIS).
The three-day festival attracted over 120 students aged nine to 17 from nine schools across three continents. Additionally, the composition section of the event saw 27 participating schools join online.
The competition was adjudicated by internationally renowned, multifaceted music professionals Rob Johnston and Paul Barker. Johnston also conducted a workshop for all the participants, while composer Barker listened to over 70 pieces submitted across the four composition categories.
The event's highlight was the exceptional performance of pianist Rancheng Xu from the British School of Bahrain. At the age of just 10, he captivated the audience with a breathtakingly virtuosic rendition of a Frederic Chopin piece, earning the prestigious title of the overall winner.
Park Lane International School from the Czech Republic emerged as another standout, triumphing in 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.
Hosts Doha College won the Instrumental Ensemble category, had two runners-up in the Lower and Upper School instrumental categories, two commendations as well as one of the Rising Star awards.
Steph Gomaa, director of music at Doha College, expressed her profound gratitude to COBIS for fostering camaraderie and cultural exchange through this event, and also to the Westin Hotel Doha for their support in accommodating the overseas participants and supporting them in many other ways.
The winners: Lower School Instrumental - Rancheng Xu (British School of Bahrain), Upper School Instrumental - Moritz Reininghaus (British School in the Netherlands), Lower School Vocal Classical - Simon Mares (Park Lane International School, Czechia), Lower School Vocal Contemporary - Emilija Bagdasarjan (Park Lane International School, Czechia), Upper School Vocal Classical - Adebola Oyelami (Children’s International School, Nigeria), Upper School Vocal Contemporary- Aiyla Iqbal (British International School of Riyadh).
Instrumental Ensemble of the Year - Doha College (Qatar), Choir of the Year - St Saviour’s School Ikoyi (Nigeria), Battle of the Bands - Park Lane International School (Czechia), Young Composer of the Year - Sarah al-Hajj, Dubai English Speaking College (UAE), COBIS Young Musician of the Year 2023-Rancheng Xu (British School of Bahrain).