Seven Qatar Foundation (QF) schools participated in the second annual music Summer Serenades concert, including, for the first time, students with autism from Renad Academy, a statement said Tuesday.

The concert featured students from Qatar Academy Doha, Qatar Academy Msheireb, Qatar Academy Al Khor, Qatar Academy Al Wakra, Awsaj Academy, and Qatar Music Academy, all part of QF's Pre-University Education.

The evening featured a mix of Arabic and non-Arabic musical pieces. A special highlight was the performance by Arab Takht, a band from Qatar Music Academy (QMA), which featured instruments such as the Qanun, Violin, Oud, Nai, and Arabic percussion.

A standout moment of the evening was the collaborative performance of the song “How Sweet It Is to Live in Goodness and Peace”, which brought together over 200 singers from across the seven schools, accompanied by QMA’s Middle Takht.

Taj Shalghin, a 16-year-old Qanun student at QMA, shared her experience, saying: “I felt so alive and thrilled on stage! The energy from the crowd was amazing and everything about the night was enjoyable and incredible. It was truly a special experience for me.”

She reflected on the extensive preparation for the concert, stating: “I spent so much time practicing, ensuring I knew every note perfectly. It was a lot of hard work, but it was completely worth it once I got on stage."

Shalghin also highlighted the invaluable support she received, noting that the teachers and staff were incredibly supportive, and boosted her confidence with their feedback and encouragement, saying: “Being part of the Qatar Foundation community feels like being in a big, encouraging family."

Expressing her enthusiasm for future performances, she said: "I would love to participate in more concerts in the future because it's such a thrilling experience. The energy from the crowd, the joy of performing, and the opportunity to share my passion with others make it all so exciting. Plus, it's a chance to keep growing as a musician and create unforgettable memories."

Thajba Amro al-Shahwani, a 10-year-old student at Qatar Academy Al Khor, said: "I was nervous when I sang my solo part, but as soon as we sang together with the rest of the schools, I felt so happy.”

Seeing her friends and family in the audience also had a profound impact on her. "I felt happy, nervous, and excited as moms and dads were cheering for us. Their support made me feel even more confident on stage. I would love to participate in more concerts in the future because I love singing with others,” she added.

Mireille El Feghaly, a music teacher at Renad Academy, said: "I am incredibly proud of my Renad Academy students for their debut stage performance,” she said. “They delivered an outstanding percussion piece to music from Charlie Chaplin's films. Their hard work and commitment were brilliantly evident as they maintained perfect rhythm throughout the performance. It truly showcased their dedication and passion for music."
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