AUS hosts first live concert since pandemic

AUS performers onstage during the May 9 concert (HALA NASAR PHOTO)

By Hala Nasar

UNIVERSITY CITY, SHARJAH – American University of Sharjah’s Performing Arts Department hosted an end-of-year concert on May 9 consisting of several classical and contemporary musical performances.

The Soireé Musicale, which translates to “a musical evening” in French, featured Applied Voice students, the AUS Choir, and the Arabic Music Ensemble.

“All of the groups come together for a very diverse show. It’s usually very entertaining because it’s not the same music throughout the whole night,” said Assistant Professor Albert Nasser Agha. 

Some AUS alumni also performed alongside students. “I always look forward to the beginning of the performance because we play an instrumental, heavy, meditative piece of classical Arabic music. It’s like a blank sheet of paper that starts the night,” said Agha.

Two nights before the concert, they test the sound and microphones to ensure everything goes smoothly. Then, they do a final dress rehearsal a night before the show, he said.

Furat Abdeljaber, a solo and duet singer and an ensemble and choir performer, said she had to consistently practice her posture, breathing, and pitch for the solo piece. 

“It’s a lot of work, but it surely pays off,” she added.

Noor Sherazi, bass player for the ensemble and choir, said that practicing with a group of people and seeing everyone’s work come together is the best part of music. 

Sherazi said that the preparation process during Ramadan timings made practice “more condensed” than usual, which both the ensemble and choir had to adjust to.

“It [music] feels larger than life. It has the opportunity to bring so much joy and culture to people,” she added.