Gardenia Choir - كورال غاردينيا

Choir Biography:

Gardenia Choir is a group of Professional Syrian Musicians & Singing Women who work together to promote the values of peace and social forgiveness within the war-ravaged Syrian society by performing diverse musical works with both artistic and humanitarian goals.

Gardenia Choir is the first female polyphonic choir in Syria and the region. It was established by Opera Singer “GHADA HARB” and Harp Musician “SAFANA BAQLEH” who are currently living in Damascus. The choir includes a group of professional Syrian women in the field of choral singing and playing of various musical instruments. Most of them are holders of scientific or literary university Degrees.

The choir is conducted and trained by Maestro “GHADA HARB” an opera singer who graduated from the Higher Institute of Music in Damascus in 1999. She is an expert in conducting and training Choirs, as well as her experience in music teaching. “SAFANA BAQLEH” the Harp musician graduate from the Higher Institute of Music in Damascus in 2008 is also the administrator of the choir. She has composed many of the choir arrangements that fit in with a female Choir. She also has a great experience in the field of playing music and choral singing.

Projects and Concerts:
• 2016 May: Classical Concert at the Opera House_ Damascus\Syria
Many classical pieces were performed of Alto and Soprano harmonies, as will as arranging some pieces to fit a female choir.
• 2016 May: Classical Concert at the Opera House_ Alsuweidah\Syria
• 2016 October: Cartoon Series Songs Theme at the Opera House_ Damascus\Syria
Many of the Cartoon Series Songs theme were chosen and arranged for a choir performance, these cartoons were famous in the 80s & 90s of the past century. Many of the Arab people memories them by heart. These songs proved to collect the memories and feelings of the Syrian people as it contains within the music and lyrics, many of the true deep humanitarian ethic.
• 2017 March: (Sorrowful Mother / Stabat Mater) by the Italian composer Pergolesi
• 2018 February: Bridal Folk Songs, a project sponsored by UN, UNESCO and supported by FLANDERS and EUROPE INTERGRATION FOREIGN AFFAIRS (AUSTRIA)_ Damascus\Syria
This program was prepared within the Intangible Cultural Heritage Preservation Program in Syria. The program includes a collection of traditional songs about wedding traditions in Syria from all Syrian regions and races, arranged in a new special way to fit a choir.
• 2018 February: Bridal Folk Songs_ Beirut\Lebanon
• 2018: Recording of the Bridal Folk Songs, sponsored by MAWRED CULTURE RESOURCE_ Damascus\Syria.
• 2019 March: ChoirFest_ Dubai\United Arab Emirates
Winner of 2 prizes; Best Women Choir and Best Regional Choir
• 2019 July: Classical Concert at Opera House_ Damascus\Syria
First time performed Classical in Syria by Brahms, Mendelssohn and others
• 2019: “TANAGHUM” Project, sponsored by United Nations Development Program (UNDP)_ Syria
Establishing a choir in the Sahnaya area of Damascus countryside, which includes all societal groups, including expatriates and residents of all religious affiliation, in order to enhance social cohesion and civil peace in the region.
• 2019: “Women who Loved God” Project Grant from the Arab Culture Fund (AFAQ)
Aims to collect, document and compose a group of Sufism poems by Sufism poets and arrange them to a polyphonic choir harmonies for women. To be accompanied by musical instruments in order to record the project in a studio for a musical album.

Conductor: Ghada Harb
Conductor Biography:

• Graduate of the Higher Institute of Music (Damascus Syria 1999) specialized in classical singing and playing flute instrument
• Continued her higher studies in opera singing for four years under the supervision of Syrian opera singer Arax Shikijian.
• Instructor of Classical Singing at the Higher Institute of Music.
• Instructor of group singing, Chamber Choir at the Higher Institute of Music.
• Instructor and trainer of choral and classical singing for Music Education of M.A. degree classes at Damascus University since 2014.
• Participated with the National Symphony Orchestra as a solo singer in many concerts led by Salhi Al-Wadi, Misak Bagboudrian and Andrea Maalouly.
• Performed several solo singing concerts, accompanied by pianist Dr. Ghazwan Al-Zarkali, Maestro Misak Bagboudrian and Professor Fadi Jebeeli.
• Soprano singer in the "Chamber Choir” of the Higher Institute of Music between (2001-2014).
• Assisting the Russian expert "Victor Babenko" in leading and training the students' choir at the Higher Institute of Music (2004-2011).
• Participated as a solo singer with the main Choir of the Higher Institute of Music (Choir El-Taleb) and the symphony orchestra in the most important choral works such as Beethoven's 9th Symphony, Mozart Requiem and Fauré, and the Stabet Mater for Dvořák.
• Held many concerts as a Solo opera singer in several Syrian cities.

Founding Date: 2016-02-01
Choir Category: Age: Adult (18 and above)
Choir Category: Voices: Female
Choir Category: Size: Chamber Choir (10-20 voices)
Choir category: Level: Professional Choir (singers earn a living from the choir)
Contact person: Ghada Harb & Safana Baqleh
the Higher Institute of Music _ Umayyad Square_ Damascus-Syria

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