Fine-tuning: Students of 126 schools sing their hearts out at a citywide competition

The grand finale of Friday's winners will be held on November 2.

Photo Ayesha Mir/Hifza Jillani October 11, 2013
Khillat Zehra from Dawood Public School is singing Lal Meri Pat at the secondary level of the Obhartey Sitarey at Royal Rodale. PHOTO: AYESHA MIR/EXPRESS

KARACHI: Students of around 126 schools gathered on Friday to sing their hearts out — and get educated along the way.

Obhartey Sitarey, an interschool singing competition that aims to 'Sing to Educate', is a fundraiser, as well as, a singing platform for amateur singers who are still studying at schools. But for those who heard the performers on Friday afternoon, their talents were no less than professionals.

The project was a brainchild of Biba Basir, a senior member of the Supporters of The Citizen Foundation, which has tried to gather well over 400 children from different schools to explore their voices.

How to succeed

At the pre-final event on Friday, eight teams of finalists spent the entire day trying to make it to the final showdown. In the senior category for O' Level schools, students from Beaconhouse School System, The City School, Happy Home School, St Joseph's College and Froebel's International School were shortlisted. Among A' Level schools, Beaconhouse and The City School students' were shortlisted along with Karachi Grammar School and St Patrick's College.

Hall manager and TCF member Saniya Choudri told The Express Tribune the competition includes four levels in which the finalists are gauged. "There is a primary level, including all students of grade three to six, secondary level has children from grade seven to nine, senior level has all O' level students, while the college level comprises of A' level students."

In each level, around 80 teams from different schools were assessed. Three members of each team sang a patriotic song, a pop song and a ghazal. "Ghazal is the hardest, which is why it is only for senior and college levels," Choudri explained.

Stars on stage

The students showed immense confidence as they took the stage - with old numbers, such as 'Aj jaane ki zidd na karo', competing with popular ones, such as Atif Aslam's 'Kuch is tarah'.

After the O' levels schools had performed, the winners from last year took over the stage. Mashad Sheheryar from Southshore School mesmerised the crowd with Kailash Kher's 'Teri Deewani', which was followed by a number by runner-up Kashaf Zaidi of Karachi Grammar School.

The jury

The jury members were excited to share the energy of these students. "Every musical event is important," claimed Azra Mohyeddin, wife of artist Zia Mohyeddin. As one of the jury members, she was quite enthusiastic about the youngsters coming up with their talents. "Our society is engrossed in so much already, it's great to get our minds off all the sadness and groove up some music," she beamed. "Music is a therapy of its own kind."

Singer Tina Sani, who was also on the jury, claimed God has evenly spread talent across the world.  "Pakistan has a lot of talent, which is sadly not promoted as such, this platform is the right way to go," she said. Apart from these two womn, singers Afshan Ahmed and Ustad Rashid were also on the jury.

And the winners are...

Primary-Winning: City School Junior Branch's Muheet Irfan and Rahim Irfan

Primary-Runner-up: St Joseph's Convent School's Shanzeh Shehzad and Laiba Arif

Secondary-Winning: Dawood Public School's Falak Jaffar and Khillat Zehra

Secondary-Runner-up: Delsol The School's Rohaan Raza and Aashir Wasti

O level-Winning: Beaconhouse School System- Gulshan's Umar Wasim, Kinza Nusrat, Sheryar Ahmed

O level-Runner-up: Happy Home High- Gulshan's Anus, Maham Siddiqui, Warisha Sheikh

A level-Winning: City School PAF Chapter's Sofia Naureen, Mohammad Waseem, Osaid Tabraiz,

A level-Runners-up: Beaconhouse School System- North Nazimabad's Hamza Masood, Awais Yousuf, Saad Usmani

Published in The Express Tribune, October 12th, 2013.


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