Benefit Christmas Concerts Help Ayadina Center
|Professor Paul Meers conducts the choir
The Ayadina Association, a voluntary organization dedicated to community
development for the destitute of all religions, held two benefit Christmas
concerts on December 7 and 8 at Assembly Hall.
On December 7, the Ayadina Association Children's Choir and the International
College Senior Choir gave a joint performance of traditional French and
English Christmas songs. Later, they were joined by the AUB Choir and
Choral Society and the Ensemble Polyphonica to present ten Latin, French,
and English songs. All three choirs came together for the evening finale
in a heart-warming performance of all-time Christmas favorites, accompanied
by several instrumentalists on the flute, violin, cello, and piano.
The particularly rough weather on December 8 did not prevent a large audience
from attending Ayadina's second benefit concert the following evening.
The Notre Dame University Choir, which had won an international first
prize in Laval, Quebec, in 2007, offered the longest and most varied program
of the evening under the baton of conductor Father Khalil Rahme. This
beautiful segment of carols was preceded by a performance by the American
Community School High School Choir, directed by Jeremy Chapman.
The evening also featured the Children's Choir of the Baabda School for
the Blind and Deaf. Consisting of eleven blind children singers and three
blind instrumentalists, the choir was directed by blind violinist Gaby
Khalil, who received an honorary plaque from the Ayadina Association for
his group's performance.
Maya Najjar, who is the wife of AUB Dean George Najjar and is a prominent
member of the Ayadina Association, was deeply involved in the organization
of the two fundraising events. She described the combination of the six
different choirs in charity concerts on two consecutive evenings as "a
first of a kind pro-bono initiative that uses the arts as a tool for community
transformation." The concert proceeds went entirely to the Ayadina
Center for Fine and Performing Arts to benefit underprivileged children.