2023 Arabic Music Retreat Program and Schedule

Arabic Music Retreat Program and Schedule – August 12-19, 2023 – In-person at Mount Holyoke College

The 2023 Retreat features our well-known master faculty including Simon Shaheen, Charbel Rouhana, Rima Khcheich, Najib Shaheen, Layth Sidiq, Michael Ibrahim, Wanees Zarour, Firas Zreik, Dr Iman Roushdy-Hammady, Tareq Rantisi, and Karim Nagi. You can learn more about our faculty at this link: https://arabicmusicretreat.org/2023-retreat-faculty-and-staff/

Register for the Retreat here: https://arabicmusicretreat.org/__register/
Pay your Retreat fee here: https://arabicmusicretreat.org/2023-fees-and-payment-links/

2023 Arabic Music Retreat Program

All events are listed in Eastern Daylight (New York) time. The program is subject to change.

Saturday, August 12, 2023

2:00 PM – Check-in and Optional Retreat Orientation Meeting and Campus Walking Tour
During the check-in period we will lead a walking tour around campus. We’ll also have one or two brief orientation sessions for participants who are new to the Retreat. Attendance at the orientation session is not mandatory, and if you can’t make it, we will get you up to speed when you arrive.

6:30 PM – Dinner, followed by welcome remarks by Simon Shaheen and an introduction sessionAll Participants and Faculty

Daily Schedule – Sunday August 13 to Friday August 18, 2023

9:00 – 10:00 AM – Ear Training with Simon Shaheen – All Participants – Introduction to a maqam (musical mode or scale), singing sequences set to traditional rhythms.

10:00 – 11:00 AM – Theory and ImprovisationAll Participants – Participants will be assigned to one of the following classes:

  • Theory with Laith Sidiq – Lecture exploring topics of maqam, musical form, performance practice, and history.  Tailored to beginning and intermediate participants, as well as advanced musicians who are new to Arabic music.
  • Maqam and Improvisation with Simon Shaheen – Workshop on advanced improvisation and maqam topics. Tailored to advanced musicians who are familiar with maqamaat.

11:10 AM – 12:20 PM – Group Class SessionsAll Participants – Group classes will include sectional classes, master classes led by Simon Shaheen, and other events such as lecture/demonstrations.

Note on Simon Shaheen’s Master Class: The class will cover style, intonation, ornamentation, tempo, right and left hand, and other technical points. Each day, three advanced volunteer participants will perform a prepared solo piece. Although only a few participants will be invited to perform, observing the class will be a great learning experience for everyone. All participants are welcome and encouraged to observe. If you would like to perform as a soloist in the master class, you can sign up when you register for the Retreat.

12:30 – 1:30 pm – Lunch

1:30 – 4:30 PM – Private LessonsAll Participants
Note: each participant chooses one instrument to focus on during the Retreat for their private lessons and ensemble meetings. Each participant will take three private lessons of a half hour in length during the week.
We offer instruction in the following instruments:

  • `Ud
  • Buzuq
  • Bowed strings – violin, viola, cello, bass
  • Voice
  • Nay
  • Qanun
  • Percussion – riqq (Arabic tambourine), frame drum, darbukah
  • Other – if you wish to participate on another instrument, please indicate that in the registration form.

1:30 – 2:10 PM – Arabic Diction Group Class led by Dr. Iman Roushdy-Hammady. This class is for all vocalists who are taking voice private lessons. Other participants interested in Arabic diction are also welcome to attend.

2:40 – 3:40 PM – `Ud Maintenance and Music Concepts Discussion led by Najib Shaheen – All participants welcome

3:00 – 3:30 PM – Arabic Diction Office Hour led by Dr. Iman Roushdy-Hammady. Open time available to those with questions about Arabic diction.

3:45 – 4:30 PM – Percussion Group MeetingsParticipants focusing on percussion as their primary instrument.

4:30 – 6:30 PM – Chamber Group MeetingsAll Participants – Every participant will be assigned to an ensemble. Each ensemble will learn and rehearse two selections to be performed in the final recital on Friday evening.

6:45 – 7:45 PM – Dinner

Evening Activities:

Our evening activities will include open mics, jam sessions, a special memorial event honoring the late William Shaheen, and a concert by the participant chamber groups and faculty. The memorial service and concert will be live-streamed.

Saturday, August 19, 2023

9:00 – 10:30 AM – Continental Breakfast

10:30 AM – 12:30 PM – Final Group Class with Simon ShaheenAll Participants

12:30 – 1:30 PM – Lunch

9:00 AM – 4:00 PM – Checkout and departure (note: Willits Hallowell residents must check out by 11am, Dorm residents must check out by 4:00 pm)

To register -fill out the registration form and pay the fee. A deposit of $100 is due by June 1, 2023. The deadline for final payment is July 15, 2023. No refunds after July 25, 2023 under any circumstances.
Note: New participants must also send an audition (see registration form for details).
Registration Form: https://arabicmusicretreat.org/__register/
Payment Link: https://arabicmusicretreat.org/2023-fees-and-payment-links/
The final deadline for registration and fee payment is July 15, 2023. No refunds will be given after July 25, 2023 under any circumstances.

If you have questions about the program please contact: arabicmusicretreat@gmail.com