2024 Retreat Faculty and Staff

Faculty: The 2024 Retreat faculty are master level instructors and performers. Their perspectives bridge worldwide performance, academic scholarship, ground-breaking composition, and dedicated teaching.

Simon Shaheen -Artistic and Executive Director – `Ud and Bowed String Performance, Music Theory, Chamber Music
An acclaimed Arabic music performer, composer and educator, Shaheen tours worldwide as a soloist and with his ensembles, Qantara, and the Near Eastern Music Ensemble. His recordings (The Music of Mohamed Abd al-Wahhab, Turath, Taqasim, Saltanah, The Two Tenors and Qantara, and Blue Flame) have won him an international reputation as a leading Arab musician of his generation. A master instructor in performance and theory, Shaheen is a professor at Berklee College of Music. He conducts residencies and workshops at universities around the world.  https://www.facebook.com/SimonShaheenOfficial

Charbel Rouhana – `Ud Performance, Chamber Music
An accomplished performer on `ud, Charbel earned a BA in performance and an MA in musicology at the Holy Spirit University, Kaslik, Lebanon. He authored a three-volume book on `ud method, and teaches `ud at Kaslik University, In addition to performing around the world, Charbel is a highly regarded composer with several recordings, including his latest CD, Doux Zen. http://www.forwardmusic.net/charbel_rouhana_official_page.html

Ghada Ghanem – Voice Performance, Chamber Music
Ghada is a voice teacher and soprano who performs classical and modern Arabic as well as classical western music styles. She has a B.A. in Law from St. Joseph University in Lebanon and a Master’s in vocal performance from Rice University. She was a 1996 semi-finalist at the Metropolitan Opera National Council Auditions, and won an Encouragement Award from the Wagner Society. Ghada has performed widely with Simon Shaheen and the Near Eastern Music Ensemble in the US, Canada, Lebanon, and Abu Dhabi. She currently teaches voice online, and at the Continuing Education Center at the American University in Beirut. She has several albums to her name as well as “The Land of Singing,” a book on singing basics. Ghada is active in encouraging music in Lebanon, and had a 202? artist’s residency in her family’s home village of Saghbine. Instagram: @ghadaghanim, Facebook: https://www.facebook.com/ghadaghanemsinger

Najib Shaheen – `Ud Perfomance
Najib began performing `ud with his father Hikmat Shaheen orchestra in Haifa at the age of 12. After moving to the US in 1967, he played `ud with legendary vocalist Hanan in New York, and toured with her in Latin America. Najib has performed hundreds of concerts with Simon Shaheen as a core member of the Near East  Music Ensemble and Qantara. He has taught`ud and Arabic Music privately throughout his performing career. In 1985, Najib founded his studio for making & restoring vintage `uds, experimenting in bringing back the authentic classical Arabic sound. Since the founding of the Retreat, Najib has been an `ud instructor and lecturer on `ud maintenance. A talented chef, he is in charge of food at the Retreat and is a key member of the operations team. www.oudman.com.

layth

Layth Sidiq – Bowed String Performance, Music Theory,
Chamber Music
Layth Sidiq is the artistic director of the New York Arabic Orchestra. An award-winning violinist, composer and educator, Layth has toured the world and performed with major artists such as Simon Shaheen, Danilo Perez, Javier Limon, Jack Dejohnette, Tigran Hamasyan and others and performed in venues like the London Jazz Festival, Boston Symphony Hall,  WOMEX Expo, Montreal Jazz Festival, Carnegie Hall and more. He is featured on multiple award-winning albums and his first record Son of Tigris was premiered at the Montreal Jazz Festival in 2016. https://www.laythsidiqmusic.com

Wanees Zarour – Buzuq, `Ud, and Violin Performance,
Chamber Music
Born in Ramallah, Wanees has a Master’s Degree in Jazz Composition from DePaul University. A composer, educator and performer, Wanees trained in both Western and Middle Eastern musical traditions, He holds master classes, residencies and lectures at universities and educational institutions around the United States. In addition to directing the Middle East Music Ensemble at the University of Chicago, Wanees leads and composes for the Wanees Zarour Ensemble and East Loop, and co-directs the Chicago Immigrant Orchestra with guitarist Fareed Haque. He has been featured in major festivals in the United States, Europe and the Middle East. His newest album “Quarter to Midnight” features his compositions anchored in the maqam system and highlighting several Western and South American influences, as well as releases with East Loop, blending Maqam and Black-American music traditions. https://waneeszarour.com/

Naseem Alatrash – Cello and Bass Performance, Chamber Music
Naseem is a Grammy-nominated cellist, composer/educator. After studying at the Edward Said National Conservatory of Music, Alatrash was awarded a full scholarship to attend Berklee. He went on to achieve the highest honors for his cello performance. At Berklee, he studied with Eugene Friesen, Owen Young, Rob Thomas, and Simon Shaheen. He holds a Bachelor’s, Master’s, and Post-Master’s degree from Berklee. Currently touring as a soloist, Alatrash is also a member of multiple ensembles including the Global Messengers, and the Turtle Island Quartet. He has appeared a many international festivals including the Newport Jazz Festival, Monterey Jazz Festival, Lebanon’s Beiteddine Festival and Jordan’s Jerash Festival. Naseem is assistant professor of Cello and ensembles at Berklee College of Music. He also leads the Arab Music Ensemble at Tufts University, and directs the Global Folk Traditions Ensemble at Boston’s Longy School of Music. https://www.alatrashmusic.com/

Tony Barhoum – Qanun Performance, Chamber Music
Born in northern Palestine, Tony studied qanun and later won a Presidential Scholarship to attend Boston’s Berklee College of Music. Tony has shared the stage with an array of artists, standing shoulder to shoulder with icons including Simon Shaheen, and several Arab pop stars including George Wassouf, Shadi Jamil, and Tony Hanna. Tony has taught in music schools and currently teaches students privately from his current location in Valencia, Spain where he is studying for a Master’s from Berklee College. https://www.facebook.com/Barhoumkanun

Rami Abuolaya – Nay and Flute Performance
Rami is a Boston-based musician born and raised in Palestine, where he studied Arabic music at Al Kamandjati Music School, and later became an instructor in nay and flute. Rami has shared the stage with world-class musicians such as Titi Robin, Ramzi Aburedwan, Faraj Sulieman, and Ghalia Ben Ali. He has participated in renowned music festivals such as Eid Al Musica Festival and The Humanity Festival of Paris. Rami has made multiple television appearances on Palestine TV and performed on international tours in France, Germany, Belgium, Jordan, and more. Current musical activities include performances with local artists and music organizations such as Shelter Music Boston, Worcester Chamber Music Society, Center for Arabic Culture, Al Faris Foundation, and the Bethlehem Foundation. He also appears in concert with Simon Shaheen and area ensembles such as Boston’s Souq El Jum3a.

Iman

Dr. Iman Roushdy Hammady  – Arabic Diction for Vocalists
Iman has an extensive knowledge of Arabic Literature and film, and gave lectures and wrote academic articles on the subject. She earned her PhD in Medical Anthropology and Middle Eastern Studies from Harvard University. She taught Arabic language, diction, literature and film, and established Arabic Film Festivals and Series at Harvard University, MA, Drexel University and UPenn, PA, Emory University, GA, and the Arabic Music Retreat. In addition, she was the consultant and director of the Arabic Language Program of the School District of Philadelphia. Supported by Federal funding, she established a comprehensive linguistic and cultural program for the district, which included Arabic drama, music and film. Iman is versed in Classical and Modern Standard Arabic, in addition to a number of Arabic dialects and other foreign languages, and performs multi-lingual (simultaneous) translations, film subtitles, and script adaptations. Iman is a native speaker of Arabic, and was born in Cairo/Egypt.

tareq

Tareq Rantisi  – Percussion Performance
A native of Jerusalem, Tareq is Grammy-nominated world percussionist, composer, and educator. Initially self-taught, he went on to earn a bachelor’s degree as well as a Master’s Degree in Global Jazz from Berklee College of Music. He has expertise in Middle Eastern, jazz and other world styles and has performed with leading musicians around the world, including Simon Shaheen, Paul Winter, Glen Velez, and Bassam Saba. Alongside his musical performing career, Tareq has offered master classes, workshops, and private lessons throughout the world in collaboration with Boston College, Brandeis University, The Center for Arabic Culture, NAFDA, The Arabic Music Retreat, The Gaza Music School, Qattan Foundation, Al Kamandjâti Association, Kufiyyeh Center of Music, and the Yamaha Music School. www.tareqrantisi.com

Karim Nagi  – Percussion Performance
Karim is an Egyptian percussionist and teaching artist based in Chicago. He has authored several instructional videos for Arab percussion rhythms and instruments, and leads percussion workshops worldwide. His 2022 album “Huzam” features his original compositions. He is the producer of 19 annual sessions of the Arab Dance Seminar, and is currently on the Board of Directors of Chamber Music America. He combines his musical performance with public speaking on diversity and cultural advocacy, which can be seen in his latest TEDx Talk “The Tambourine, My Partner in Diplomacy and Disruption”. https://www.karimnagi.com

Staff:
Kay Hardy Campbell – Admin
istrative Director
Kay has served as the Retreat’s Administrative Director since co-founding the Retreat in 1997. An author, freelance writer, and long-time student of Arabic language and music, Kay has an MBA as well as BA and MA in Arabic and Middle Eastern studies. A former resident of Saudi Arabia, she writes about the Middle East for AramcoWorld Magazine, and researches and writes about the music and folk dance of the Arabian Peninsula. She plays `ud and violin.  www.kayhardycampbell.com

patricia

Patricia Auch –  Retreat Staff
A former elementary school teacher, Patricia’s career in Arabic dance spans thirty years. She has traveled nationally and internationally to study with master teachers and she was a founding member of Cassandra Shore’s acclaimed Jawaahir Dance Company. She currently dances and teaches in Seattle, where she also presents educational programs to students and community groups about Arabic music, dance, and culture. She is a rostered teaching artist with the Seattle Office of Arts and Culture as well as the Washington State Arts Commission. www.zulaika.net

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