An Egyptian orchestra – not just an all women group but also all are blind
2017-10-11 String Instrument News
We may have seen talented blind musicians who had been great performers but to see an all women orchestra composed of blind performers is another thing. The Al Nour Wal Amal (Light and Hope) is an Egyptian orchestra based in Cairo, Egypt that has 34 female blind performers. All of these remarkable musicians are designated in different sections such as the woodwinds section, the bass section, the string section and the percussion section. Apparently, the orchestra does not need a conductor and a music stand with music sheets on it. Obviously, they won’t appreciate them.
Since they cannot read music while playing, they have to memorize their parts for all the musical pieces that they have in their repertoire. Usually, they have approximately 45 pieces in their repertoire. They have them all prepared so they can easily pull them out whenever they are scheduled to perform. They have packed up some remarkable works such as the compositions of an Egyptian composer Ahmed Aboeleid and the all-time favorite classical works of Brahms, Tchaikovsky, Beethoven, Strauss, Mozart and other famous European classical music.
The Al Nour Wal Amal is an association in which their goal is to provide blind females equal opportunities and rights in the society. That is why offer free literacy and education, as well as vocational training and the association, will also help them to get a job that is suitable for them. The programs that they created will aid in discovering their potentials, talents, abilities, and skills just like what they have in this particular orchestra. This program will improve and increase their physical and psychological health, eventually developing their identities and confidence as individual members of the society.
Today the association takes care of 300 women including girls. Their program called the music institute orchestra had a starting number of 15 girls which later increased after several years and became a full orchestra. This program along with the orchestra eventually became famous until today. Several skillful conductors provide them with specialized training, despite the fact that they do not need conductors during a performance. The late Maestro Ahmed Abul-Eid developed several techniques and methods that would suit their training and preparation for their concerts considering that sight reading and the presence of a conductor is not a necessity for these talented blind musicians.