On Thursday Nov. 3, 2016 I was invited to a classical concert that took place at Cinema Asmara. I went with my friends early so that we could get front seats. However, let alone the front seats, all the seats were full – the ground, first and second floor. We stood at the back and waited the concert to start.
Nimrod Tesfamichael, 10, from Dembe Sembel School appeared and sat by the piano. He showed the audience his talent by playing Allergo, by W.A Mozart. Following him, a number of young artists came to the stage respectively to play the piano, violin, saxophone, clarinet and to sing.
The classical concert was organized by the Sound of Oasis. The Sound of Oasis is a classical music concert project by a group of individuals supported by organizations interested to the development of music in Eritrea.
During the opening ceremony of the concert, the commissioner of Sport and Culture, Ambassador Zemede Tecle, said that “we should help the youth to identify their talent. We need to work hard to help them develop a profession.”
The Sound of Oasis provides a platform for young musicians to showcase their talents and achievements. The project aims to encourage young music students to excel; and also introduce other children to the genre of serious music and eventually attract them to study music.
Cinema Asmara is one of the many art deco of Asmara. Its interior specifically has an amazing beauty. “Please keep quite in order to listen to the music attentively,” the announcer said at her opening remarks. Only the music and the voice of the singers were heard then after; and of course a loud applause after every performance. The performers were nineteen in number; from ten to 26 years old.
“I was really amazed by the talent of Ilham Mohammed, 20, (vocal). She will be a star singer soon,” said a friend of mine after Ilham sang ‘ I’d Rather Go Blind’ by Etta Games.
The Sound of Oasis Project was initiated in 2011 by Ms. Alganesh Solomon and Mrs. Bissrat Dessalegn with a small group of piano students performing for their peers and family. Since the event had a positive influence both on the performers and the audience, the idea to perform to a larger audience was initiated. The first piano concert, sponsored by Alliance Française of Asmara was conducted in 2013.
The classical concert project is an ongoing project with a one year life-span actively working under the umbrella of the Eritrean Musicians’ Association (EMA) to discover, screen and train young talents.