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AUK Commemorates its 10th Anniversary with a Grand Musical Concert

The American University of Kuwait, which is currently celebrating its 10th Anniversary, held a grand concert at the Hashemi II Ballroom in Radisson Blu Hotel, Salwa, on Wednesday evening. Performers included faculty and advanced students, along with leading professionals of the community.

Over twenty-one pieces were offered with diverse instrumentation, including trumpets, tuba, guitars, clarinet, flute, piano, violins and cellos. Among the highlights of the evening were songs by the professional singers Anna Karadimitrova and Oana Severin, and AUKs own "Three Tenors:" students Nader Abdulla, Yousef Al-Muzairai, and Sulaiman Al-Banai who roused the crowd. AUK student guitarists Khaled Abdel Ghaffar and Anjan Sethi and cellist Abdulwahab Al-Sultan charmed the audience with their contributions. Former AUK students also took part, as Salem Al-Mathkour dazzled on "Czardas" for violin and flautist Sara Soliman enchanted with her duets. Faculty Stephanie Cheng and professionals Agnieszka Fajga and Dagmara Galas all gave stellar performances.

During her opening speech, Chair of the Department of Music and Drama, Dr. Lisa Urkevich, remarked on the growth of the program over these ten years: "We started with really nothing. No facilities, no instruments. Now we have one of the most substantial university Music Departments in the entire Arabian Peninsula. Thousands of students have passed through our classes, which we believe have enriched their lives. We owe thanks to our administration, faculty, staff, and all the embassies, organizations, and ministries who have collaborated with us over the years and supported our endeavors."

AUK President Nizar Hamzeh confirmed the significance of the performing arts, "I believe an important reason for the University's success over this past decade has been our commitment to providing students not only with the technical competency in professional fields but also critical thinking, sound values, strong leadership, intellectual curiosity, integrity, civic responsibility and above all mutual cooperation.

The American University of Kuwait believes that the goal of higher education institutions is to foster talented young people who will contribute to their greater communities. Although universities may differ in their capacities and the spheres in which they aim to exert their efforts, we must all strive to promote and reward young talented students, so that they are able to see beyond their own individual needs, wants and goals."

The AUK Department of Music and Drama offers a wide range of opportunities for both beginning and advanced students within the context of a liberal arts education. The faculty of talented professionals work closely with students to prepare them for campus concerts and plays, and to academically challenge them in courses on performing arts. The department fosters artistic proficiency, cultural appreciation, a sense of community, and a lifelong commitment to the arts.

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Released by the Office of Public Affairs on the 1st April 2014

Photography by the Office of Public Affairs (C) 2014

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