On 5 and 6 October, the German Embassy in Riyadh organised an A Capella Workshop with three singers and music teachers from Germany. Gregor Praetorius, Steve Kuechler and Johann Beger from Halle, Germany, studied music education and, in their free time, perform as the A Capella Group “Die Kinder vom See” (the children of the lake). Coming from a part of Germany with a long tradition of choral music they were eager to share their skills with interested young singers from Riyadh.
During the two-day workshop which took place at the Goethe institute in Riyadh, they familiarized the participants, who were all self-taught Saudi music enthusiast, with the techniques of A Capella singing. A Capella singing relies only on the voice and no instruments, making it particularly challenging. In their workshop the trainers rehearsed a number of pieces which the group would sing together with solo parts for all participants. In addition, they explained techniques such as so-called circle songs which help a larger group to perform live improvisation or a device called loop-station which allows to record yourself and play it along while you sing so that one person can actually sing polyphonically.
On 7 October, the participants showed their newly acquired skills at a small concert in the residence of the German Embassy. Proud of what the participants had learnt over the last two days, Gregor, one of the trainers, said it was a privilege to be part of the opening of the Saudi music scene and one of the participants explained, that until now they were all self-taught and it was extraordinary to have a professional teacher for the workshop. Already on 6 October, “Die Kinder vom See” gave a public concert at the Goethe Institute mesmerising a large audience of music lovers from Riyadh.