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The Comenian

The student news site of Moravian University

The Comenian

Student Spotlight: Amal Shokr’24

Photo by Catherine Forrester. Amal Shork 24 standing by the Tubular bells.
Photo by Catherine Forrester. Amal Shork ’24 standing by the Tubular bells.

Amal Shokr ‘24 is a senior undergraduate at Moravian University majoring in music composition and minoring in German. She plays piano as well as mallet percussion and enjoys being part of different ensembles at Moravian, such as Choir, Percussion Ensemble, Baroque Ensemble, Jazz Fusion, and the Wind Ensemble. She studies piano under Dr. Arianna Goldina, artist-lecturer in piano at Moravian and composition under Dr. Larry Lipkis, a professor of music and composer-in-residence at Moravian; she has also taken mallet percussion lessons under Steve Mathiesen, artist-lecturer in percussion. 

This past summer, her composition for flute and piano was featured in the New Composers’ Concert in Bar Harbor, Maine, during its music festival. Her piece written for solo vibraphone was also accepted in the Allentown Symphony Orchestra’s competition for new composers. This is her second time being selected to have her composition featured in the ASO’s New Composers’ Concert. She is also a member of the Phi Iota Sigma Foreign Language Honor Society for German. In addition, Amal won the Betty Aierstock Moore prize, awarded to the most outstanding pianist in the second semester of their Junior year. She has taken film scoring lessons under Benjamin Goldberg at Moravian and hopes to score music for film or television in the future. Amal has played piano in many local musicals as well and enjoys accompanying other musicians.

 What is your proudest accomplishment at Moravian?

Having my own composition, Synapse, performed by the University Wind Ensemble. I’m really proud of myself for all the work that I put into it and I’m really happy with how it turned out. Aside from my Senior Project that I am currently working on, it was a big challenge to write for a large ensemble!

Why did you choose to come to Moravian?

I wanted to come to Moravian because of the scholarship they generously offered me, and it was close to home!

What are your hobbies and passions?

I love to improvise on the piano and make collages. I also love watching movies and TV, and listening to music of course! I hope to compose music for film in the future.

What inspired you to want to compose music for movies? 

I grew up watching a lot of movies, and I started to realize a part of the reason why I loved them so much was because of the music behind them. I started to realize how important music was to the film’s mood and I became obsessed with images and music coming together! I also grew up watching musicals and would (and still do) sing all of the tunes and memorize the show! Somehow, I think you feel more, in some ways, when you watch a movie with an original score or soundtrack, because of the stories that go along with it. I think I want to write music for film because of the stories, and how they move us and resonate to us through the support of music.

What is your major? Why did you pick it?

I wanted to pursue something that involved music, and I started writing music in middle school. I wanted to either perform or write music for film specifically. However, there were many times that I wanted to change my major to performance, but I ended up sticking with composition because no matter how draining, time-consuming, and difficult it is, it’s extremely fulfilling and even helps me learn things about myself! It also allows me to use my imagination and creativity!

What’s a little-known fact about you?

I like to dance and love watching the World Cup. I’ve also lived in Egypt for part of my childhood!

Favorite professor? Favorite class?

Zach Martin, who happens to be the professor for my favorite class, Improvisation!

What is your favorite thing to eat on campus?

The popcorn chicken and mac and cheese at Clewell Dining Hall.

Where do you go to study or do homework?

Most of the time, I’ll be in a practice room or the student lounge in Brethren House on South Campus.

 Anything else you would like to add?

Come out to the premiere of my Senior Project, Music and Memory, on April 23rd, at 7:30 in Foy Concert Hall!

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