13-18 Age Category
Irene Huang (Canada)
Irene Huang is a grade 11 student at the Cardinal Carter Academy for the Arts, where her favorite subjects are music and literature. At age four, she started piano studies with Mr. Wang-Fu Chan and violin studies with Mrs. Yvonne Hou and Mr. Alec Hou. Irene received her ARCT First Class Honours with Distinction in both piano (2018) and violin (2022). She is currently a full scholarship student at the Phil and Eli Taylor Academy of the Royal Conservatory of Music, under the tutelage of Dr. Michael Berkovsky (piano) and Dr. Conrad Chow (violin). In 2019, Irene joined the Toronto Symphony Youth Orchestra (TSYO) as a violinist and played with the group for two years. She is currently the pianist in TSYO’s 2022-23 season. Irene has participated in numerous competitions and received scholarships and first-place awards from Kiwanis, North York, CCC, YIP’s Music Festivals, Unionville Music Competition, and the International Music Festival and Competition.
Machakos Boys Choir (Kenya)
Machakos School was inspired to use an international platform to magnify the importance of peace through their melodious voices and tunes. The Pitching Peace Youth Music Challenge provided an opportunity for the School’s Boys Choir to use a universal language (music), in which the soul understands and craves with same affinity as peace. The choir members wanted to express their joint perspective that disarmament and the Sustainable Development Goals are co-joined by the thread of peace that holds us together. “When the arms (hands) are held together they leave no room for arms (weapons) to harm,” Maxwell Mulinge, Teacher at the Machakos School.
Nareg Kechichian (Lebanon)
Nareg Kechichian is a 2nd year student at the Holy Spirit University of Kaslik (USEK). Nareg has been taking piano classes since the age of 7 at Hamaskayin Art School. Nareg expresses that he has always had a passion for writing and creating his own music, inspiring him to enter the Pitching Peace Youth Music Challenge. .
19-24 Age Category
Kelly Lena and Moggie Uruhimae (Solomon Islands)
Kelly Lena is an artist, composer, and singer from the Solomon Islands. Kelly has recently graduated from the Solomon Islands National University (SINU) and Australia Pasific Training Coalition (APTC) under the study of tourism and hospitality and has worked as a producer for multiple songs.
Moggie Uruhimae is an artist and song writer from the Solomon Islands. After studying at Solomon Islands National University, Moggie has created a studio in his apartment to record vocals and craft musical pieces.
Dancan, Kachydee, Malika & Tania (Kenya)
GirlBand is comprised of Malika, Tania and Kachydee, and managed by Dancan. The group was started in February 2022 with the aim of writing, producing, and performing songs that encourage, inspire, empower and educate young ladies to achieve their full potential. So far, the group has written and performed a number of songs and has made some progress in its mission.
Malika, Soprano and Mezzo, started her music career while she was in high school. She has recorded a number of songs ever since. She is special in her smooth falsetto and control of her runs. She is a good writer and composer.
Tania, Alto, started her music career immediately after joining college. She is in her final year in college and still pursuing her music career. Her vocals are strong and commanding, and very well controlled. She is also a good writer.
Kachydee, Soprano and High Tenor, started her pursuit in music at a very early age. She graduated from college in 2021 and is working towards her musical dreams. Her vocals are smooth and perfect in sentimentality, and very well controlled. Her timbre and tone is unique. She is also a song writer.
Dancan is a music director, producer, and manager of the group. While working in Elegant Music Africa Studios, he spotted the talent in the three band members and brought them together to make a team. He is a good composer and a music producer.
Yuzuki Osaki (Japan)
Yuzuki Osaki is a singer and a sound creator. As her graduation project, Yuzuki is researching on the effects that music has on people’s emotions and psychology. Yuzuki’s vision is to inspire people through her singing and music to tackle the multiple problems in the world today, and to appreciate the small blessings we have in our societies. Yuzuki Osaki was also the third-place winner of the “What If – Spesterra” Youth Video Challenge held by the #Youth4Disarmament Initiative in 2021, for her submission “Recovery of Damage” with fellow participant Misaki Teramoto.
25-29 Age Category
Percy Abainvihdan (Cameroon)
Percy Abainvihdan, a recent University Graduate, is a guitarist, song writer, and performer. He sings in English, French, and the Afrikaans. For over six years he has been using his musical talents to advocate for peace by writing about peace building and sustainable development. Percy has worked with other stakeholders in his country to contribute to their peace-building activities and efforts through his music. So far, he has been known for his own unique musical genre.
Sunita Daffeh (The Gambia)
Sunita Daffeh’s first experience with music was taking part in a children’s choir with her siblings. She discovered her passion for diplomacy and advocacy when studying International Relations and Politics at collegue, where she “fell in love with her cause and all it stands for.” After completing her studies, Sunita pursed a music career and won her first music competition - "Rising Star Africa, the Gambia edition." Afterwards, Sunita engaged in another project with MERCK FOUNDATION called MORE THAN A MOTHER. Sunita performs as an active gospel, inspirational singer and song writer and entered the Pitching Peace Youth Music Challenge to act as a positive voice for peace.
Raimi Rashidat A.K.A Rasha (Nigeria)
Raimi Rashidat is a self-taught artist who discovered her passion for music through her late dad's love for contemporary music. As a child, she has always been fascinated by music and how the world and emotions can be portrayed through it. She loves R’n’B, blues, hip hop, rap, afrobeat, and classical music. Rasha is also an advocate of Sexual and Reproductive Health and Rights and community development programmes.