More than 200 students from Dubai and Qatar are celebrating today after the ‘Wellington Charity Single’, their cover of The Climb by Miley Cyrus, debuted at the top of the UAE download and UK soundtrack charts on iTunes within hours of being released.

This single marks the debut publicly released song for charity by the GEMS Wellington school group.

The project’s aim is to generate funds for Harmony House, an orphanage located in Gurgaon, India. All proceeds from the sales are directed towards supporting homeless children through this charitable cause.

This initiative is a joint effort with West End Stage, a theatre summer school based in the UK and GEMS Wellington schools across the two countries.

Through this collaboration, students participating in the charity single received guidance and training from West End Stage professionals.

Elated students

The students were elated at the song's chart position. Aerin Thatcher, Year 10 student at GEMS Wellington Academy – Silicon Oasis, said: “I’m so excited to be part of this amazing project. It’s my first year at the school, and the opportunities you get at the school are insane – I don’t think this happens at any other school in Dubai, so it was amazing. This morning, we found out the song was number one on the soundtrack charts on iTunes, it is just an incredible experience.”

The experience provided them with valuable insights into the process of recording a single at a professional level within the music industry.

Similarly, Aoife O’Connor, Year 8 student at GEMS Wellington International School, said: “It’s been very rewarding and inspiring to help children in India through music, and I’m so grateful to be able to impact children’s lives in Harmony House.”

Every download is a donation to support

Maryssa O’Connor, senior vice-president, education at GEMS Education and principal/CEO of GEMS Wellington International School, said: “Topping the charts is an incredible achievement for our students, staff, parents, and everyone who has supported this initiative so far. Furthermore, every download is a donation to support the important work of Harmony House.

“At GEMS Wellington schools in the UAE and Qatar, we pride ourselves on providing dynamic and innovative platforms for our students to develop and display their talents. This initiative not only allows our young people to learn from experts and perform to industry standards but also encourages them to think and act as empathetic global citizens – supporting children in other parts of the world who don’t have access to the opportunities they do.

“I am immensely proud of the hard work, passion, and commitment that all the students and staff have put into making this a success.”

The recording of the single took place in January 2024 at the recording studio located at GEMS Wellington Academy – Silicon Oasis. A team consisting of five music producers and vocal specialists travelled from London to Dubai to oversee the recording and editing of the track alongside the students.

Additionally, the members went to Qatar to offer a similar experience to students there.

The entire process of recording and editing spanned 15 days.

Jodie Quirke, GEMS Wellington director of performing arts, said: “Every year at GEMS Wellington schools, we aim to enhance and elevate our students’ performing arts experiences with ambitious projects. Thanks to our partnership with West End Stage, this year’s charity single is our boldest initiative yet.

“Our ambition was to get the single into the charts, and we have smashed that target and debuted at number one in the iTunes soundtrack chart in the UK. It is a fantastic track for a very special cause, and it deserves to be played on radio stations across the region. With every download, we are making a difference to the children of Harmony House.”

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