Grazia joins Expo 2020's National Day orchestra

Grazia Middle East Editor in Chief Alison Tay gets a cameo role in the UAE's National Day celebrations
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Grazia joins Expo 2020's National Day orchestra
Alison Tay becomes the first Editor in Chief to be directed by the first Emirati female film director Nayla Al Khaja

I’ve been searching for a way to bring music back into my life in a real and meaningful way, but performing in Expo 2020’s National Day orchestra was far beyond my expectations of how it would happen.

As Editor in Chief of Grazia Middle East, I’m more likely to be found sitting on the front row at Milan Fashion Week than on a piano stool. However, music’s my first love. I had my first music lesson at the age of four, and when I was growing up, I had the privilege of playing in orchestras at the Royal Albert Hall and the Royal Festival Hall in London, but as performance venues go, taking to the stage on the desert plains of Al Qudra will forever remain seared in the memory of even the most accomplished musician.

It was such an emotional moment for me, not only to find myself playing in an orchestra again, but as part of such an important moment for the UAE, serving as a moving metaphor for the spirit of Expo 2020. And being on set and witnessing the first Emirati film director, Nayla Al Khaja - Grazia Girl Gang Ambassador for Film -  in her element is more inspirational than you could ever imagine.

Listening to the stories from musicians from all over the world reminded me what rich and diverse talents we have walking among us, who have chosen to make their life in the emirate. And as for me? Having followed my dream to Dubai, sitting at a baby grand piano, and spending the day with my first love, made me realise that I had to make the journey all the way to the desert to find my way home.

Photos: Supplied