Charity single by GEMS Wellington students rockets straight to the top of UAE and UK download charts

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  • All proceeds from downloads go to Harmony House orphanage in India
  • Song professionally recorded by 200 students from seven GEMS schools

Dubai: More than 200 talented students from seven GEMS Education schools in the UAE and Qatar are celebrating 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.

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The single is raising funds for Harmony House, an orphanage in Gurgaon, India, with all proceeds going to the charity for homeless children.

The project is in collaboration with West End Stage, a UK-based theatre summer school, with which the GEMS Wellington schools have enjoyed a long-term partnership to provide industry experiences to their performing arts students.


Thanks to this partnership, students involved in the charity single were mentored and coached by West End Stage, gaining invaluable experience of what it’s like to record a professional music industry-level single.

Maryssa O’Connor, Senior Vice President – Education at GEMS Education and Principal/CEO of GEMS Wellington International School, said: “I am beyond proud of the success of the Wellington Charity Single. 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.

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The project is in collaboration with West End Stage, a UK-based theatre summer school.

“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 GEMS Wellington cluster of schools in the UAE and Qatar includes GEMS Wellington International School, GEMS Wellington Academy – Al Khail, GEMS Wellington Academy – Silicon Oasis, Jumeirah College, GEMS Jumeirah Primary School, GEMS Royal Dubai School, and GEMS Wellington School – Qatar.

The single was recorded in January 2024, in the state-of the-art recording studio at GEMS Wellington Academy – Silicon Oasis.

A team of five music producers and singing specialists travelled from London to Dubai to record and edit the track with the students, in addition to travelling to Qatar to provide the same experience for students there.

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The process of recording and editing the track took a total of 15 days. The single is the GEMS Wellington school group’s first publicly available song for charity.

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.

Aerin Thatcher, Year 10 student at GEMS Wellington Academy – Silicon Oasis: “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.”

Aoife O’Connor, Year 8 student at GEMS Wellington International School: “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.”

The GEMS Wellington cluster of British curriculum schools is widely recognised for its prowess in performing arts. GEMS Wellington Academy – Silicon Oasis is the GEMS Centre of Excellence for Performing Arts and Theatre Technology and offers unparalleled experiences and facilities for students in the arts.

One of the unique programmes available to Wellington students is the Wellington Singing Scholarship, which is awarded to gifted singers. Scholars receive professional vocal training that is fully funded by the cluster.

The single can be downloaded from iTunes.