Monday, March 5, 2018

Turn To God... with Songs of Joy

Had a wonderful long weekend... Thanks to the festival of colour Holi falling on a Friday.... A weekend that had its fair share of work and relaxation. 

Got back to this blog after a long break.... I also managed to find some time to spend time working out some music on my keyboard.... and the first songs that came to mind were religious songs. 

Flashed back to 2012, when I was invited to help out with the Children's Choir in my then parish - St. Michael's Church Sharjah. I used to spend at least an hour or two, coaching enthusiastic young musicians on the liturgical music to be played the next week... and what a satisfying experience it was. Moving to Mumbai, I almost immediately got involved in the liturgical music of the parish, with further opportunity to be part of the Music Ministry at the parish CCR (Catholic Charismatic Renewal) group.

Also in Mumbai, I encountered a different mood of Christian music.... Christian Rock from India... that's made waves around the world through performances at World Youth Day events over the years. 

My first encounter with this genre was at a workshop on Praise and Worship Music conducted by Lenny Soares - a singer, composer and worship leader who led the gospel band 'By Grace' to World Youth Day gatherings to Sydney in 2008 and Madrid in 2010

A few months later, at a wedding I was compering, I met a friend that I used to play in the band back in the early 90s - Samir Viegas - who introduced me to Macklin Lacerda, the lead singer of Open Secret. It was interesting to note that we shared a lot in common. Besides having sung and played with the same wedding choir that I was part of during college days, we also shared a common place of work - FCB Ulka Advertising in Mumbai. 

This Lenten Season - Open Secret have lined up a series of 11 concerts in and around Mumbai - check out for the venue most convenient for you. 

On 25th June 2017, I along with my kids were among the thousands of people who assembled at Shanmukananda Hall to celebrate 25 years of a Christian Youth Movement - Jesus Youth. I encountered the movement during my stint in the UAE, but had little or no idea about the calling of this movement. While Jesus Youth volunteers were always around supporting all the events in Church, only in India did I realise the proportions of faith that this movement drives. 

After a Celebration Eucharist con-celebrated by the Archbishop of Mumbai, His Eminence Oswald Cardinal Gracias and a host of other Bishops and priests, the gathering broke into a festival of music and song, with the Rexband. Music from the Rexband has regularly featured at our parish Sunday School events with our children performing dances to their songs like this one - Rise Up and Dance.

Members of the Rexband will be in Mumbai this week, sharing inspiring inputs with singers and musicians on how to use musical talent for the Glory of God. I'm planning to be there.... How about YOU?

Saturday, March 3, 2018

A Musical Start for 2018

And just like that.... Two Months of 2018 have raced by...

2018 began on a high note of music....

7th January 2018 
#OLPSchembur celebrated 60 years with a musical extravaganza featuring talented musicians of the like of Ram Sampath, Darren Das and Shankar Mahadevan. 

There was absolute nostalgia in the air as alumni and ex-students from school connected after 30, 40, and some even after 50 years... Made a host of new friends just being part of the celebrations. Was great to just connect with old friends - could remember many of them, but some of them just didn't ring a bell. 

It was really a wonderful experience for me to be a part of the evening as part of the organising committee, as I spent the last few months of 2017 coming up with ideas for promoting the event on social media. 

The day was one of celebration as even the morning was dedicated to celebrating our school in all its splendour. Was wonderful catching up with teachers and batchmates, including some famous ones. 

OLPS Batch of 1986

with the famous mythologist - Devdutt Pattanaik
A great way to celebrate the first weekend of the year. 

14th January 2018 
The music continued on the next weekend... This time it was Country Music at the Neighbourhood Winter Festival organised at the Carter Road Amphitheatre... The artiste, none other than Keith Pereira, a young country star from New Zealand (making his first musical appearance to Mumbai). Was a privileged member of the audience as part of the artiste's family (he's my nephew). Took a trip back memory lane to some of the songs I've enjoyed listening to and singing through the years.... The Eagles, Garth Brooks and more.... but the best was the finale.... Country Roads. 

20th January 2018 
Another weekend and the musical spree continues... Back to school yet again as a special guest on the Annual Day. And honoured for my contribution to the Alumni celebrations of two week ago. 

But the greater joy came as a parent of two wonderful musically talented sons... both of them singing in their respective sections. Still receiving accolades from people I meet for that flawless rap sequence.   

Yes indeed.... 2018 has had a great musical start for me... And I hope it brings you lots and lots of music for the rest of the year.... 

Getting back to this blog after a long time... I do hope to be able to make more time to keep the music alive...

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