Blue Angels Choir-Where Melody meets Divinity! and the main intention of the group is to help the people to pray.
Mangaluru: While attending a funeral service at Rosario Cemetery Chapel-Jeppu on June 9, 2016, I was so much touched and impressed by the hymns sung by members of Blue Angels Choir, that I wanted to meet and interact with the choir members, and compliment them for their soothing and inspirational music saying to them, “Bravo guys, you do touch the hearts of the people through your rendition of music – keep up the good work that you are all entrusted with, and God will surely bless you “.
Through this column, I would like to share a story about how a group of choir/music fanatics have become one of the City’s most beloved choir groups. Not gonna lie here, having a conversation with the choir members, I don’t think I can even find a word that can justly describe just how talented this group is. They’ve have taken part in various competitions, won quite a few laurels/awards…and most of all, won the hearts of music buffs at churches, festivals and so on.What was a choral nerd like me going to ask a Choir group like Blue Angels Choir ?
Well, while the “Blue Angels” were singing during the funeral mass, many of those modulations totally made me wonder just how much formal training they’ve had. But I found out from the group leader Denzil, talking about their choir training and influence, said “I think that choir music requires such fine detail. That’s what we all try to bring to what we do in Blue Angels Choir. Taking care of that detail work really helps us reach and inspire people through the music we share.” Wow! Suddenly a weight had just been lifted off of my shoulders and my day was made when I realized that they were just normal people that loved choir music, who also together praise the Lord through their songs and music.
After a few more minutes of talking with them, they began reminiscing about the amazing times they shared while participating in their school, college and church music programs. There are so many things that I learned from this conversation with the choir group, but hearing their stories about rehearsing for all events/functions just singing together, truly warmed my heart and gave me hope that groups like Blue Angels Choir can help keep music relevant in the practice room. One thing for sure, more than you enjoy the Sunday mass and homily by the priest, it is the choir/music that soothes you and make you enjoy the Eucharistic liturgy. The reason I attend the Sunday English mass (8.15 am) at Milagres Church, Mangaluru is because of the Sunday Choir group, and not for listening to the boring sermon. The Sunday Milagres Choir group is just another amazing choir group like Blue Angels- no doubt about it at all!
Listening to choir is not like listening to a band/beat group-choir music is very soothing and relaxing. It is said that When the choir group sings, their musical vibrations move through them, altering their physical and emotional landscape. Choir Group singing, for those who have done it, is the most exhilarating and transformative of all. It takes something incredibly intimate, a sound that begins inside you, shares it with a roomful of people and it comes back as something even more thrilling: harmony. So it’s not surprising that Choir group singing is on the rise, worldwide, including India. And when you listen to choir music it not only soothes you, it also brings you closer to God. These eight members of Blue Angels Choir with their spiritual and inspirational music will surely bring the listeners close to God- and I know they will with the way they render their music.
Not only pleasing their listeners and getting compliments from their fans, the group has also won quite a few awards to their credit, to name a few-Runners Up of Rhythm Twilight a Christmas Carol Singing Competition Organized By Meridian College in December 2014; Runners up of Bosco Carols Eve- a Carol singing competition organized by Don Bosco Youth Center Udupi in December 2015.; Participated in ‘Fun Fiesta’ a Christmas carol singing completion organized by Nach Sobann in December 2013; and also given TV programs on local TV channels during Christmas season.
While introducing the choir group, we have :
Denzil Jerome Pereira hails from Neermarga, in the outskirts of Mangalore, currently pursuing his M.com in Department of Post-Graduate studies and research in Commerce, Mangalore University, Mangalagangothri. He is basically a Musician and also a Singer. He has been playing keyboard from past eight years and is able to sing in 3 voices (Soprano, Alto and Tenor). He is the Choir master of St Anne’s Church, Kelarai. He plays keyboard for various other Choirs in Mangaluru.
He was the Choir co-ordinator of Padua College Choir, and now Choir Co-ordinator for Milagres Degree College. He is a Composer and has composed a hymn for a Devotional album ‘kristache Saxi’ of Rev.Fr.Michael Santhumayor. He has also participated in various Singing competitions and won prizes. Apart from Music he has also excelled in his studies… He has secured Distinction in 2nd PUC and UG examination. He is the Choir Co-ordinator of Blue Angels Choir, also the keyboardist and Vocalist for the same.
Derick Daniel D’souza, currently studying in Final Year M.Com at Mangalore University, Mangalagangothri. Guitarist and Vocalist of Blue Angels Choir since the beginning. He is also a Part of various Choir groups in Mangaluru. He has Participated in various competitions and secured several prizes. He has been Recognised as a Musician and Singer of Karnataka Konkani Sahitya Academy, Govt. of Karnataka.
NEEL AVINASH COELHO
Neel Avinash Coelho completed his B com in Padua College of Commerce and Management and is currently working in HDFC as sales development manager. He has also acquired many trophies and certificates…He says “I am proud to tell that I am a lead vocalist for “Blue Angel’s Group”- the group which indeed helped me to praise the glory of GOD to people in a melodious way… I am thankful to Denzil Pereira for giving me a chance to be a part of Blue Angels Choir.
REUBEN JASON MACHADO
Reuben Jason Machado, is studying in B com 3rd year in Padua College of Commerce and Management. He is a member of Blue Angels Choir since the beginning as a vocalist and musician for the Choir. He plays flute, harmonica, guitar etc, He can play harmonica and guitar together at a time, and He has won prizes in several competitions. Recently he participated in World Cultural Festival held in New Delhi on March 11-13, 2016, which was an association of over 155 countries and it has set a world record.
KAJAL DIVYA MORAS
Kajal Divya Moras, is a lead vocalist of Blue Angels Choir…She has completed her graduation from Padua College of Commerce and Management. She started her musical journey from Angelore parish choir. She has won many prizes. To name a few- 1st place in university level Western Singing Competition group; 1st place is Padua College singing competition; 2nd place in Maandd Sobhaan, Kalangann and so on…
JOSHIL MELITA SALDANHA
Joshil Melita Saldanha has been currently pursuing an engineering degree in electronics and communication at NMAMIT, Nitte. Her hobbies are singing, dancing and painting portraits. Out of which singing has always been her favourite one. She has attended some competitions and she’s glad that she could win a few of them. She started taking up singing seriously with lots of encouragement and support from family and friends, she did make it to greater heights. She joined Blue Angels Choir as a vocalist (alto) and it’s been three years since she started working with them. She says that “Blue Angels choir has given me enough opportunities to make the best use of my singing talent and I’m looking forward to work with them in the following years”.
TRESSIA LAVITA RODRIGUES
Tressia Lavita Rodrigues, is the vocalist of Blue Angles Choir. Currently studying electrical and electronics engineering at St. Joseph engineering college-Vamanjoor, Mangaluru. She started singing for her church choir (St. Thomas church kollangana) at the age of 7. A good support from her parents helped her to achieve many prizes. She has performed in ‘Moinyali Manchi’ at Maand Sobhann, Kalangan. She has won prizes in solo and duet singing competitions. She is a member of Blue Angles Choir since beginning. She says ‘she’s really proud of it. Blue angles choir has helped her lot to showcase my talents and glorify my lord through singing. A big thank you to ‘BLUE ANGELS CHOIR’
ANISHA ALPHONSA D’SOUZA
Anisha Alphonsa D’Souza completed her PU in Padua PU College and now pursuing her graduation in Milagres College-Mangaluru. Her hobbies are Singing, dancing and reading books. She recently joined the choir as a Lead Vocalist and also Alto singer. She says “This is the group which helped me to praise the glory of GOD in a melodious way .I thank Denzil for helping me to use my talent in a right manner.”
Following is the excerpts from the exclusive interview with the choir members, answered solely by Denzil Pereira on behalf of his team mates:
Q: Can you tell us about the formation/reformation of the CHOIR group? What made you and how did you all got-together?
Denzil: I was playing for a band earlier. During that time I had it in mind.”How would it be if I would start a choir instead of playing for a band”? Later in the year 2013 due to some circumstances I quit the band. Then I decided that I will fulfill my dream of starting a new choir .The quitting of the band lead to a Turning Point in my life. We are a bunch of friends of the similar age who came together with one motive to sing for the Greater Glory of the Lord. As all of them were from Padua College and we were supported by our institution we named it as Padua Blue Angels but later it was changed to Blue Angels Choir. The choir was formed on Jan 1st 2014 with seven members under the guidance of Rev.Fr.Michael Santhumayor (ex Principal of Padua College and now the Principal of Milagres Degree College).He has been our Mentor all these years. As I knew all of them from the beginning it was easy to co-ordinate with them.Currently we are eight in number.
Q: What do you feel about the music industry today?
Denzil: Today according to me the music industry has got wide opportunities for budding talents. Nowadays there are a number of reality shows which are helping the younger generation to exhibit their talents. Along with this there are social networking sites that help the young musicians and singers to exhibit their talents.
Q: Are you all a full-fledged choir group or doing it just for fun?
Denzil: Most of our members in our choir are students and I say it is full-fledged choir. We started the choir with the tagline “Where Melody meets Divinity “and our main intention is to help the people to pray.
Q: Do you think singer/songwriters are the best of their own work or do you believe some cover versions can be better than the original?
Denzil: I feel that every Singer/Songwriters have their own efforts in putting forth a song at the same time an upcoming artist tries to present a song in a unique way and that’s called a cover version. So sometimes it is difficult to judge who the best is and we have also started with cover versions recently and will be coming up with more and more covers in coming months.
Q: While performing at a funeral services/wedding services or other Church events what kind of music do you play? Is it mostly hymns or other religious songs by music artists?
Denzil: We basically focus on hymns which are approved by the catholic church Authorities. During nuptials we take into consideration the hymns that have suggested by the family and later we make sure that the hymns are approved by the parish priest. We normally give importance to hymns of artists like Don Moen, Matt Redman, Chris Tomlin, Hillsongs United etc…We don’t give much to music but give importance to singing. But when it comes to funeral masses we sing unplugged versions.
Q: What’s the reaction of the audience on your performance at an event/function?
Denzil: The audience has given us a wonderful response for each and every choir. This is because of the practices that we have and the coordination between the members and we make sure that we come at least one hour early so that everything goes on well and this is the reason people appreciate our choir and we see to it that we give our best for each choir.
Q: What courses/classes would you recommend to someone if they want to be a successful in the music field?
Denzil: Music has got a wide scope. There are a number of music institutes and classes which can help people to grow in music. The Key to success is commitment and hard work. Practice and more practice will surely make one as good musician/singer.
Q: From your experience so far, what have you found to be most challenging? And how are you dealing with it?
Denzil: The most challenging thing for me is to make each choir better and help people to pray. We have tried many new things like we use instruments like flute and harmonica and also we try to present hymns in a unique manner than the original.We have made a habit to say a small prayer during the practices as well as our choirs. This helps us to face the challenges boldly.
Q: Are you planning on releasing any CD of hymns or your composition shortly? What’s next stored for you guys?
Denzil: For now we have no plans as we are concentrating on our studies but later we might think of it…But now we are focusing on cover versions right now which would be releasing in a fewer months from now
Q: What’s your advice for budding musicians who want to start a choir group or a band?
Denzil: Actually I am not the right person to suggest but rather I would say Simplicity can take a person to greater heights. I feel it is quite easy to start a choir/band but it has to be continued for a longer time with the same enthusiasm and team spirit. There should be coordination and also good relationship between the parties and team members which helps to build up a successful choir/band.
In conclusion, just like the members of Blue Angels Choir, who enjoy being together and sharing their music together, many other people also thoroughly enjoy being in a choir. You get a chance to sing different kinds of music, and you get to be around others who share your interest in music. Making music with a group of people may give you just the balance you need between practicing alone at home and singing with a group. When singing in a choir, you have to listen so that your voice blends with the voice of the person next to you, as well as with the sounds of the particular type of song you’re singing. If the music requires a specific style of singing, you have to work to make sure that you’re making the appropriate sound with healthy technique.You get a chance to work on your social skills.
In choirs, you often find people who like similar music or are inspired by beautiful music. You may feel right at home around people with similar interests, which can boost your sense of belonging. The challenge and joy of singing in a group may be just the lift you need at the end of a long week of work. Singing is a wonderful release and opportunity to express your thoughts and feelings through music and singing. Joining a choir may give you that regular opportunity to enjoy singing if you just don’t have the time to practice on your own. Singing in a choir can be good for your psychological well-being. In an online study asking 375 people who sang in choirs, sang alone or were members of sports teams about their experience of these activities- All three leisure activities yielded high levels of well-being, but the results revealed statistically significant evidence of higher reported well-being in people who sang with a choir compared to those who sang alone. Choral singers reported seeing their choirs as more coherent or ‘meaningful’ social groups than the sportsmen and women saw their sports teams.
Team Mangalorean wishes best of luck to these spiritual members of Blue Angels Choir- and hope they will inspire more people to pray and reach closer to God. Praise the Lord-Alleluiah!
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