‘Konkan Sangeet Shree’ & ‘State Rajyotsava Awardee 2021’ Evergreen Trumpeter Harry ‘Harryaam’ D’Souza Evergreen No More at age 72
Mangaluru: ‘Konkan Sangeet Shree’ & ‘Karnataka State Rajyotsava Awardee 2021’ Legendary brass band maestro of ‘Harry’s Silver Band’ Evergreen Trumpeter Harry ‘Harryaam’ D’Souza passed away at SCS Hospital, Mangaluru on Wednesday, 13 April due to age-related illness. He was 72 years old. Harry leaves behind his wife Agnes D’Souza; Children- Hazel, Henrita and Hubert; Son-in-law- Deviprasad and Wallston; Daughter-in-law Jeevitha; Grandchildren- Sionah and Renan; Sister – Janet; and Brother-in-law Harry. The Funeral will be held at St Francis Xavier Church, Bejai, Mangaluru on Monday, 18 April 2022. More funeral details will be updated later.
Last November it was indeed a proud moment for the people of Dakshina Kannada & Mangaluru, that three awardees for the “RAJYOTSAVA AWARD 2021” were selected from DK/Mangaluru, and one among them was HAROLD “HARRY” CYRIL D’SOUZA, selected in the Music field. Popularly known as “Harryaam”, a resident of Bejai, Mangaluru, he served from 1982 as the Brass Band Master in “Harry’s Silver Band” started by his grandfather and has served as a trumpet player and singer locally, nationally and in Gulf countries. Harry has also worked with more than 20 music groups and has provided musical training in Saanidhya Special School, Shakthinagar, Mangaluru and St Agnes School Institution, Bendore, Mangaluru. After retiring from the Brass Band, Harry’s aim was to promote brass band art which is losing popularity and train more and more people in the art and also conduct Brass Band training in schools.
And one person among many others, who had entertained the crowd at Catholic Roce or a wedding reception for over 45 years is none other than Harry D’Souza aka “Harryaam”, the evergreen trumpeter of His Brass Band “Harry’s Silver Band” – and even though he sold his business to different band members, but Harryaam on special request used to make his appearances at a Catholic or few other joyous occasions and made his presence felt, and brought back his brass band music alive, improvised and modernized so that it was accepted by one and all.
Harryaam who was also a member of “United Artists” music group, under the able leadership of music maestro F M Lobo, and Himself, both residents of Bejai, Mangaluru had entertained inmates of Old-Age Homes, Ashrams, and NGOs free of cost, thereby putting miles of smiles on these less fortunate people, and also making a difference in their lives. And for such a person like Harryaam, the best way to show appreciation, the Karnataka government did the right thing by conferring the 2021 Rajyotsava Award on him. Harry has entertained so many people with his music. His musical talents and singing should be appreciated, and youngsters should follow in his footsteps. Brass Band musicians like Harryaam are hard to find these days, and the tradition of brass band fun has been lost.
Smartly dressed in trendy and colourful uniforms, and armed with their shiny brass instruments, the entry of Harry’s band into any venue brought with it an immediate sense of gaiety and exuberance. Though many bands have tried to imitate their unique style, none have visibly measured up to them so far. Years ago, Harry had given musical programs over Akashvani station in Mangaluru and has rendered music for Musical Nights and Cultural Programs held by various institutions and associations. He has also participated in the Bangalore Doordarshan Program, presently known as ‘Chandana’. Additionally, he and his band have rendered music for the cassettes produced by other groups and have also produced cassettes of their own songs, hymns and band music.
Sources reveal that the Diocesan Eucharistic Congress which was held in Mangalore in 1938, along with Brass Bands from Puttur, and Paddodi (Kulur), Lorsam’s band from Bejai also rendered music under the guidance of Dr Lawrence P. Fernandes of Fr Muller’s Hospital, Kankanady. Lorsam married Marceline Rodrigues and had two children. He had trained his son Edi (Ediyaab) to play the band at a young age and Edi was attending the band functions even as a youth. In 1953, due to his old age, Lorsam gave up the responsibility of the band to his son Edi. During those days Lorsam’s band from Bejai was popular not only in Mangalore but also in areas around the city. As the demand for the band increased and as his father found it difficult to carry on with the affairs of the band, Edi left his watch repairer’s job and gave full support to his father. By this time, he had learnt to play the Cymbals, the Side Drum, the Bass Drum and the Cornet from his father Lorsam.
Hailing from the Third Generation, born on 21 October 1950 Harry D’Souza had his schooling at St Francis Xavier School, Bejai and St Aloysius High School. He worked for four years as a motor mechanic in a garage. This was followed by a stint in the Reserve Police Band for nine years. Leaving this job, he went to Doha-Qatar in search of better prospects and worked there for two years. Harry married Agnes D’Costa of Mulki Parish on June 16, 1980. They were blessed with identical twins Hazel Reena and Henrita Rashmi in 1985. In 1986, a boy named Hubert Joswey was born to them. Hazel Reena, now married and is working as a teacher in Dubai & Henrita Rashmi, married and who was employed in Bahrain, has come down for good to Mangaluru and works in a private office; and has one son and a daughter; Hubert is working in Dubai. Harry not only managed his band, but was also a part-time band teacher at Raj Academy School, Ganjimutt-Bajpe, and Saanidhya Special school, Shakthinagar, Mangaluru. Until now, he has taught band lessons at over 80 schools in Mangaluru, Sirsi, Hubli, Dandeli and a few other places.
Not only a trumpet player and a Band Master, but Harry was also a music and song composer-he has written over 700 songs in three languages, composed over 3000 tunes in Konkani, Kannada, Tulu, and has taken part in various radio and out-door concerts-he is also the author of a book of poems titled ‘Goveth’, and has released ten music cassettes. Harry had a guest appearance in the Konkani movie ‘Mog Ani Moipas’. Harry has many awards to his credit, namely- “Karavali KalaShree Award 2018”; “Thomas Steven Konkan Kendra Karwar Gharane Award 2017”; ‘DK Zilla Rajyotsava Award 2013’; ‘Karnataka Konkani Sahitya Academy Award 2002’, ‘Konkan Karaval Turbent Rai 2006 (KGWA-Kuwait), ‘Kalakar Puraskar Award 2007, ‘Sandesha Special Award 2008’ – also ‘Konkan Sangeeth Shree 1995’ and ‘Konkan Band of the Century 1996’.
The brass bands play a prominent role in keeping alive the beauty and culture of the Konkani language through the art of music. Harry has worked consistently for decades in order to preserve and maintain this precious heritage of the Konkani speaking community. For all this effort, it is reasonable to expect that the people of this community should be grateful to him and also offer their help and co-operation in the continuation of this noble task, during his retired life with no income coming in. It is not very difficult to pinpoint the formula for this success story. Maintaining discipline and punctuality, quoting reasonable rates, sincere dealing and reliable service to all clientele irrespective of who they are, could be some of the factors that had kept Harry’s Brass Band’s popularity intact for all these years.
TEAM MANGALOREAN EXPRESSES HEARTFELT CONDOLENCES TO THE BEREAVED FAMILY. MAY HIS SOUL REST IN PEACE!
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