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Sounds from the Gospel

Mumbai Gospel band, Open Secret will hold an online audition to pick a choir to join the band in a concert

From the covers of Coldplay to REM, Open Secret performs popular songs to spread the message of Christ. In April 2008, Macklin Lacerda, the lead vocalist and acoustic guitarist, decided to form his own band — a Christian Rock and Worship Band. Four years later, Lacerda, then working as Creative Director in an ad agency, quit his job to start composing music for TV commercials. He also started investing time and energy into Open Secret. “I was looking to redefine the role of Gospel music in the city. The idea was to bring it to the forefront of the entire spiritual experience, using both, music as well as words to essentially combine the medium and the message,” says Lacerda, who then approached city parishes to invite the band to perform during Lent and Advent (the period leading up to Christmas).

Open Secret
Open Secret

Having performed across over 40 church venues in Mumbai in the next few years, the band eventually became popular due to their trademark concerts, where a performance was held together by a central theme, with each song representing another chapter in the unfolding story. “With time, a number of priests realised and respected what we were trying to do. That’s when the pace truly picked up.”

Social media calling 
The nine-member band is looking to form a 50-member choir to back the band on stage, especially for this concert. Lacerda intends to put up a call for action on social media and other forums to invite singers to send in their entries. The auditions and rehearsals will begin immediately. While the procedure for the auditions and subsequent rehearsals are still to be finalised, Lacerda terms this to be his most ambitious project. “The group will be called Secret Voices. Individuals who are selected will be trained and primed for the performance and then transformed into a cohesive, professional, harmonious group. The entry would be open to everyone, irrespective of age, gender or religion,” Lacerda tells us.

Macklin Lacerda with Open Secret
Macklin Lacerda with Open Secret

Having performed across 40 churches in Mumbai, the band became popular with their concept concerts, where a performance is held together by a central theme, with each song representing another chapter in the unfolding of the story. Their concerts, The Journey Home and O Come All Ye Faithful (held during Lent and Advent, respectively) have completed three seasons (years) each. The band was also one of India’s first Gospel bands to perform at blueFROG in 2013.

What happens if you aren’t familiar with the content, we ask. “While there are bits where I raise questions about what we believe in, and make references to Christ or the Bible, the songs are loved by all. Eventually, it’s about things that everyone wants — love, peace, forgiveness,” shares Lacerda.

On: May 15, 7 pm to 10 pm
At: Don Bosco Quadrangle, Matunga.
For auditions for the choir check details on www.facebook.com/opensecretofficialpage 
Call: 9833328541 (Rhea)

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