Choral harmonies from Shillong

Updated: Dec 22, 2016, 09:35 IST | Joanna Lobo

Listen to a lilting mix of traditional Christmas carols and Western songs by the world-famous Shillong Chamber Choir at a concert in Bandra today



Silent Night, Jingle Bells, Old Christmas Card… there's something about carols that leaves us feeling warm and fuzzy, and immediately gets us into the Christmas spirit. This year, if you want to hear your favourite carols done with a twist, check out India's singing sensation, the Shillong Chamber Choir (SCC).

Last year’s Spirit of Hope concert

They are performing at a concert titled, Spirit of Hope, and apart from their take on traditional carols, they also promise a set of songs that are fun. "We always have our signature sound, which is a mix of Bollywood tunes and Western music. This concert will feature a new set of pieces that haven't been performed before," says Neil Nongkynrih, who founded the choir in 2001.


(Top right, Above) Shillong Chamber Choir

The choir is known for its versions of retro numbers. Expect 25 songs, including a mash-up of Michael Jackson songs with Zindagi Ek Safar, Michael Bublé's songs fused with Darling (7 Khoon Maaf), and Abba's Super Trouper mixed with the peppy Banno. There will be a few numbers by Queen too. "We are 50 of us on stage, including a band. The concert will be like a buffet; there will be something for everyone," shares Nongkynrih, who will accompany the choir on the piano.

The Spirit of Home concert has been an annual Bandra tradition since 2007; the SCC came on board in 2014.

"We started the concert at the Carter Road promenade, and it was a concert of hope. We had people giving testimonies. Each year, we dedicate the concert to a cause. Last year, it was the farmers; this year, we are working with the Sankalp Rehabilitation Trust," says Capt Allwyn Saldanha, director of Saldanha International Academy, organisers of the show. Saldanha is an entrepreneur and music lover and organises numerous music concerts.


Neil Nongkynrih and organiser Capt Allwyn Saldanha

The big-ticket names are the SCC and the European Concert Orchestra. Saldanha adds that the concert was started with the idea of giving local musicians and singers a stage to perform. This year's line-up includes Ash Chandler, Shannon Donald, Geetu Hinduja and even Boman Irani; they will be singing Christmas carols and western songs. And because it is Christmas, expect a few surprises, too.

On: Tonight, 6 pm to 10 pm
At: Sea Side Lawns, Taj Lands End, Bandra (W). 
Log on to: Saldanha International Academy on Facebook
Entry: (by invite only)

Other news

  • The Academy is also organising a music workshop for youngsters with the SCC on Friday
  • The Bandra Bandstand Amphitheatre will be screening a live feed of the show; open to public

A walk through Mohammed Ali Road's Khau Galli

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