Music for all

Updated: Dec 14, 2019, 08:58 IST | Karishma Kuenzang | Mumbai

An ensemble helmed by SoBo's Alannah Carol Fernandes will mark a year of performing beyond halls, with a Christmas-themed set coming up at a home for girls

The ensemble's first performance at St Anthony's Home for the Aged last December
The ensemble's first performance at St Anthony's Home for the Aged last December

Marine Lines resident Alannah Carol Fernandes has been celebrating her birthday at orphanages and homes across the city ever since she turned 16. Today, at 29, the PhD scholar in human development, who is also pursuing a doctorate from Nirmala Niketan College of Home Science in Churchgate and teaches the violin from her home, has formed an ensemble of her music students who perform for various causes and at homes. Called Ace Rhapsody, they are 10 shows old, and will mark a year of spreading cheer among those who don't have access to recitals, with their Christmas special set at St Anthony's Home and Girl's High School in Mumbai Central this weekend.

Born in a musical family [her father plays the harmonica, mother, the guitar and brother, the cajon] Fernandes was 10 years old when she started learning from Bombay Chamber Orchestra founder Jini Dinshaw, who, she says has been instrumental in holistic development, beyond music. This is what she is trying to mirror with her work at Ace Rhapsody. "Music has always been a prominent part of my life. The first time I interacted with those from a humble background was when I was 16. We aren't sensitised to them. I felt that music needed to be a part of their lives and that more people need to reach out to them in order for this to be an inclusive society. With this platform, we want to spread music to places where people can't listen to a recital or attend a concert," explains Fernandes.

Alannah Carol Fernandes
Alannah Carol Fernandes

Besides, music also offers holistic learning, as it's a great medium to touch people's lives, she adds. "Even the students [aged between 6 and 50] are stirred emotionally. Kids can be brash when they don't mean to be. So, during rehearsal, I tell them what they can't talk about — don't ask boys and girls at homes about their parents. And to help make the audience feel positive," she says.

Not that they don't perform at halls or auditoriums, but this also makes for a great platform for students to practice solos and duets, while learning about the real world," adds Fernandes, who started teaching at 16. The set, which comprises kiddie songs at kids' homes, old school Bollywood at old age homes, cheery sing-alongs at cancer centers, aims to connect with the audience. This time of the year, there will be a focus on Christmas carols, along with classical solos and duets. They will also perform at Our Lady's Home in Dadar on December 20.

On December 15, 5 pm
At St Anthony's Home and Girl's High School, Mumbai Central.

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