Three woofs for Stop Gaps

Aug 09, 2012, 09:57 IST | Surekha S

Stop Gaps, Mumbai's popular choral ensemble will do their bit for city NGO Welfare of Stray Dogs by celebrating conductor Alfred D'Souza's twin passions of music and animals with a concert that will feature dog-themed songs

Alfred D’Souza, chairman and the music director of city-based Stop-Gaps Cultural Academy is a big animal lover. For long, he has been planning to host an event for the welfare of animals. “I wanted to do this for a very long time. It has been one of my dreams,” says the musician, who is gearing for the concert titled Stop Gaps Goes To The Dogs, to be held on August 26 at the NCPA.

The Stop Gaps Choral Ensemble, with Alfred in the foreground (back to the image)

Going choral for the canine
As a child, D’Souza would befriend dogs from the street and bring them home. “I picked up 14 dogs from the street who lived with me for years. Heaps of food had to be made for them,” he recalls. “There was a time when I had seven litters of puppies, which was about 35 puppies in all and I found homes for each one of them,” he adds.

Alfred D’Souza with one of his canine friends

Being a huge animal lover and a talented musician, D’Souza decided to combine his two passions, and the result is this concert, which will raise funds for the NGO Welfare of Stray Dogs. Abodh Aras, CEO, WSD says that D’Souza has interacted with them on several occasions in the past, and he has helped in getting many dogs adopted. “About ten years back, we had contacted him for such a concert but things did not work out then.

Now, when he approached us once again for this concert, we were delighted that it was being realised, finally. It was his 60th birthday and when his singers said let’s give him a party, he suggested doing a concert for a cause instead,” reveals Aras adding, “It is very generous of him as the ensemble isn’t charging a single paisa for the concert.”

Aras reveals that the NGO needs about Rs 4 lakh per month to take care of the animals. “We manage to raise money through our calendars, garage sales and more but it is barely enough. It’s almost a hand-to-mouth situation. We hope to raise about R4 to 5 lakh through this concert,” he says.

Play list gone to the dogs
The songs that will be performed are dedicated to animals and will include popular hits, show stoppers from musicals, gospel numbers and even nursery rhymes. The audience can enjoy songs like Jellicle Songs for Jellicle Cats, Memory and Mr Mistopheles from the musical CATS, Talk to the Animals from the film Dr Doolittle, Digga Digga Dog from 101 Dalmatians, How much is the doggy in the window?, Hey Diddle Diddle from an arrangement of Mother Goose Nursery Rhymes, Hound Dog, Mustang Sally and a host of others.
Tickets for the concert will go on sale from today.

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