Music is a big deal in Goa. From amateur musicians to people who have strived to become professionals, most of Goa has grown up listening to or playing some kind of musical instrument. Singing has also been a major part of Goan culture. From singing old English and Konkani songs to the more modern ones, Goans love to listen, if they can’t participate, to good music. Of course, the more modern crowd, which includes the youngsters of today, prefer to go to pubs and concerts and listen to pop, rock and electronic dance music. These are just three popular music genres that the Goan youth love. And then there is choral music. It may not be as popular but thanks to the hard work and participation by the Goa University choir, choral music is fast becoming a genre of music that Goans have learned to appreciate.
About the Goa University choir
Goa has had other choirs come up over the years. In August 2013, it was the university’s turn to create something grand. And under the baton of Maestro Dr. Santiago Lusardi Girelli, visiting Research Professor under the Western Music Chair of the Goa University, the choir was born. Since then, the Goa University choir has grown by leaps and bounds, showcasing a multitude of talent at programmes, concerts and workshops across Goa and India. The press and audience have loved every minute of it and now hold them in high esteem.
The collaborations and talents of the Goa University choir
In the last 3 years or so, the GU choir has performed more than 20 times at different venues all over the country including Goa. The choir has also collaborated and shared the stage with some famous artistes from all over the world. Among these are Cappella della Luce Ensemble (Spain), Rakesh Chaurasia (INDIA), the St Ephraim Choir (Hungary), Vandalia and the Seville Chamber Choir (Spain), and the oldest Indian Orchestra: the Bombay Chamber Orchestra. Most recently, in April, they performed in Bangalore with two visiting choirs, Cantosospeso from Italy and Luther King from Brazil at St Andrew’s Church.
The GU choir has also hosted an abundance of talented performers. These include more than 60 international artists and world-class soloists like the renowned Spanish soprano Rocío de Frutos (Spain), the Argentinian concertmaster Leo Rossi, the German flutist Mirjiam Munzel, and the British-Indian pianist from the Oxford University, Prof. Karl Luchtmayer (UK), within dozens of others.
In addition, the Goa University is also said to possibly be the first University choir in the country. That’s quite an honor and what’s even more amazing is that the choir has also had the distinction of singing in 20 languages, blending Indian music with a Gregorian chant. This was evident in their performance at the Ketevan Sacred Music Festival in collaboration with more than 40 artists coming from Europe and America. At their performance in April 2018, they sang the hauntingly beautiful Mozart’s Requiem.
The GU choir’s repertoire extends to singing a capella, classical, sacred, chamber, contemporary and world music. Besides having performed in different languages, all over the country, they are now in the process of recording music for their second album. They released their first album in 2016 and also created an original soundtrack for the documentary on the life of Goan activist Aquino Braganza. As for the future? There is definitely lots happening there, for the GU choir, with more performances, not just in India but abroad as well.
To stay updated with more on the GU choir, give their Facebook page a ‘Like’.