Hi!!!! It’s been sooo long since my last post. I was busy with a Christmas carol concert! Christmas is here, well actually its advent time. So the great season of hope begins.
Anyway coming back to the topic of this post, I was fortunate to sing with the John Milns Chorale, a Christian choir led by Mr. Jabez Janagaraj. If you have followed the classical music scene in Chennai over the years and the choir music in particular, then these two above mentioned names would stand out. The John Milns chorale (JMC in future) named after a protestant priest who was an outstanding tenor in his time is led by Mr. Jabez, a die hard fan of the old school of classical music and choir singing.
Since inception the choir has performed in various churches and other public shows,recently the choir found itself at a crossroad. The increasing age and the acute failing health of the leader had made the very existence of the choir a big question mark. However like a true champion Mr. Jabez rose from his sick bed and whipped the choir into shape and we sang at the historic St. Mary's Church in Fort St. George on December 3rd.
It was not truly a concert, more of a Christmas service with the songs interspersed with readings from the Bible, but it was a dream come true for many of to whom the very thought of a concert seemed such a distant dream a few weeks ago.
So we sang accompanied by an orchestra with violins, violas, cellos, trumpet, flute and an awesome double bass. The orchestra was led by Mr. Jerry Fernandez (he has played for most of the leading film music directors including Ilayaraja). The song list was as diverse as they were beautiful, carols from Germany, France, US and a host of other countries came alive before an audience that just couldn’t have enough. The small church was packed and the overflowing crowd sat wherever they could. Yes, D was there with my folks. And she captured a little of that evening on her camera.
It was a truly memorable concert and we got a large share of accolades but personally we knew that we did well but not well enough. And since in Chennai we do not have any other benchmarks but ourselves we knew that we could have done better. But it was a good concert nevertheless in a truly historic setting.
As I sign off, this is my salute to Mr. Jabez, truly a genius. He taught me what little I know about choir singing. His musical talents are unrivalled and it is a privilege to sing under him. He is eccentric and many do not take favourably to him for the same reason, but I know that geniuses are permitted their eccentricities. There will be a huge void in his absence that will be very difficult to fill up.
To those who missed the concert, you may get another chance to hear the JMC at Divine Mercy shrine on Jan 22nd. And you are invited!