Published on

The Xavier College Chorus (XCC) of St. Xavier’s College, Mumbai in collaboration with
Gandhi Ashram School Orchestra (GAS), a Jesuit mission school, in Kalimpong,
Darjeeling, is organizing a music concert titled ‘Strings'. The concert aims at showcasing
music as a vehicle for positive transformation for the poorest of the poor.

1 Like
  • Be the first to comment

No Downloads
Total views
On SlideShare
From Embeds
Number of Embeds
Embeds 0
No embeds

No notes for slide


  1. 1. Project Proposal Concert Details
  2. 2. The Strings ConcertA Xavier College Chorus presentationCome hear what small children can achieve with a simple violin and viola... beyond gansta rapand violence.Music - Empowering the new generationNot mere words; not a simplephilosophy. Here are children whoprove what a small idea coupled with acourageous determination can bringabout. A small town in a far-flung endof a humongous country; people lost intime and given to poverty andhardships. Lack of facilities and a grimreality only makes it worse. Music ishere to change the lives of thesecountless children. Music wasintroduced here by Jesuit priests toinstill in them a hope beyond their present and aimed at changing their mentalities. Today, it has been 14 years since the germination of this idea and the emergence of an almamater beyond words - Gandhi Ashram School (GAS) in the foothills of the Himalayas. Today, itboasts of more than 132 residents. They moved on from being just an ordinary poor child toperformers of international standing. It is ironical - strings once tied them down; today they givethem an opportunity to soar high and higher. Stories like that of Kushmita Biswakarma andRudramani Biswakarma who today conducts the GAS orchestra, prove that music can be acatalyst to help them dream and achieve. In the GAS, students are introduced to music as a means to free themselves from the strings ofoppression, injustice, poverty - all of which lead to hatred and violence. Music has broughtthem closer in making their dreams of a better life a reality. 1
  3. 3. The performersXavier College Chorus (XCC)The Xavier College Chorus of St. XaviersCollege, Mumbai was started in 2010 by astudent, Virgil Sequeira. It was formed with avision to bring together musically inclinedstudents from the college, to share theirtalents and create music. It is also a platformfor professionals to work with students andshare their expertise through workshops andtraining. The XCC also aims to be sociallyrelevant through its work. It will soon comeout with its first album based on Indian ChoralMusic arranged by some XCCs members andalso a host of composers and arrangers from around the world.Facebook page - Xavier College ChorusGandhi Ashram School OrchestraGandhi Ashram School (GAS) is a Jesuit mission school in Kalimpong, Darjeeling. Founded by aCanadian Jesuit Fr. Ed McGuire in 1993, it admits only the poorest of the poor from the area.Part of the curriculum includes learning a stringed instrument. Musician Volunteers from allover the world spend their time sharing their skill and training the children. The result has beena strong string-Orchestra that has been able to match professional execution of western classical works. The Orchestra has also successfully executed folk music and Bollywood music. They have gained international recognition mainly through the Jesuitenmission, Germany ( that has enabled collaborations with similar ventures around the world like Sonidos de la Tierra, started by Maestro Luis Szaran in Paraguay. They have recorded successful albums with the Jesuitenmission as well as given innumerable concerts in Europe and India. www.gandhi-ashram-school.orgLuis Szaran and Sonidos de la TierraMaestro Luis Szaran, is a Paraguayan composer, conductor andmusicologist. He will be conducting the Orchestra and the Choir for theDomenico Zipoli pieces. He has been the conductor of the Symphony aswell as the Philharmonic Orchestra of the City of Asuncion since 1990. Hehas also conducted many other noted orchestras around the world. Hewas the first Latin American composer to receive the prestigious VivaldiMedal in Venice. He also manages the Domenico Zipoli Ensemble inVenice. Among his National and International recognitions are: OfficialGentleman of the Italian Republic, Order of the Science and the Letters ofFrance, Orbis Guaraníticus of the UNESCO and the National Order of theMerit of Paraguay. 2
  4. 4. He received the Skoll Foundation award for Social Entrepreneurship for hisproject Sonidos de la Tierra in Paraguay. He is the manager and founder of theWeltweite Klange or ‘the World Orchestra’ in Germany that brings projectssimilar to Sonidos de la Tierra.Sonidos de la Tierra or Sounds of the Earth works on the philosophy - a child whoplays Mozart by day will not break windows by night. It, thus, seeks to empowerchildren and youth and keep them away from crime and empower them throughmusic. It is a network of music schools. This project has transformed the slums Gustavo Barrientos (Violin) Gustavo has been trained in violin in Brazil and Argentina with renowed Violinists - Elisa Fukuda, David Taylor, Manfred Kramer (Baroque music) and Yang Liu - Chamber music with the quartet of Sao Paulo and Fernando Hasaj of the Camerata Bariloche. In 2004, he participated in the Summer Music Academy (Sommermusikakademie) in Hamburg (Germany) with Thomas Brandis (former Concert-master of the Berlin Philharmonic). In 2006, he was a Professor of the violin at the Conservatorio Municipal de Asunción AgustinBarrios, Municipal Institute of Art (IMA) in Asuncion, Paraguay. In 2008, he received ascholarship to study in Berlin, Germany for 1 year where he studied the violin under GötzBernau ( Concertmaster of the Berlin Symphony).Currently, he is a member of the Symphony Orchestra of the City of Asunción (OSCA) ,of theMunicipal Chamber Orchestra of Asuncion (OCMA), professor and instructor of strings in theproject Sounds of Tierra of Maestro Luis Szarán and Concertmaster of the National SymphonyOrchestra of Paraguay (NSO) since 2010.Valerie Tobergte (Organ and Cembalo)Valerie Tobergte started playing the piano in Kindergarten and then changed for the violin.Beside this she also started playing the recorder at a young age. In the last few years she hasperformed various concerts with pieces written by composers such as Chopin, Schubert, Keller,Bach and Tchaikowsky.In 2006, she joined a two year intensive course for the Organ and conducting which includedsinging lessons and music theory. In 2008, she successfully completed this course with aperformance of the “Concerto a minor by Johann Sebastian Bach” and a “Toccata in F Major byDietrich Buxtehude”.After finishing her Grade 12 at the Rudolf Steiner School “Freie Waldorfschule Evinghausen”,she is now volunteering for a year at Gandhi Ashram School to gain experience as a musicteacher. 3
  5. 5. Shirish Malhotra (Flute)Shirish Malhotra is Indias most proficient Western Classical flautist. He holdsa Diploma in Flute Performance (DipABRSM) from the Associated Board ofthe Royal Schools of Music, London, as well as a Performers Certificate fromTrinity College (with 96% marks!) not to mention two exhibition awards fromTCL. Shirish has over the years been taking an increasing interest in jazz (mostnotably Brazilian music) which has led him to take up more instruments likethe guitar and the saxophone. He has since become as fluent with jazz chordsand improvisation as he is with reading the most complex musical scores.He enjoys applying classical principles of harmony and counterpoint to jazz arrangements andguitar transcriptions to create tasteful renditions of standards.Zarin Ghadialy-Hodiwala (Contralto)Zarin Ghadialy-Hodiwala was a member of the prestigious Bayerischer Rundfunk Chor, which isan ensemble of soloists, attached to the Bavarian Radio and Television in Munich for 12 years.With them, she worked under great conductors and has lent her voice in concerts andrecordings of prestigious labels. She has given several Lieder Recitals in Germany besidesperforming at the Notre Dame Cathedral in Paris and also travelled through France performingwith the Heidelberger Chamber Orchestra.Since her return to India in 1982, she has sung in her capacity as soloist, in religious and secularcompositions, with the Bombay Chamber Orchestra, the Cantata Choir, the Paranjoti AcademyChorus, the Chamber Singers and the Stop-Gaps Choral Ensemble. Over several years, Zarin hasperformed Duo-Recitals with the renowned Canadian Pianist, Paul Stewart in Mumbai andPune.Natasha Collaco (Soprano)Natasha Collaco holds an LRSM, LTCL and FTCL Performers Diplomas in Singing and LTCLPerformers Diploma in Pianoforte. She pursued her Vocal studies at the Guildhall School ofMusic and Drama, London. She participated in school recitals, in the Thomas CoramFoundations Handel Concert and the Royal Overseas Leagues Arie Antiche Concert while inLondon. She has given several recitals under the aegis of the Time and Talents Club, MaxMueller Bhavan, British Council, Alliance Française, House of Soviet Culture to name a few. Shehas also performed as a soloist with many leading choirs in Mumbai and in several parts of India,appeared on TV and broadcasted often on All India Radio.Kersi N. Gazdar (Tenor)Kersi N. Gazdar has been a violinist with the B. P. Chamber Orchestra since 1991. He has alsoplayed with the Sangat Festival Orchestra. He has been singing with the Cantata Choir since1992. He made his debut as a Tenor soloist in 2005, with the Cantata Choir. In 2005, he wasawarded 2nd place at the All India Voice Competition held in Pune. In 2009, he shared theNorma Gasper award for excellence in teaching. Kersi teaches piano at the Mehli Mehta MusicFoundation and Theme Piano World, besides a private teaching practice. Apart from teaching,he also reviews Western Classical music CDs for a national magazine. 4
  6. 6. Itinerary of the ConcertThe programme showcases the power of music to transform and the ability to capture theimagination of a new generation.The Programme will begin with a solo performance by a young violinist playing Miserere fromthe Hollywood movie The Mission (1986). The focus of the concert is music and its power totransform. This music piece exhibits the magic that captures the imagination of the young andhones their abilities to rise. The song is a cry for mercy; the beginning of the concert which willculminate into the cry of victory gradually as the concert progresses.While music has the ability to transform, it also has the power to transcend; transcend time,distances, differences and cultures. Coming from the scenic hilltops of Darjeeling, the studentsof GAS will also be playing Fiddlers Dance, a western classical piece. Unlike languages thatneed a translation, the sheer joy and exuberance comes across easily with the music giving usthe image of a lively dance (performed in the great wide open). The Blues Band piece thatfollows has a similar charm.The event then progresses to displaying the great heritage of the Jesuit music of the ParaguayanReductions - the main draw of the event. These masterpieces were composed by DomenicoZipoli SJ in the Baroque period. Set for the indigenous tribes of South America, thesecompositions incorporated local sights and sounds. In addition, the Baroque style consideredthe ultimate praise and worship as the purpose for their existence. This is what the Orchestraaims to deliver – a feeling supernatural. We will listen to pieces like Domine ad adjuvandum,Laudate Dominum (Praise the Lord), Jesu Corona Virginum, Ad Mariam (A Marian antiphon),from the Misa a San Ignacio – the Kyrie (Lord have Mercy) and Sanctus (Holy, Holy) and anorchestral piece, El Barocco Guarani.Part of the repertoire for the evening will be Yo Nepali Shir Uchali, a famous song for theGorkha Jawans serving in the Indian army. Parallels can be drawn between the meaning of thesong, the feel of the music and the lives of the students of the GAS. Like the Gorkha Jawans,with their heads held high, they march on through letting nothing deter or distract them. Thismusic is intrinsic to who the students are, for music not only reflects culture, it represents thepeople who make the music and therein is culture itself.The evening will end with the ultimate cry of triumph of the youth today – Jai Ho. The song fromthe runaway hit, Slumdog Millionaire has come to signify the aspirations and the dreams of theunder-dog. The creative rendition of this piece by the Orchestra of Gandhi Ashram School willbe the ultimate showcase of their talents and abilities. Violins will dance with Cellos and theviolas will render grace to the choreography that will celebrate the spirit and thank the city forits generosity and appreciation.Interspersed between every piece of music will be stories and profiles of the students of theGandhi Ashram School. How they have achieved the unconceivable through the power andstrength of music. The perfect sound of music will prove these claims. 5
  7. 7. Itinerary of the TourPreceding the concert is a week of intensive rehearsals, short performances, talks and concertpromotion by the performers themselves. Members of the Gandhi Ashram School Orchestraand Mr. Luis Szaran will arrive in Mumbai by Saturday, January 15, 2011. They will beaccommodated with host families in Bandra, Mumbai. An inaugural dinner for all theperformers and volunteers is part of the plan for Sunday, January 16, 2011.During the week in the mornings, the Orchestra will give short performances at St. XaviersCollege, Churches, schools and colleges in Bandra that invite the orchestra to perform. Besides,the orchestra will also perform for interested NGOs. There are plans for Mr. Szaran to addressthe students of St. Xaviers College about his Social Entrepreneurship in the slums of Paraguay(Sonidos de la Tierra). Mr. Szaran will also be lecturing the Sociology and Anthropology studentsof the college on the discipline of Musicology and his work on the music of the JesuitReducciones of South America.The Evenings will be spent rehearsing for the concert – the Orchestra, the Chorus, Soloists,guest musicians and Mr. Luis Szaran. The concert is scheduled for Monday, January 24, 2011 atSt. Andrew’s Auditorium, Bandra, Mumbai, 7 pm onwards. The tour will end with departure ofthe performers on Tuesday, January 25, 2011. Therefore the tour for the non-Mumbaiperformers in Mumbai will last 10 days, 9 nights.Target Audience 1. Staff and College Students from around the city, especially from St. Xaviers College 2. Friends and Families of the geographically varied members of the Xavier College Chorus 3. Distinguished alumni of St. Xaviers College 4. School students and parents from the city, especially from St. Stanislaus High School and neighbouring schools in Bandra 5. Musicians, Music teachers, music students and music enthusiasts from around the city 6. Conductors and members of choirs and orchestras from Mumbai and outside 7. Representatives from Donor parties 8. Representatives from the Western Region Jesuit Provinces – Bombay, Goa, Pune and Gujarat 9. Representatives from the Media and PressDr. Frazer Mascarenhas SJ Virgil SequeiraPrincipal, St. Xavier’s College, Mumbai Director, Xavier College Chorus 6