From kids to corporates, Aachi Sing the Season 2012, tested the participants presentation and musical skills

During the finale of Aachi Sing The Season 2012, vice-consul of the American Consulate John R. Hall rendered ‘Gloria In Excelsis Deo’. Simple and sincere and free of fanfare, the performance touched a chord in the audience at the Madras Centenary Auditorium. John endeared himself to the crowd even more when he greeted them in a Tamil that was clearly the result of sustained study and practice. In doing so, he enunciated a good part of what constitutes the Christmas message — goodwill among men. Another memorable feature of the evening was playback singer Mano presenting a few lines from ‘Yesu Raja Munne Selgirar’. Battling a sore throat, he apologised for not going the whole way.

The singing groups also provided indelible impressions such as a little child who played percussion for team number 7235 being carried off the stage, cradled in the arms of a visibly impressed conductor and the men in team number 7127 sporting Elvis Presley sideburns and following the cues from a conductor who launched into dance movements reminiscent of sequences from Kollywood.

The teams were known by numbers, and not names, for the obvious reason of promoting impartial judging. Dancing conductors may not go with the traditional view of carol singing and purists may scoff at such images, but Aachi Sing The Season is the only multi-level competitive carol-singing event in Chennai — and in a few other cities around Tamil Nadu — and the teams give it their all to take home a title. Given this, the idea of identifying teams by their numbers does not seem a bad one.

This year, the event — conceived by three women Sheba Suresh, Cecil Kotey and Shoba Rebecca — was bigger than ever before. “There were 190 choirs, spread across four categories — school, college, church and corporate — and seven cities,” says Shoba.

Presented by Bells N Rings, the event was imparted multiple layers this year, with teams from Tirunelveli, Palayamkottai, Nagercoil and Madurai battling out in a separate segment.

“This segment of the event, conducted in Tirunelveli, was introduced for the benefit of the sizeable Christian population down South,” says Shoba. Teams from Chennai, Coimbatore and Tiruchi competed in the other segment, which culminated in the summit clash at the Madras Centenary Auditorium.

The teams were judged by a jury comprising Augustine Paul, Arun Ebenezer, Grace Karunas and Renuka David.

Special guests included Arun Mammen, president, MRF, Maria Zeena, director, Sathyabama University, Anto George, MD, Corner Stone and film directors Dharani and Seenu Ramaswamy.

MCC Higher Secondary School, Chetpet finished first among schools, Karunya University (Coimbatore) among colleges, Cognizant Technology (MEPZ) among corporates and CSI Good Shepherd Church (Velachery) among churches.