Adding colour to the cultural landscape

Staff Reporter

KOCHI: It started with two music lovers accidently hearing some ecumenical music at the Durbar Hall Grounds about three years ago.

Their, Prakash Mathen and his wife Sophie’s desire to add choral singing to the cultural landscape of growing Kochi has resulted in what has now become a regular annual feature of four-part singing.

Jerry Amaldev, steeped in both Western and Indian music, leads the 25-member choral group.

“I do not want to call it a choir. It is not restricted to any particular music,” says Mr. Amaldev, a veteran of Malayalam film industry and whose association with the unforgettable Noushad in Bollywood is part of Mollywood music lore.

He says that what has come to be called Rock Of Ages, the choral group, is the result of the enthusiasm of some music lovers in Kochi.

The group started with 16 and it has grown to 25 now. “We hope to add more as years go by,” says Mr. Amaldev.

The annual concert for this year is scheduled to be held at the Toc-H Indoor Stadium, Vytilla, on November 22.

The concert will start at 7 p.m. For details contact: 9447267528 or 9447302642.

The choral group has 25 voices — 10 sopranos, six altos, five tenors and four basses accompanied by top professional instrumentalists.

Calling it a choir certainly does not reflect the inclusiveness of the music by Rock Of Ages. German, Malayalam, Latin and English are part of the repertoire.

The variety and range of music produced by Rock Of Ages is worthy of the music director who leads the group. Western classical gems from Mozart, Gioacchimo Rossini, Cesar Franck and popular hits from the Beatles, Carpenters and Abba, folk music and Negro spirituals have all been sung by the group.

Besides the passion for music, the Rock Of Ages group has another big reason for doing what it does so well. Helping the needy. Out of the proceeds from the concerts, five needy music students at the RLV College are funded. The group wants to increase the number of students it can help.

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