Written by Jayali Wavhal
It’s that time of the year when the city comes alive with Christmas cheer. A week before Christmas, markets are wearing a festive look, choir groups are busy planning performances at old age homes and orphanages, and exhibitions, dotted with stalls that offer goodies, wine and live music, are underway. At the All Saints’ Church choir, conductor Shilpa Bernard said none of the choir members was a professional musician, yet their love for music has united them strongly. “We love singing carols together and performing for Easter and Christmas. Through our events, we are going to try to raise funds and help the underprivileged, thus keeping the Christmas spirit alive,” she added.
On December 16, the choir will host a programme, which will include singing carols while portraying the birth of baby Jesus, and also raise funds for charity. At Sacred Heart Parish Church, the choir group will be spreading the spirit of happiness by singing carols at orphanages, old age homes and other public places a week before Christmas eve. The choir, conducted by Jarita Dias and Angelynn Rosario, comprises members of every age group, from children to senior citizens, and some of them are professionally trained musicians. At St Peter’s Church choir, the group will be singing carols not only in English but in Hindi, Malayalam and Marathi. With more than 40 members and conducted by Rachel Jose, the choir releases new songs every year and will be singing the popular ones at the church on December 23.
Father Sabby Moni, music director for the St Patrick’s Cathedral choir, said this year, a float is being organised in association with the Prison Ministry to create awareness about rehabilitation of prisoners. Another float procession is also being organised by the Shalom Christian Association on December 22, where vehicles carrying cribs from different parishes will participate.
Meanwhile, at the 114-year-old Poona Goan Institute, the first woman president, Charmaine D’Souza, has organised a series of events leading up to the festival. On Friday, Snowflakes — the Christmas festival got underway. A Christmas bazaar has also been planned from December 21 to 23, while V J Carlton Wancer will perform along with choir groups from City Church and St Xavier’s Church on December 21 at PGI.
“We will also be hosting the city’s top band, Groove Junktion, on December 25,” said D’Souza.
On December 15 and 16, Noella Kambli, founder of Ladybird events, in association with the Women’s Economic Empowerment, has organised a ‘Jingle Bells’ Christmas Bazaar at the Sacred World Atrium, Wanowrie. “Through this bazaar, several women entrepreneurs will be given a platform to showcase their skills and gain exposure from a larger audience. There are 80 stalls, of which 15 have been given on a charitable basis”.