The Cecilian Choir was started as a group of singers from different walks of life, who came together under the leadership of Rev. Dr. Theodore Pereira, ofm. cap., their conductor. Under his able guidance they had developed into a choir whose main objective was to make good music, and through it raise funds for social welfare programmes, being particularly interested in helping promote self-employment. The Choir had taken its name in honour of St. Cecilia, the patron Saint of Music. The first three concerts in December 1982 comprised entirely of Christmas Music, and sang John W. Peterson's Christmas Cantata "Christ Is Born". Their strong point was the distinct arrangement and production of the Carols, both Traditional as well as Contemporary. Their practices used to be conducted at the Good Shepherd Convent.
The Founder Members of the Cecilian Choir :
Conductor: Rev. Dr. Theodore Pereira, ofm.cap
Accompanist: Sister Good Shepherd, rgs from The Good Shepherd Convent.
Soprano Voices: Brinda Abreo, Marian Carvalho, Vandana Hiranaya, Beryl Mathias, Bobby Modak, Sr. Paula Monterio, Theresa Murthy, Melanie Noronha, Susan Rego, Ruth Samuel.
Alto Voices: Pamela Chandy, Sr. Perpetua D'Souza, Karina Fernandes, Linsy Franco (now DeNazareth), Sr. Theresa Joseph, Maya Madan, Rita Noronha (daughter of the well known Organist of St. Patrick's Church, Trixi Noronha who passed away a little more than a month ago in August 1996)
Tenor Voices: John Nepo Cruz, Francis Gama, Br. Ulysses Hamel(Holy Cross Brothers), Dr.David Johnson(now in Sydney, Australia), Ronnie Johnson, Gerard D'Mello.
Bass: Alan Colaco, Leonard Fernandes, Samuel Jacob, Oscar Menezes, Noel DeNazareth.
Rev. Dr. Theodore Pereira, OFM, Cap.
Fr. Theodore Pereira, studied music under his father Mr. Dominic Pereira, L.R.S.M., first prize winner at the Conservatories of Vienna and Prague, better known as the Leader and Conductor of Bombay Symphone and Philharmonic Orchestra. After Staff assignments in various colleges, Fr. Theodore went to Europe for higher studies where he did his Doctorate Course in Theology and Masters's Course in Music. He was a member of the world famous Sistine Choir. He was the Vice Rector and Dean of Theology besides being Professor of Liturgical Theology and Music at the Capuchin Philosphat and Theolagate in Bangalore. He was also the Provincial Director of Formation for the Capuchin Province of Karnataka, Goa and Maharashtra. Fr. Pereira was also the author of a fast selling book on Inculturation, which was sold in over 20 countries abroad. He was the formation hand behind the Cecilian Choir, who were proud to have had him as their first Conductor.
The Bangalore Amateur Chorale (BMA as it is popularly known as) had its modest begining in 1975. Over the years the Choir had with an increased vocal range and greater maturity of interpretation, been able to sing more varied music and increasingly difficult arrangements with richer harmony. The BMA's many public concerts since 1975 have consisted of much appreciated selections of sacred music, negro spirituals, waltzes, themes from musicals, madrigals, classics and other contemporary favourites. In 1978 the Max Mueller Bhavan sponsored the Chorale in a special programme to illustrate the development of choral music between the 13th and 20th centuries.
Conductor: Christine Colaco (Sequeira)
Accompanist: Marlene Gonsalves
Soprano Voices: Vera Sequeira, Bernie Gonsalves, Sandra D'Mello, Maria Sequeira, Jill Sequeira, Marlene Gonsalves, Marian Johnstone, Aruna Joseph, Leoila D'Souza, Susan Fernandes
Alto Voices: Jacqueline Colaco, Judy Lovejoy, Sheila Motha, Preeta Muthalali, Mary Kate Santiago
Tenor Voices: Reginald Frazer, Peter Colaco, Peter Fernandes, Vivian Chirayath, Micheal Morton, Dale Sequeira
Bass Voices: Joe Colaco, Joe Van Ross, T.K. Anto, Mathews Manohar, Kevin Oliver
(Please Note that the information on the Cecilian Choir & BMA is from a 1982 performance at the Town Hall, for the Basel Mission Christian Association "Festival of Christmas Music '82", Saturday 18th December. Many of the choir singers mentioned from both the Cecilian Choir & BMA have settled down or left Bangalore).
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Thought for the Day:" Blessed are you poor, For yours is the kingdom of God. Blessed are you who hunger now, For you shall be filled. Blessed are you who weep now, For you shall laugh. Blessed are you when men hate you, And when they exclude you, And revile you, and cast out your name as evil, For the Son of Man's sake. Rejoice in that day and leap for joy! For indeed your reward is great in heaven, Fon in the manner their fathers did to the prophets. But woe to you who are rich, For you have received your consolation. Woe to you who are full, For you shall hunger. Woe to you who laugh now, For you shall mourn and weep. Woe to you when all men speak well of you, For so did they fathers to the false prophets." Holy Bible: Luke 6:20-26