Spreading hope and joy through music

Poignant Pieces

Spreading hope and joy through music

At a time when Bangalore was witnessing an exodus of people belonging to the North-East community, the performance by the award-winning ‘Mizo Gospel Choir’, at different locations in the City, over four days was a welcome change.

Unmindful of the situation, people gathered in large numbers to watch the performances that were held at St Andrew’s Church, Cubbon Road; Bethel AG Church, Hebbal Ring Road and CSI Church, Kothanur, near Hennur Cross. The choir ended their performances at Richmond Town Methodist Church on Sunday evening. 

The choir members belong to the Hmar and not the Mizo community. 

It is the Independent Church of India Central Choir from Churchandpur, Manipur and has been performing for the last 24 years. 

This was their very first time in the City and they had carefully put together a set of 15 songs, which were a blend of Western classical pieces, popular gospel numbers and well-known Hmar songs that are sung in the North-East.  

Michel Morton, trustee, North East Olive Branch Charitable Trust, who was instrumental in bringing down the choir group, said, “The choir is popular in the North-East. Their songs are recorded and played in every household there. We had sent them an official invite four months ago and now, their presence comes as a relief.” 

The English pieces they performed included ‘Just A Little Talk With Jesus’, ‘When We All Get To Heaven’, ‘Jesus Take The Wheel’ and ‘Our Father’. They concluded the performance with ‘Hallelujah Chorus’ from Handel’s ‘Messiah’.

The choir had also chosen a few Hmar songs, such as Lalpa Ropuina, meaning glory of god; In Pak Ka Tih, which means ‘praise the lord’; and Ka Lungawi Na, which translates to ‘my satisfaction’. “All the songs are sung in praise of the almighty. They are songs of hope and joy,” explained Michel. H P Rum Rem Thang, who led the choir group, said he was delighted to perform in a City with such friendly people. 

“We may have come at a time when there is some tension but we felt very safe. We hope the rumour mongering will stop and peace will prevail. We selected the songs in such a way that there is a good mix of our traditional songs and popular English gospel songs,” said Rum Rem Thang.

 “Through our songs, we wanted to show how gospel music has influenced our lives. We have been practising for the last four months and are overwhelmed by the warmth we received in Bangalore,” he added.   

Arpitha John, who watched the concert, said that she was thrilled with the song selection. “They sung ‘Hallelujah Chorus’ from Handel’s ‘Messiah’ so well and have such well-trained singers. Although, I didn’t understand the language in their songs, they were melodious,” she said. 

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