Songs from La La Land and Beyond - Harmony Children's Chorus & Sandra Oberoi & Deccan Voices - 5th Nov.

Harmony - The Music School (Bangalore) and Hyderabad Western Music Foundation are pleased to present  “Songs from La La Land and Beyond”

Sandra Oberoi & Harmony Children’s Chorus (Bangalore) &  Accompanist/piano: Dr. Iryna Tsarenko

plus Deccan Voices (Hyderabad)

When: Sunday, 5th November, 6pm

Where: Vidyaranya High School (opp. Secretariat; next to Hotel Anmol)

Enjoy an evening of exquisite music that will strike a chord in your hearts, light a fire in your souls and set your feet tapping! From folk to classical, jazz to music theatre, there’s something for everyone at this musical extravaganza!

A few students of the Harmony Children’s Chorus have also won international awards in singing and have performed at the prestigious Carnegie Hall in New York. Some Hyderabadis might remember Sandra singing here in town, back in 2013 along with her two opera singer friends from the US!

The Deccan Voices is a twin cities based group of enthusiastic singers from a "medley" of backgrounds and cultures brought together by their shared passion for vocal music.

All are welcome. Entry: Rs 150 (children below 10years and HWMF-members free)



By Pratap Antony / Hyderabad Western Music Foundation / 7/11/2017

     I had the great pleasure of being in the audience at a very special evening of choral music by a choir of young people aged between, perhaps, 10 and 15, who presented the audience with a beautiful gift of lively and vibrant music.

     This 16 or 17 voice choir that brought so much joy to the audience was ‘Harmony Children’s Chorus’ from Bangalore. The choir consisted of students of Sandra Oberoi’s ‘Harmony’ Music School in Bangalore.

     Sandra Oberoi is a Western vocalist and music educator who is responsible for fostering the talent of these young musicians, and who, I’m sure, inculcated the young choristers with the astonishing self confidence that they displayed; and invested the singers with good intonation, verve, understanding, and the ability to sing well beyond their years. The natural clarity of the children’s voices while they shared their joy in making music gave us in the audience even greater joy.

     But, I’m getting ahead of myself, the evenings programme on the 5th of November 2017 at Vidyaranya School was organised by the Hyderabad Western Music Foundation and Harmony-The Music School (Bangalore), and began with a short recital by the Deccan Voices, a twin cities based group of enthusiastic 

singers from a "medley" of backgrounds and cultures brought together by their shared passion for vocal music. The Deccan Voices sang, ‘The Music is Always There With You’ by the eminent composer, John Rutter, followed by ‘Suo Gan’, a Welsh lullaby. They then performed four songs from the Oscar winning movie ‘La La Land’, the songs were ‘City of Stars’, ‘Another Day of Sun’, ‘Audition - Fools who Dream’ and ‘Someone in the Crowd’. Kudo’s to the Deccan Voices for performing without looking at the music sheets and with minimal direction from Joe Koster the choir director who accompanied the choir on keyboard and who had also trained the choir for performance.

     Let’s get back to the main event, Harmony Children’s Chorus’ from Bangalore; they performed a selection of ten songs, the programming was well thought out and the songs were interestingly performed, the talented musicians

/vocalists sang with zest and exciting musicality, the sound was always clean, the diction clear and they kept the rhythms strong, spicy and accurate while maintaining pitch with amazing ease and composure. All the songs were sung from memory. The children in the choir were so musically gifted that it was hard to believe that they were just school children. And so we must  give credit to their teacher Sandra Oberoi for song selection, programming of the music, for her wonderful attention to detail; for arranging some of the songs and for training and bringing out the children’s talent and musicianship and preparing them perfectly to express their joy in making music without inhibition, and for making them shine like the little stars that they were, so that we in the audience could experience their musical gifts through their smiling eyes, swaying limbs and their heartfelt singing. . 

     Worth mentioning is that Sandra Oberoi had designed this programme, so that every singer got to sing either a solo, or be part of a duo or trio along with the choir to display their talent. The eminent pianist, Irina Tsarenko accompanied The Harmony Children’s Chorus. Since all the soloists and the chorus performed much more captivatingly than I ever expected, I will not describe how they sang each song, suffice it to say they displayed impressive musicianship. This is the programme in the order that they performed.

The first song they performed was Flower Duet – This pretty song, composed by Leo Delibes for the opera, ‘Lakme’, was sung by two sopranos, a boy and a girl along with the chorus. They next performed Pie Jesu from Andrew Lloyd Weber’s Reqiem. This too, was sung by two sopranos and chorus. Next was Lord make Me An Instrument of Thy peace - this acapella (unaccompanied) piece by Michael John Trotta is based on a French poem that used soft harmony and counterpoint brought out the beauty of this song. Tomorrow, from the musical 'Annie', and arranged by Sandra Oberoi, was sung by a soloist and chorus. The well known song  I Could Have Danced All Night, from My Fair Lady, was arranged by Sandra Oberoi for soloists and chorus. Memory - from Andrew Lloyd Weber’s ‘Cats’. Sandra Oberoi expressively rendered this song accompanied by Irina Tsarenko, and listening to this song moved me inside out, despite having heard the song by many singers both live, recorded and on youtube by the original cast of ‘Cats’, so, this became the most beautiful rendition of the song I’ve ever heard. Rise Up by Swiss DJ and composer Yves LaRock was next by soloist and chorus. An Evening Prayer from Hansel Gretel  and opera by 19th century composer Engelbert Humperdink. Next was the charming song How Far I’ll Go from the Disney animated movie ‘Moana’ again for soloists and chorus. It was this tune I think, which had a young little dancer in a tutu dance, while this song was being sung. It was endearing, to say the least. The next song, Anything You Can Do I Can Do Better, from the movie ‘Annie Get Your Gun’ was rendered so dramatically and well by the two fiercely competitive singers that the audience was thoroughly amused and entertained. The song Chili Con Carne – was next, by Swedish composer, Anders Edenroth, who sings in the acapella singing group ‘Real Group’. This song is a simple recipe for a Mexican dish that is insanely hard to sing, especially to maintain its rhythmic vitality and tempo, and more than ever while dancing, which the Chorus did so well. The last part of the set was called Bollywood Medley, this medley of ‘Bollywood’ songs was arranged by Sandra Oberoi and was good fun.

     Sandra Oberoi and the Harmony Children’s Chorus from Bangalore are talented and committed singers brought to us freshness of young musical minds that are lighting a path to a bright musical future.

     The Hyderabad Western Music Foundation (HWMF) once again brought the Twin Cities a good musical experience. The indefatigable organiser-in-chief, Joe Koster, founder director of HWMF, and musical director of Deccan Voices, thanked the Vidyaranya School for supporting HWMF and the Deccan Voices, who use the school premises for practices and for concerts, for their quiet but resolute support to music in the twin cities.

 Concert Videos

Deccan Voices: 

City of Stars from La La Land

Another Day of Sun from La La Land

Someone in the Crowd from La La Land

Audition – The Fools Who Dream from La La Land

The Music’s always there with you – John Rutter

Suo Gan – Traditional Welsh Lullaby – Mark Burrows

Sandra Oberoi & Harmony Children’s Chorus