Goan voices wow at Maundy Thursday service in Oman

The Church Music Ministry of the Sts Peter and Paul Catholic Church, Muscat, selected the Goan community choir owing to their melodious singing
STRIKE A POSE: The Goan community choir group ended the Maundy Thursday service at the Sts Peter and Paul Church Ruwi, Oman on a high note.
STRIKE A POSE: The Goan community choir group ended the Maundy Thursday service at the Sts Peter and Paul Church Ruwi, Oman on a high note.

Music, like ripples across a river, has the power to flow and reach hearts. When voices come together in choral singing, with a few high notes and melodious tones, the sound transcends to every corner of the church, creating a beautiful union of praise and worship.

Over the years, the Goan community choir group at the Sts Peter and Paul Catholic Church in Ruwi, Muscat, Oman, have been striking the right notes and creating holiness and happiness at the Konkani masses and the annual St Francis Xavier's feast mass in the parish.

STRIKE A POSE: The Goan community choir group ended the Maundy Thursday service at the Sts Peter and Paul Church Ruwi, Oman on a high note.
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And this year was very special for this Goan choir group, which was bestowed the opportunity to sing at the Maundy Thursday English high mass. The church echoed with the sound of music, led by the Goan community.

Choirmaster Sanille Antao shared that such a chance by the Church Music Ministry was only given to choirs with quality music and voices.

“This Goan choir group has always put in their best efforts to bring the Goan community together through their melodious singing," smiles Sanille, grateful for the support of parish priest, Fr Stephen Lewis, and music ministry coordinator, Aileen Saldanha Das.

This Goan choir group has always put in their best efforts to bring the Goan community together through their melodious singing.

Sanille Antao, choirmaster

"We accepted this lifetime opportunity, and the singing was so good that all the communities appreciated our singing, and music too,” he adds.

“It’s a blessing to be a part of this Goan choir,” says John Dias, a key member of the group, and one who believes that, as a Goan, it was one of those proud moments for them to lead the congregation in praising God through their voices.

Not just time constraints, but coordinating with every member’s busy schedules was a big task.

SING & PRAISE: The performance touched the hearts of many at the Maundy Thursday service in Ruwi, Oman.
SING & PRAISE: The performance touched the hearts of many at the Maundy Thursday service in Ruwi, Oman.

John says, “It was a mountain to climb.”

But, with the able leadership of Maestro Sanille, John knew the opportunity had to be seized. “It was a tedious schedule of practices considering that we sang in four voices, and synchronising the same is never an easy task,” he reveals.

“As we were doing this for the first time, it was indeed challenging and required enormous dedication and energy,” shares liturgical and choir coordinator, Purity Fernandes Albuquerque.

STRIKE A POSE: The Goan community choir group ended the Maundy Thursday service at the Sts Peter and Paul Church Ruwi, Oman on a high note.
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There’s no denying music flows in every Goan’s vein, and Purity finds this so true. Even in Muscat, away from home, she believes that they managed to touch the hearts of so many parishioners with their singing.

“We could see from the many messages received just after the service that music truly has no language barriers,” adds Purity.

STRIKE A POSE: The Goan community choir group ended the Maundy Thursday service at the Sts Peter and Paul Church Ruwi, Oman on a high note.
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The choir is a mixed pool of senior and budding musicians that play various instruments, including the piano, violin, saxophone and guitar, and have some talented singers trained to sing in four voices.

“This will be one of my most cherished experiences. Being part of this choir was truly a wonderful experience. Time was a constraint, but we did it,” says Cinthia Dias Juliao who sang in tenor, alto and soprano.

She adds, “I was blessed to have a maestro like Sanille and voice trainer like John, who helped me explore my talents.”

We transformed challenges into opportunities, and created music that touched hearts.
Kevin Travasso

And not just Cinthia, Kevin Travasso went on to appreciate the leadership and invaluable support of Sanille and John.

“We transformed challenges into opportunities and created music that touched hearts. Not forgetting our talented musicians, Melroy, Regino and Ryan, and other members who despite the short time frame made every rehearsal a moment of growth and connection.”

STRIKE A POSE: The Goan community choir group ended the Maundy Thursday service at the Sts Peter and Paul Church Ruwi, Oman on a high note.
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Feeling blessed at this incredible journey with fellow choir members, Kevin shares, “To be part of this musical family and the bond forged with fellow choir members is something I will cherish forever, where every voice matters and every note resonates with purpose.”

“First and foremost, all glory and honour to our Creator who has called each one of us to sing for His glory,” says choir member, Ivo Fernandes, adding, “I believe many are called, but few are chosen.”

STRIKE A POSE: The Goan community choir group ended the Maundy Thursday service at the Sts Peter and Paul Church Ruwi, Oman on a high note.
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Sharing his thoughts, violinist Melroy D’Souza appreciated the willingness of every member to push boundaries and reach new heights.

He says, “Achievements like these are the ones that leave a mark in the books of memories and accomplishments. Let’s keep the Goan choir singing, evolving, and cherishing those moments of growth and harmony.”

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