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The Sound of Music

Published : Jul 3, 2016, 12:10 am IST
Updated : Jul 3, 2016, 12:10 am IST

The Madras Musical Association share their experience traversing Vienna and the joy of performing there!

St Stephen’s Cathedral in Vienna
 St Stephen’s Cathedral in Vienna

The Madras Musical Association share their experience traversing Vienna and the joy of performing there!

This was a journey that transcended borders for the members of the Madras Musical Association (MMA), when they sang as part of the concert series held in Vienna. The MMA, along with the Coimbatore Chamber Chorale, shared the stage with the Vienna University Choir and Orchestra on June 8.

Vienna, known as the city of music has been an eye-opening experience for the members of the choir group as they had a taste of the cultural ethos of the city.

Talking about their varied experiences, Shilpa Natarajan, an independent singer and member of MMA says, “It was a rich learning experience for us and even though we have visited several other countries for concerts before this, we had a far more enriching experience in Vienna.”

Every street of this city reflects the magic of music. “I saw a man walking on the road carrying a harp! That was the first time I saw that instrument in real life. We also got the chance to witness a live performance of the oboe, a musical instrument that is rarely seen in India,” she adds.

Taking time off from their busy rehearsal schedule, the members wandered off to explore the city, and even travelled to the neighbouring countries.

“We found that the city was brimming with life everywhere, polite people, and inexpensive but delicious food were the highlights of the city other than the active music scene,” says Sangita Santosam, another member of MMA.

The members had the most fun during their trip to Salzburg, the place where the film Sound of Music was shot. “We visited the park and the hill where the iconic song sequences were made and we were awestruck by the beauty of this region,” Sangita recalls.

They could sing their hearts out, as well as check off items on their bucket lists during this trip. The solo travellers also made sure to visit nearby cities like Bratislava, Grinzing, Prague, and Budapest.

“I have never seen a concert where the orchestra played the notes perfectly without any blemishes. To accommodate about 250 singers in one go is indeed a difficult task and the Vienna concert hall proved up to the task,” says Augustine Paul, the conductor of the Chennai Orchestra team.

The members of MMA also got the chance to sing Tamil, German and English songs at the Votive Church. “The best part was that while singing the Tamil song, the men were clad in veshti and shirt while the women were dressed in sarees,” adds Augustine.

“This musical and travel-intensive treat has created an impact on the singers. Through this trip we have sent a message to Indian music exponents that an Indian music choir is on par with world-class music,” he quips.