Home Chennai Hymns for the weekend

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Our pick of the carols to look forward to this festive season

AS WE soak up the Christmas traditions of twinkling fairy lights, boozy fruit cakes and laden coniferous trees, we track the season’s music
tradition of hymns and carols. “With contemporary music gaining an edge with millennials, one would think that the classics will lose their sheen. However, the crowds just pour in. It just isn’t Christmas unless you have a choral performance,” says the city’s favourite music conductor, Augustine Paul.

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KM Christmas Concert
Offering an a’capella version of Tchaikovsky’s Dance of the Sugar Plum Fairy, and classics like The 12 Days of Christmas, the KM Christmas Concert has 15 members and this year’s student ensemble specialises in contemporary music. Event organiser, Adam Grieg tells us that, “There will be around six carols throughout the programme. It is a mix between instrumental items, choir pieces, and solos.” Today, 3.30 pm onwards, at KM Music Conservatory. Details: 43444786
Shillong Chamber Choir
Regulars in the city since 2011, this 12-member team is known for their choral-style performances of Western hymns and Bollywood music. William Richmond Basaiawmoit, a tenor singer and senior member of the band says, “This time, our repertoire will be quite different with a few songs having originated from South India.” Also expect Tamil and Malayalam tunes. Today, 7 pm onwards at Phoenix MarketCity. Details: 32214344

Carols by Candlelight
After completing 124 years, the 80-member MMA Choir’s  Carols by Candlelight is a tradition since British India. Choir master Augustine Paul, who also recently conducted music for Mellow Circle, tells us that the event includes not only a mix of 10 choirs from the city, but has a half-hour segment exclusively for the audience to sing-along by the candlelight. He promises, “Classic hymns often get a new twist.” December 17, 6 pm onwards at St Christopher’s College of Education. Details: 28522780

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St Thomas English Church
Besides Changed by a Baby Boy by Lari Goss, expect some Southern-gospel flavour from the 50-member choir that will perform a cantana that includes 12 songs. Choir-mistress and organist Anila Manoharan says, “Some of our choristers who were earlier in Chennai send us lovely music from across the globe. I was looking for something upbeat for this year, and this cantana was hit.” December 18, 6 pm onwards at St. Thomas English Church. Details: 42035179

—Rebecca Vargese

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