Heavenly Melodies Choir – Sharjah, since 2001
“Speaking to yourselves in psalms, hymns & spiritual songs, singing and making melody in your heart to the Lord”- Ephesians 5:19
Heavenly Melodies was born in December 2001, with its debut performance at the Christmas Carol singing competition hosted by the Indian Association, Sharjah, where the team secured 2nd place . The rest, as they say,is history. Ten years down the lane,over 100 performances in various prestigious venues, the team surges forward, as strong as ever, with a never ending dedication to bring forth to the world the soul stirring melodies of Late Abraham Sir,thereby exalting the Mighty Name of our Lord. The initiative for such a fellowship was conceived by Mr. Alex Varghese & Sabu J.Chandy, who is the choir mentor. Mr. Alex Varghese,who is the program coordinator for the team,also sings with the group occasionally. In the first year, Mr.Suresh Alexander was brought in to play the keyboard.Over the years,various keyboardists have performed with the team,viz. Ranju Luke Kurien, Sam Thomas, Anil Thomas, Lijo Onakkoor and Sunu Daniel. Members are from different churches in UAE, with an immense passion for Devotional Christian Music.
Since 2001, the Heavenly Melodies Choir has been a regular fixture on the devotional singing scene,actively participating in Ecumenical Christmas programs hosted by YMCAs Dubai & Sharjah, Sharjah Indian Association, Sharjah Marthoma Church and various other cultural forums in UAE. Also, the group has made appearances in leading Malayalam T.Vchannels like Asianet Plus, Jeevan T.V, Kairali T.V during the past years. At present, the team is a finalist on Amrita TV’s new reality show for devotional music, ‘Devageetham Middle East’, coordinated by YMCA, Dubai. The Grand Finale will take place on 10th December 2011 at Sheikh Rashid Auditorium, Dubai. Our successful run in this competition can be largely attributed to the fact that we presented some classic gems of Abraham Sir,that are a class apart from conventional devotional music. Also worth mentioning is, the value added contributions of Mr.Justin Pereira, who is an accomplished musician and composer himself. Beautifully orchestrating Abraham Sir’s melodies, he also gave special training to the team members giving solo & duet performances. Mr.Justin,along with Mr.Paulose Varkey on the tabla and Mr.James Varappuzha on the guitar were instrumental in ensuring the team’s smooth sailing into the Grand Finale of Devageetham Middle East.
The group meets once in every month spending around 3 hours for learning new songs and rehearsing previously learnt songs. Sabu J.Chandy, the team lead, gives orientation for songs to the 25 plus members of the singing crowd. Importance is given for rhythm and pitch. Special practice is given for these two areas for all singers. Voice training for Choir singing is done occasionally. The Heavenly Melodies have made a mark for themselves as a team who bring forth a genre of songs that stand out from conventional christian devotional music; all thanks to late Shri Abraham Padinjarethalakkal, who was an asset to the Orthodox Liturgy of Music. Unfortunately, Abraham sir’s songs are not known to many, because the true musician in him never wanted to commercialize his music. Mr.Sabu’s long standing association with Abraham Sir spans 10 years, as one of the leading male voices of the St.George Orthodox Church Choir, Palarivattom,where Abraham Sir was the choir master. The Heavenly Melodies team and Mr.Sabu in particular aims at transferring these class songs to aspirants who hold music close to their heart. The Heavenly Melodies firmly believe that music is one of the most powerful and effective channels for communicating God’s love to His people and ultimately brings us all together in singing His praises.