This virtual choir raises funds for children with HIV / AIDS during lockdown

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Through virtual choirs, Mellow Circle hopes to draw attention to the need for funds to support the care of at-risk children with HIV / AIDS during the pandemic

“When the pains like the waves of the sea roll; whatever my fate, you taught me to say … it’s good, it’s good, with my soul.

No less than 37 voices, all members of the Chennai-based Mellow Circle choir, virtually come together to sing this Audrey Assad hymn. Following last year’s Mellow Circle Christmas play, a tradition in Chennai now, the choral group would have held their annual Magic of Music concert in July-August if the circumstances had been different. Last year, they recreated chartbusters from the 1960s through the 1980s, spanning evergreen bands such as The Beatles, Abba, Simon & Garfunkel, Pink Floyd, Michael Jackson, and Billy Joel. “This year, with the pandemic and social distancing standards, the chances of the concert taking place are low,” said Sajan Abraham, president of Mellow Circle.

A hand

“That’s why we’re making these virtual choir videos instead of promoting Prathyasha,” he adds. Prathyasha, a home for children living with HIV / AIDS, was founded by Mellow Circle in early 2007. It deals with the physical, emotional and educational well-being of children. Mellow Circle raises funds for Prathyasha through its Christmas plays and Magic of Music concerts.

However, having 37 people sing along to virtually harmoniously, when they couldn’t get along, was an interesting challenge for this veteran group. Producer Mervin T Thomas provided the music with the keyboard and mixed the sounds together. “There are four sections in this… about seven violas, six bases, three tenors and 21 sopranos. Each of us recorded our tracks … first the audio, then on that track we recorded a video. Mervin mixed them together, ”says Sajan. The video is uploaded to his YouTube channel (Sajan Abraham).

He hopes that the regular downloading of virtual choirs will help keep Prathyasha in the public consciousness. The home, he says, braves difficult circumstances. “All the children are looked after at home and go out as rarely as they can. Since they have HIV / AIDS, they are at high risk because their immunity is low, ”he says. In addition, there was a pause in their education. Those who turn 18 will have to leave the home (because it can only take care of the children) despite the uncertainty about their future. Some are pursuing higher education, others are looking for a job. “After they turn 18, they will have to go back to their families… uncles, aunts, single parents,” says Sajan.

In an effort to increase its fundraising, Mellow Circle is considering hosting a virtual concert, but nothing has been finalized yet. “Right now we’re working on a cover of another song – ‘A Million Dreams’ by The greatest showman – virtually. It should be out in the next three or four weeks, ”he said.

To learn more about Prathyasha, visit mellowcircle.in or prathyasha.in

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