SOI Conducts Music Camp in Goa

Strings of the Symphony Orchestra of India (SOI), based at the National Centre for the Performing Arts (NCPA), Mumbai, travelled to Goa recently to conduct a week-long music camp organised by Child’s Play India Foundation (CPIF).

From 8-14 May, 2022, three musicians of the SOI – Averell deSouza, Prabhat Kishore (violins) and Deon D’souza (viola, violin and music appreciation) – conducted sessions and workshops for young musicians from across Goa. During the camp, the students received individual lessons and were coached in chamber music and ensemble playing.

“Education programmes are central to the mission of the Symphony Orchestra of India, and we have developed a variety of programmes at home at the NCPA Mumbai, including concerts for young audiences, workshops, open rehearsals, and our flagship education programme, the SOI Music Academy,” said Xerxes Unvala, General Manager, Symphony Orchestra of India & Western Classical Music. “However, though based in Mumbai, we want to be able to reach out to musicians and music lovers around the country, and support the work in this area that is happening around the country.”

The camp was a rare opportunity for music students to not only benefit from individual instruction from members of India’s only professional orchestra but also learn the finer nuances of making chamber music. Deon D’Souza’s music appreciation sessions were fun and covered music history and orchestral playing.

“The music camp featured some of the finest, young and talented string players of Goa, amidst whom music making was an enriching experience. A welcoming ambience of the Childs Play Foundation along with the comradeship among students and faculty, stirred a desire to conquer new challenges of the repertoire performed at the end of the camp,” said Deon D’Souza.

“I was happy to be a part of this workshop series – the first and hopefully not the last partnership between Child’s Play Foundation and the NCPA. The children were so receptive, enthusiastic and eager to learn and play in ensembles. We achieved a lot in a short span of time,” said Averell deSouza.

Dr. Luis Dias, Founder and Project Director of CPIF said “I’m grateful to the NCPA and SOI for this partnership. It is the fruition of a long-held wish, almost since our inception. It augurs well for even stronger collaborations between us in the future.”

Unvala adds, “We were very pleased to partner with the Child’s Play India Foundation for this week of workshops and lessons with their students, and we hope to be able to build sustained programmes to work towards Western classical music education around India.”

Prabhat Kishore said, “It was a wonderful experience to be a part of this summer camp with the Child’s Play India Foundation. The children here are extremely talented. With just a little effort to mould them they ended up giving a beautiful performance. I see the future of Western classical music in India building up with these children.”

The camp concluded with an in-house concert for participants and their families. The programme featured solos, duos and quartets including Felix Mendelssohn’s Adagio from String Sinfonia no. 8, and Pieces for 4 violins, Op.178 by Charles Dancla.

The audience were also treated to performances by the SOI faculty including Terzetto in C major, Op. 74 by Antonín Dvořák, Joseph Haydn’s Baryton trio no. 14 and Bach’s Gigue from Partita no. 2 in D minor for solo violin (BWV 1004).