Chennai floods wash away carol concert

MCC Alumni Carol Concert is 16-year-old tradition

Chennai: It’s not Christmas without carols. But the much looked forward to MCC (Madras Christian College) Alumni Carol Concert won’t be conducted this year. After postponing the dates of the two-day concert once because of the monsoon floods, organisers have decided that 16-year-old tradition will need a break this year.

“It just doesn’t seem like the appropriate time for lights and celebration,” says Dr Ravi Santhosham, vice president of MCC Alumni Association. Also, he adds, “Most choirs in the city have been unable to practice frequently with all the waterlogging on the roads preventing them from getting to rehearsals.”

While regulars who attend the two-day show every December, are disappointed, the silver lining is that churches will continue their in-house carol services as per usual. And quite a few like St Andrew’s Church in Egmore and the Arulnathar Lutheran Church in Kellys are even organising flood relief measures by reaching out to their congregations, The New Indian Express reported.

Several churches have allocated separate committees comprising of members of the youth and Church elders to volunteer to affected slum areas in SM Nagar, Jafferkhanpet and Thirupalaivanam. And some church choirs are even doing their bit by putting together carol concerts in their home parishes to raise funds for those who lost everything during the floods.

“It’s last minute, but all the groups we approached were more than happy to come together to do something positive with our carol tradition,” said Ebenezer Arunkumar, conductor of the Arulnathar Lutheran Church choir. Along with friends at the Madras Musical Association (MMA), The Octet Cantabile and The Canticles – the church will open its doors to a fundraiser concert on December 16.

“The only difference with a church fundraiser of course is that the funds will be collected by way of ‘offertory,” Ebenezer points out.

As for those still pining for some ‘community singing’ with Christmas drawing near, there is one event to look forward to. They call it ‘Carols by Candlelight’ and if all goes well the concert will continue in its 56th year this December at St Christopher’s College of Education in Vepery.

“The date is set for December 19, but its an open air concert and we can’t go ahead if it rains again,” says Mary Rodrigues, president of the MMA. “So everyone will just have to wait and watch,” she adds.

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