Of Carols, Old and New


Besides singing in Hindi, French and German, several Delhi-based choirs are even including popular songs by The Beatles and Michael Jackson in their performances.

Carols are to Christmas what chocolate fudge is to vanilla ice-cream — the figurative cherry on the cake. Each year, a bunch of Delhi-based choirs prepare harmonious medleys to ring in the festivity. From traditional carols to contemporary adaptations and vernacular rhythms, Delhi's active choir circuit provides a Christmas platter that sometimes even includes popular songs from the '60s and the '70s.

YMCA Choral Group has been singing Hindi and Urdu versions of Christmas carols for many years now. "Our most popular adaptation has been the Hindi version of Joy to the World," says Reginald Milton, the choir director. Their next big performance will be held on December 29 at the Ramlila Grounds, where Milton plans to perform some original Hindi compositions. "Our Hindi carol Khamosh raaton ki thandi hawaon se is quite popular. We try to ensure larger audiences by singing in different languages," he said.

Singing carols in Hindi and English isn't the only highlight. The Delhi Chamber Choir has performed French and German versions of their carols as well. "Our first public performance was at Alliance Francaise this year. Along with our regular line-up, we sang French adaptations of popular carols," says Isabelle Jaitly, the choir's instructor. "We also perform at various embassies. For instance, we perfomed at the German Embassy some days ago," she adds.

The Beatles and ABBA aren't too far away from the line of Christmas carols this year. Deepalaya Choral Group, comprising 200 children from economically weaker backgrounds, performed some popular The Beatles and ABBA songs, along with their carols. "It's basically about creating a merry environment. We even sing Heal The World by Michael Jackson, as children enjoy singing songs of peace. They also perform popular carols such as Sweet Chiming Bells and Silent Night," said Shikha Pal, principal of Deepalaya School.

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