Shillong Chamber Choir, which won India's Got Talent, will start a music school with their Rs 50 lakh prize money. Says Donna Marthomg, member of the choir, "Much before we won the title, we had decided to start a music school. It's what we always wanted to do. We tried to move the government, but it was taking really long. Our dreams have come true."
The school will be located in Meghalaya. So what prompted the group of 13 into starting a music school? Adds Donna, "Music is really a good excuse to take kids away from the streets, from bad habits. Music is a universal language and
nothing is greater than it. It is an expression in itself. India hardly has any music schools. Anyone who wants to learn music has to go to the Trinity College of London, Gildhall School, or the Royal School Of Music."
Singing Bollywood music was something the group had never experimented with before. "Our kind of music is what people won't understand very easily, because we are inclined to classical and opera. It's a very limited crowd that we have, which is why, on India'a Got talent, for the very time, we had to change our style and do Bollywood music. Bollywood is easy for Indian audiences," asserts Donna.
She also confirms the group's reluctance to speak in Hindi, "We don't speak the language, but we have some knowledge of it. We don't live in a region where Hindi is spoken. I'm glad we did it, though we had to speak a lot of English in between."
"We thought of performing in the style that we usually do, but people won't understand that. If we go on stage and sing Mozart, Handel and Beethoven, it wouldn't be proper. We had to incorporate something new. There are so many different styles and I don't think there is anything wrong in trying something new."
Shillong Chamber Choir won the title after beating drummer Teji Toko from Arunachal Pradesh. Sikh martial arts group Bir Khalsa came in third.
Their victory led to wild celebrations throughout Meghalaya. "We won not only because of the votes we got back home, but also because of support from the whole country. I wanted to win for the sake of our supporters who have been with us throughout. It would have been sad if we had lost. And this is a great way to thank them," she concludes.