Bandra’s Gleehive Children Choir has been in existence for the last 25 years. The number of kids who form the choir in a calendar year range from 140 to 200. Last year, out of dozens of choirs in Mumbai, it was selected to be part of the song If I rise..., for the movie 127 Hours.
The soothing melody was later nominated for the Oscars in the Best Song category. AR Rahman and Dido are the lead vocalists. Says music arranger Clinton Serejo, “I have been working with A R Rahman since the days of Taal (1997). Based on his needs, I selected the choir because of their singing abilities.”
If I rise... was recorded at Octavius Studio, Bandra, while Rahman connected with the choir from LA on Skype. Dido had already recorded her portion of the song earlier; while Rahman sung his part a few weeks later.
The children in the choir are between the ages of 5-16. Says Celeste Creado, director for the Gleehive Choir, “As per the brief, I selected eight of the youngest kids under the age of 11, who would adapt and produce the sound required, and deliver quickly. The song is a simple catchy melody. But it was difficult to deliver because it doesn’t have a regular tempo, and needed a particular timbre, with the sound of innocence.”
According to Creado, Auriel (13) was the only exception to the age group limitation, but Dominique Serejo, Clinton’s wife, made a special request for her.
Says an ecstatic Auriel, “The song has given the children an opportunity to use their talent. It’s pleasing to know that we are being appreciated internationally. It makes us proud to be Indian.”
The Gleehive Choir
(24 children) has previously sung in the movie Taare Zameen Par for the song Mera jahaan.... A few years back, the choir had also backed the international act, The Abba Show.