History

"How many groups were there! I did not expect so many" Roshan said at the end of the All Kerala Quartet Competition held at the Y.M.C.A. Kottayam in May 1986."Quite a few of them are from Kottayam. Even I am surprised at the number of good singers".Boney replied. "I was just thinking of that. There is a wealth of talent in and around Kottayam" Abey added. The three met at the conclusion of a competition and had taken part in the competition. "Abey; we should think of a group on the lines of the Thiruvananthapuram Male voices. Kottayam has enough talented singers and we can easily form a group. If you take the initiative, I will do whatever I can. We will be fulfilling a long felt need." Roshan said .Roshan, Abey & Boney worked in different fields, one dealing with the nitty gritty of financial transactions as an officer of the Federal Bank and Abey, fully engrossed in this profession of dealing with algae and fungi, plants and trees in the Department of Botany of C M S College and Boney being a student of the same college. All were passionate about harmony singing and were the heart and soul of the church choirs of Machukadu, Pannimattam & Kanjikuzhy. Roshan spoke about this to Georgy, George Cherickal of Jobjees Gift Centre and Geeve, Geeve Mathew who was also a student of C.M.S.


Abey, in fact was nurturing such an idea for quite sometime. When the suggestion came from his friend, the last vestige of doubt that lingered in his mind was removed. The idea acquired a new urgency and a concrete shape. The execution of the idea moved at break-neck speed and the Kottayam men´s Voices came into being enlisting, hand picked choristers from the C S I Marthoma congregations in and around Kottayam. There were eight singers and the director the position which the soft spoken Prof. Abraham C. Mathew popularly known as Abey assumed with Roshan P. John, the well known and the rich baritone singer as his trusted deputy. The month was July and the year 1986. The first official function in which the group participated was the song service arranged at the Jerusalem Marthoma Church in September of that year by the Parish, which happened to be the venue of the practices of the group during the initial years.


The first function organized by the Kottayam Mens Voices was the Christmas recital of 1985. This was held at the Gothic Chapel inside the C M S College, a place known for its impeccable acoustic arrangement. The songs rendered in all purity of natural sound were received by an enthralled audience of a little over hundred!! Encomiums poured in from the music buffs who filled the Chapel.


25 Years after that maiden recital! The group has not looked back after the modest beginning. The journey had been quite exciting and rewarding. The group experienced the hand of God guiding it every step of the way. The mercy of the Lord was received in abundance, pressed down, shaken together and overflowing.


The Easter recital of 1987 brought in a bigger crowd, one which could not be contained in the chapel. Naturally the group looked for a bigger place for the next Christmas recital. The Darshana Auditorium was chosen the new venue. Gradually the number of the group increased and it touched twenty by the time of the preparation for the Christmas recital. Meanwhile some of the founder members went in search of greener pastures and their places were taken over by enthusiastic new comers.


"Abey, why can´t we have a mixed group? That will add variety to the presentation. Many have suggested this. We should give it a try". Roshan remarked one day. Some had spoken to Abey also regarding this. The whole group endorsed this view. Thus the Kottayam Men´s Voices became the Kottayam Mixed Voices in 1988. The number was doubled with this addition. When the group became big, bigger stages were required and the venue of recitals was changed to the Yuhanon Marthoma Hall.


The group could establish itself as a noted band within a few years. Opportunities were provided by All India Radio and Doordarshan, Invitations were also received from many cities and towns in Kerala for stage performances. ´Glorious´ of Bangalore hosted the group during two of their yearly concerts.


The group grew in popularity. Naturally attendance at the recitals showed an upward swing. The hall became quite inadequate and the Mammen Mappila Hall with a seating capacity of 1500 became the new venue. Still many recitals saw overflowing crowds who had to depend upon L C D screens put up outside the hall for lack of seating space. Later the uniquely beautiful lawns of the C.M.S. College re-echoed with the carols of Kottayam Mixed voices. Disproving the doubting Thomas´s, these open air recitals were phenomenal successes. Where the scenic beauty of the campus added extra charm to the songs of the choir. In fact the practices of the group had been shifted to the C.M.S. College Chapel, when Rejisir became the Principal of the college in 1998.This was a definite boom in the growth of the organisation. But the group was compelled to put an end to this practice of singing in the open air when inclement weather disrupted the recital during the third year and so the venue was shifted back to Mammen Mappila Hall The Christmas recital of the K M V has become the harbinger of the Yuletide to this town of lakes and letters and people look forward to this function with earnest anticipation.


The whole group was plunged into sorrow in January 16th 2005 when Roshan was called home to join his fathers. But his steadfast faith when he was battling with cancer and his cheerful acceptance of the suffering were abiding lesson to all those who knew him. The last song which he composed when he knew that his days were numbered portrays this unflinching faith. This gifted singer has joined the celestial choir and has been singing eternal praises is the only solace and the lasting inspiration for the group.


25 long years!! The development of the group over the years has been beyond the wildest dreams of the founders. Performing at an optimum level over a long period is truly remarkable. 12 audio CDs, 3 Video CDs, innumerable stage performances - all was possible only through the loving kindness and tender mercy of the Lord. Isn´t it the reward of submitting God given talents like the widows nickel, for the Glory of God with full dedication? A part of the proceeds from the sale goes for humanitarian actions, especially to the differentially abled of the Bodhinilayam, Y M C A, Kottayam. Of course there have been human frailty and at this landmark time, we once again rededicate ourselves, to be used as the servants of God propagating his teaching through the medium of music.



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