Report: Sunil Furtdao
Pics: Joachim D’Souza

Muscat, May 4: The selection of participants for the semi-final round of Gulf Voice Of Mangalore 2016 from Oman was done in an impressive style and scale by the Mangalorean Catholic Centre of the Parish (MCCP), Muscat, Oman. MCCP added further flair and fervour to the whole event by organizing a talent show by the community members.

Both the events, the preliminary round of GVOM as well as the talent show generated tremendous enthusiasm and there was a feeling of festivity and expectation among the members as they gathered at the parish main hall of Sts Peter & Paul Catholic Church, Ruwi on April 29.

The programme began at 10.30 am with Praveen Serra, the master of ceremonies taking centre stage and giving introduction of the event citing the glorious history of GVOM for the last eight years. Anitha Danthi, the spiritual secretary of MCCP invoked the blessings of the Almighty for the success of the programme. John Gonsalves, the president of MCCP, welcomed all to this important event and appreciated their love for Konkani and the community. The chief guest of the event Dilip Correa and guest of honour Denis Mascarehnas were escorted to the stage by Ophelia Lazarus and John Mathais, the vice-presidents of MCCP. They were honoured with flowers by John Gonsalves for taking time out of their busy schedules to attend the programme. The event was inaugurated by lighting of the lamp by the chief guest, the guest of honour and the executive committee members of MCCP.

Anita Lobo, cultural secretary of MCCP then introduced the judges for GVOM 2016. She gave a brief background of the three well-known personalities in the world of music, who were specifically invited from the neighbouring GCC countries to judge this event. The judges, Swibert Mascarehnas from Abu Dhabi, Saira Joyce Mascarehnas from Qatar and Wilfred Fernandes from Abu Dhabi were welcomed with flowers by the executive committee members, Ophelia Lazarus, Lancy Saldanha and Priya Menezes.

Praveen Serra called all contestants to march in and take their designated seats as the GVOM anthem played in the background. John Mathais, vice-president of MCCP read out the rules and regulations for the preliminary round of the competition. Celine D’Souza and Jacinta Serrao were introduced to the gathering as time keepers of the contest. The contest then began with the male contestants performing first, followed by the female contestants. All of them gave their best shot with soulful rendering of their choice of song. Most singers were accompanied by a box guitar player as allowed by the rules.

All the three judges were then called on stage and felicitated with mementos by Stanly Fernandes, Henry Martis and John Gonsalves. On popular demand, two judges, Wilfred Fernandes and Swibert Mascarehnas sang their favourite songs and regaled the audience, while the third judge, Saira Mascarehnas chose to give a feedback on the entire event. She pointed out all the positives as well as points for improvement to the contestants, which was well received. She hailed the efforts of MCCP for organizing the event in a very professional manner with excellent coordination and precision. She called upon the community members to encourage their family members to take advantage of such contests and participate in large numbers. She also said that it is not the spirit of winning but it is the spirit of participation that is more important and needs to be encouraged.

The vote of thanks was given by Sunil Furtado, treasurer of MCCP, where contributions done by various individuals and organizations to hold this event were cited and applauded. Stanley Fernandes, the core committee member of MCCP then came on stage to handover the plaque that he had recently received from the chief minister of Karnataka while laying the foundation stone for the Konkani Museum at Mangaluru on behalf of MCCP, being the founder member of Konkani Museum. John Gonsalves accepted the same on behalf of MCCP and the entire community.

It was finally the time to announce the results. Clarence Pinto, core committee member of MCCP and the chief coordinator of GVOM from Oman took over the proceedings. He first called all participants on stage and lauding their courage for taking part in the contest, presented each of them with a certificate of participation. He then announced the names of the winners, six each from male and female categories in the order of their standing. The winners were,

Female category

1. Zeena Maria D’Souza
2. Leanne Henrita Caldeira
3. Inez Lobo
4. Flavia Castelino
5. Flavia Jacintha Fernandes
6. Precilla Lobo

Male category

1. Cavin D’Souza
2. Joyal D’Souza
3. Joel Francis Mendonca
4. Prakash Alwyn D’Souza
5. Noel Machado Kayyar
6. Sandhesh D’Souza

The trophies to the winners were given away by Dilip Correa, Denis Mascarehnas, Stanley Fernandes, Henry Martis and John Gonsalves. As a conclusion to the morning session and before serving the sumptuous lunch to all the attendees, Sr Stella Saldanha, who is on a short visit to Muscat, was called upon to say the grace before meal.

The afternoon session started immediately after lunch with very talented Peter Fernandes taking over the proceedings as the master of ceremonies of talent show. He entertained the audience with humorous one-liners and puzzles. More than twenty different performances from members and their children were presented one after the other, which turned out to be the most entertaining two hours ever. The audience was left totally mesmerized and spellbound by the variety and depth of talent that was on display from within the community.

The sizzling dance performances in classical as well as bollywood styles were put up by Harleen Pinto, Pearl Lewis, Glen Alexei Menezes, Saniya D’Souza, Christine Angelin Danthi, Anisha D’Costa, Melanie Nerissa D’Cruz, Jeslyn Amelia D’Souza, and Dynet Fremcitha Fernandes. A scintillating group dance was performed by Lovette Rachel Rego, Lanette Riol Rego, Leanne Alva, Reia Correa, Rochelle Correa, Christine Angelin Danthi, Renessa Walder, Grace Menezes and Anisha D’Costa, which was choreographed by Dynet Fernandes. A treat of melodious singing was dished out by young and upcoming singers Joanne D’Souza, Caroline D’Souza, Rochelle Correa, Lenita Lobo, Pritham Akash D’Souza, Gail Castelino and Neil Castelino. Sania Marisha D’Souza showed how a glass can be a musical instrument with her tap dancing along with singing. Jeston Gonsalves, Michelle Gonsalves, Neil Fernandes, Rochelle Lobo, Rebecca D’Souza and Ashwitha Aranha as music group presented charming and captivating songs from Konkani, Hindi and English with similar tunes. Alston Conrad Moras fascinated the crowd with his beat boxing prowess. The inimitable Rolson Cardoza presented a stand-up comedy which had the audience in splits.

The last performance of the day was a dazzling fashion show put up by Sylvester and Nancy Vaz. The confidence and style of the children walking down the ramp impressed one and all. The performers were, Lovette Rachel Rego, Lanette Riol Rego, Leanne Alva, Reia Correa, Rochelle Correa, Christine Angelin Danthi, Anisha D’Costa, Andril Lobo, Malcom D’Souza, Melrick D’Souza, Clive Austin Danthi, Stacy Vaz, Lionel Vaz, Clarita Saldanha, Larissa Saldanha, Harleen Pinto, Nathan Mervyn Lewis, Amanda D’Costa, Zenaida D’Costa, RenessaWalder, Priyanka Mendonsa, Rebecca D’Souza and AldreanMoras. Audience applauded when the coordinators Sylvester and Nancy Vaz walked on the ramp followed by the committee members, to bring a perfect finishing to the fashion show.

At the end, every performer was called on stage and given a certificate of appreciation and a gift for their brilliant performance. The winners of the recently held drawing competition were also awarded. John Gonsalves in his concluding speech thanked all the performers for putting up a splendid show and making this one-of-a-kind-event into a huge success. He also thanked all those who attended the function as their presence encouraged the talent among the members and their families. He requested a similar response for the Annual Day function of MCCP scheduled on May 27 at the same venue. While appreciating all those supported, he felicitated and thanked Lovleen Rego for music, Joachim for photography, Sylvester Vaz and Nancy Vaz for organizing the fashion show and Praveen Serra and Peter Fernandes for being the comperes of the day.

Overall, it was a heady mix of Konkani singing sensations of Oman putting in their best efforts to secure a berth in semi-final round of GVOM 2016 followed by a display of multiple talents. The dazzle as well as the sheer entertainment of the day would remain etched in the memory of the Konkani community members for a long time to come.

Additional Pictures:  Photogallery