APOLINARIS D’SOUZA – VALENCIA
An endearing touch to Music
By Antony D’Cunha
Apolinaris D’Souza – recipient of title “SALMAUM RAYACHEA KULLYECHO SANGHEETH SARDHAAR” meaning “Musician par excellence of the tribe of King Solomon” wears many hats – singer, composer & lyric writer, choir leader, Key Board player, composer & publisher of books on most popular devotional hymns & songs, producer of many audio CDs on most popular devotional hymns, active role in cultural, stage & musical shows, best trainer for aspiring achievers in stage competitions, sought after adjudicator for reality shows such as Gulf Voice of Mangalore, Mandd Sobhann fame “SODH” & Global Konkani Music Awards competition and many more. He was featured in Konkani weekly “Kannik” as early as in 1973 and also in prominent web portals of coastal Karnataka namely www.daijiworld.com and www.mangalorean.com for his contribution and key roles in the field of Music, culture, art, dramatics and stage shows.
As Singer, Choir Leader, Music Director
Born in 1953 at Angelore and later relocated to Valencia Parish, Music played major role in young Apolinaris’ life from the very young age and influenced in shaping his dreams. He had his early education at St. Joseph’s High School at Jeppu and later moved to St. Aloysius College where he spent major part of his educational career from 4th standard till college actively participating in academic goals and other areas of his interest.
Inspired by the motivation of (late) Marian Pinto – ex Valencia Church Choir Master, early in the childhood he developed interest in Music and later Fr. Walter Albuquerque, took Apolinaris under his wings. There he refined his talents and explored the possibilities of delivering quality work. Now having successfully presented the best of his creations and won the hearts & minds of people from our motherland spread across the world, he is busy focusing on higher goals to keep abreast with the day to day developments in the field and move forward with the times.
A singer from childhood he took active role in the singing competitions held at schools & colleges, church & cultural organisations and won many prizes and accolades over the years in the category of solo, duet and group singing. St. Aloysius High School and College – Mangalore, Don Bosco Hall and Town Hall at Mangalore, St. Vicent Ferer Church Valencia – Mangalore, Sts. Peter and Paul Church Ruwi, Muscat, Muscat Konkani Cultural Centre (MKCC) and Mangalorean Catholic Centre of the Parish (MCCP), Muscat are a few places among others where he rendered his performances.
In 1973 he conducted the “Youth Concert” held at Don-Bosco Hall, Mangalore and that was reported in many prominent Konkani news periodicals. He was the Youth Choir Leader in St. Vincent Ferer Church Valencia, Mangalore from 1970 to 1973. In 1975 he conducted the Christmas Carols at the Indian Embassy in Muscat. In 1976 the very first Konkani cultural programme at the PDO recreation club during Fr. Walter Albuquerque’s visit with Fr. Walter Albuquerque on the Keyboard, Wilfred Pinto on Guitar and Lilly D’Costa on mike singing “Kogle Thujo Thallo Aikathana” was conducted by him.
Being Choir Leader for over 20 years at the Sts. Peter and Paul Church Ruwi, from 1978 to 1998 he has motivated many budding talents to sing for the greater glory of God.
As founder member and Music Director for the Muscat Konkani Cultural Centre (MKCC), he has actively participated and organised many stage shows. In 1988 he directed the “MICK-MAX” creation musical play “SOBHAI KAZARACHI” involving more than 50 artistes both Mangalorean and Goan on a common platform during MKCC’s decennial celebrations.
At Mangalorean Catholic Centre of the Parish (MCCP), Muscat, he has been extending his services for almost all functions in the capacity of Music co-ordinator.
In 1970 when Latin was replaced by our mother tongue “Konkani” he took the privilege to compose Hymns in Konkani for church services, many of which have become so popular that every household in our homeland sing them by heart as these Hymns create some sort of devotional feeling while singing and that is the legacy of Apolinaris’ contribution to the congregation of faithful in and around the Konkan region. Among many, Vandan Tuka Somiya, Ye Ye Jezu Mogalla, Jezu Jezu, Sasnaso Vishev Sorvespora Taka Laboi, Thon Amchem Opsitaum, Mondhirant Bithor Soron, Undya Wyna Sovem, etc., are the ones have deep rooted influence in the hearts of our community and are sung in almost every Mass even today.
He has composed over 100 Hymns in Konkani and English so far and also composed over 100 songs in Konkani and a few in English. He has released 6 audio CDs of Hymns & Songs – 4 in Konkani, 1 in Malayalam and 1 in Latin.
He has released his own compositions covering 2 books of Hymns & Songs namely “KANTAR KORYAM SOMIYAK” in Konkani over 100 hymns, Mass and Liturgical songs, and “LET THE WHOLE WORLD SING TO THE LORD” in English over 100 hymns, Mass and Liturgical songs.
Role as Adjudicator for various singing competitions and reality shows
Served as one of the judges for various singing competitions held at church and cultural associations at Muscat.
Was one of the judges at recently held Gulf Voice of Mangalore – semi final rounds in Dubai by Mangalore Konkans.
Was on the jury panel for the Mandd Sobhann fame “SODH-1” singing competition held at Sandesh Studio – Mangalore, in December 2008.
Was on the jury panel for the “First Global Konkani Music Awards” in May 2009 conducted by Mandd Sobhann.
Was on the jury panel for the Mandd Sobhann fame “SODH-3” singing competition held at Doha-Qatar, in February 2012.
Birth of Muscat Konkani Cultural Centre (MKCC)
Much before the inception of MCCP, they have had Muscat Konkani Cultural Centre (MKCC) for promoting cultural programmes in Konkani. It was established in 1978 as a Konkani cultural wing of (then) Indian Cultural Association (now known as Indian Social Club) under the patronage of Indian Embassy. Apolinaris D’Souza, happens to be one of the founder members of MKCC and was actively involved in cultural activities organising plays and musical events. In 1988 he directed the “MICK-MAX” creation musical play “SOBHAI KAZARACHI” involving more than 50 artistes both Mangalorean and Goan on a common platform during MKCC’s decennial celebrations. MKCC’s sensational debut Musical evening way back in 1979 on the Independence Day, under Apolinaris’ Music direction, had evoked almost a frenzied ovation from a spell-bound audience that evening. Another trend setting play by MICK-MAX “SEQUEIRAM DRIVER” was also staged during the tenure joined by the cream of Konkani artistes and musicians of that time. “Monthi Fest” on September 8, celebrating harvest festival for the first time in Muscat with crowd strength of 2000 was another feather in the cap of MKCC.
Role in MCCP
He has extended his services to MCCP for all cultural and musical events as Music co-ordinator.
Awards and Honours
Honoured by Bishop Paul Hinder in 2007 with a memento in recognition of his active role in the church for over 2 decades in the field of Music.
Honoured by MCCP in 2007 with title “SALMAUM RAYACHEA KULLYECHO SANGHEETH SARDHAAR” meaning “Musician par excellence of the tribe of King Solomon” for his contribution in the field of Music for over 3 decades.
Honoured during MCCP’s 20th year celebration Mega Event held at Al Falaj Hotel Auditorium on 27th April, 2012 in the presence of over 900 audiences.
Apolinaris, is married to Joyce. They are a happy family and today, his wife – Joyce, is the happiest person being the pillar of strength & support to the family throughout its journey to perfection and success. Their elder son – Jollin is married to Melinda and they have 4 years old daughter Isabel. They are settled in U.S. Also younger son – Joslin, is in the U.S. and he has chosen Music as a career. Having achieved success in the field, he is fully interactive via website www.joslinmusic.com as composer, arranger, producer, song writer, pianist & director.
In conclusion Apolinaris, would like to thank in gratitude to all the people who have been a source of inspiration and support throughout this exciting journey of life including his family, parents, brothers – Albert D’Souza, (late) Marcel D’Souza & Oswald D’Souza, sisters – Nathalia D’Souza, (late) Stella D’Souza & Rita D’Souza and especially to his mentors – Fr. Walter Albuquerque and (late) Marian Pinto (ex Valencia Parish Choir Master). He is indebted to Konkan Kogul (late) Wilfy Rebimbus & family, who influenced his early singing career and Mannd Shobhann fame – Eric Ozario with whom he had the opportunity to work together in the 1970s. A Big word of THANK YOU for people who stood by him – (late) MICK MAX, Stanely T.H. Fernandes (Dattu) – ever since late 1960s & early 1970s being his SOUND BOX at Don Bosco Hall and later in Muscat, Walter Monterio, Richard Lasrado, Gerry D’Mello, Clarence Pinto, Donald Pinto, Suraj Rebello, Monica Dantis, all the past MCCP Presidents and all the lovely Singers. Last but not the least, he extends his warm greetings to all Konkani loving people in Muscat both Mangaloreans and Goans for their love and support – names of whom may have missed his attention to mention here.
This 20th anniversary is a good time to reflect on the contributions by our past pillars of strength with firm commitment and set goals that will help us to achieve remarkable progress.
While MCCP is indebted to all its past leaders and contributors, we take this opportunity to wish Apolinaris and his family all the very best in their future endeavours and success – both in professional as well as personal life.