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Salesian Family Songfest: Alumni's homage


By C.M. Paul
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Kolkata, Jan. 6. Mumbai, 6 January 2021: In a rare show of devotion and affection, a group of Salesian alumni voluntered to do a music album of 17 songs dedicated to Salesin saints during the Covid-19 lockdown and restrictions between May and December.
''This is our labour of love, for the education we receeived in the Salesian institutions,'' says Master brain behind the orchestration, execution and recording, Roney Gomes who is an alumnus of Don Bosco's, Lonavla.

His wife Mylene Gomes, an alumna of Auxilium Wadala adds, ''this is an extremely rare production, produced in the rarest and most difficult circumstances and, may I add, with sentiments of pure gratitude to Don Bosco and Mary Mazzarello.''

The family, including son Myron (an alumnus of Don Bosco Matunga) sang all 17 songs in their home studio at Wadala, Mumbai, due to the impossibility of inviting professionals under the given circumstances.

The music album currently available with lyrics and music score on YouTube is a collection of 17 hymns for the Salesian Family inspired by the spirituality of St.John Bosco, St. Francis de Sales, St Mary Mazarello, St Dominic Savio and Blessed Laura Vicuna.

The musical score available on youtube was compiled by another Salesian alumnus Jay Franco, who lives in Toronto, Canada back in 2018, when Fr. Joaquim Fernandes was the director of Tejprasarini, Don Bosco Communications, Matunga, Mumbai.

The score was written after the first 13 songs were recorded in time for the visit of the relics of Don Bosco to the Mumbai province in 2011. At that time, the recording of the remaining 17 songs were postponed to an indefinite date.

Thus, this unique project unites three countries Italy, India, Canada, and spans ten years in the making.

The lyrics of the songs are in English and were written by various Salesians of the Mumbai province over the years.

Dr. (Fr.) Peter Gonsalves of the Social Communications Faculty at Salesian University Rome is the director of the project and the translator of the Italian and Spanish songs.

''What is more unique and heart-warming is that both past pupils (from India and Canada) worked voluntarily in gratitude for the education they received and refused to be remunerated - working for a period of six months at a stretch, purely for love and gratitude to Don Bosco and Mary Mazzarello'', says Dr Gonsalves.

The recorded songs of the album synchronize with the lyrics on the video screen to enable an active sing-along audience participation.

The video may be found at: https://youtu.be/3GCxqcphCUY while the Music Score can be downloaded here: https://drive.google.com/file/d/1bWnT.

To access Don Bosco, Witness to Light, the first 13 songs produced in 2011, do visit:https://youtu.be/YTtGZirIY-g. END

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