The hugely attended celebration began with the National Anthem followed by Joy to the World and ended with We Wish You A Merry Christmas. In total there were 11 songs presented by the Choir at the programme that lasted for about an hour leaving the audience spell bound.
The repertoire included Silent Night, For Unto us a Child is Born, Tu Aashiqui Hai, Yeshu Masi, Jingle Bells, Santa Claus, The Prayer, Make me a Channel, Bashi, Hallelujah chorus and Vande Mataram.
The President was enthused with the ‘outstanding performance’, Rashtrapati Bhavan sources said. “The Choir and its music is truly a channel of love, peace, unity and national integration,” it added.
Mukherjee was so impressed that he came and greeted some of the Choir members as the audience gave the Choir a standing ovation, Neil the head of the Choir said.
“Wonderful, outstanding, amazing,” the President told Evarisha, the lead singer of the Choir, after the performance.
The President, later, presented a memento to the Choir.
The Choir’s versatility ranges from performances with the Vienna Chamber Orchestra and the Fitz William Quartet to collaborations with known icons like Amitabh Bachchan for the opening of Kaun Banega Crorepati Season 6. The show is said to have had the highest opening in 2012 across all shows on all general entertainment channels, breaking all previous records.
They have also teamed up with other recognized names like Shankar-Ehsaan-Loy and Usha Uthup. Their Christmas album in 2011 became the highest selling in the country in the non-cinematic music category.
A notable collaboration that took place early this year was with Neil Nongkynrih on the piano, the voices of the Shillong Chamber Choir and Ustad Zakir Hussain on the tabla.
The SCC has performed extensively in India and toured Europe, the UK, Canada, North America and South East Asia. The Choir has also been recipients of several accolades. The Shillong Chamber Choir has several projects at hand, ranging from recordings with reputed recording companies, to large-scale concerts in India and abroad; also including further television appearances through the year, one of the organizers said.
They Choir had, earlier, performed at the Rashtrapati Bhavan for visiting US President Barack Obama and Michelle Obama during their state visit to India in November, 2010.