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Days 'n' nights of music, nostalgia and competitions

(Top) Students of Dr Graham’s Homes perform at St. Paul’s Cathedral on December 9; they entertain the crowd at The Tollygunge Club on December 11 and (bottom) belt out popular numbers at La Martiniere for Boys on December 10.

Dr Graham’s Homes, Kalimpong, was in the city with its group of young talents to present Rising Stars in Concert, in association with Tollygunge Club and The Telegraph. The youthful choir performed to a full house at three locations in the city St. Paul’s Cathedral, La Martiniere for Boys and The Tollygunge Club on December 9, 10 and 11.

At La Martiniere, the performance included all-time hits like Circle of life, Hey Jude and Bohemian rhapsody, while at the cathedral the choir crooned Hark! The herald angels sing, Once in royal David city and more.

Ask them about their journey and they speak of their choir conductor Shane Zaviel, who has helped transform the young voices into little musical stars through his meticulous training. With performances by singers as young as eight years, the choir won hearts wherever they sang.

“We have been performing in Calcutta for the past 10 years! Our main aim is to showcase our children’s talent, which we hope will help us get funds,” said Moina Jhala, one of the board members of the Homes.

The students of Dr Graham’s Homes come mostly from underprivileged backgrounds and prove that given a fair chance, they can be better than the best. The children who hail from across India, Nepal and Bhutan find support through the contributions made to Dr Graham’s Homes by international networks spanning seven countries the UK, Canada, Australia, Japan, New Zealand, Switzerland and India under the guidance of Hilda Peacock, the former principal of La Martiniere for Girls who has recently taken over as principal of the Homes.

Many members of Tolly club have an old association with Dr Graham’s Homes. “These kids are very talented and we feel some of them have the potential to go right to the top. This was the club’s little way of promoting talent from this part of the country,” said A.R. Mukerji, the managing member of Tollygunge Club.


Principal Terence Ireland (second from left, standing) with alumni members at the annual reunion dinner at St. James’ School

Hundreds of Jacobeans joined voices to sing the school song at the St. James’ School annual reunion dinner on December 9, bringing back happy memories for everyone present.

Titled Together Forever, the dinner was organised by the St. James’ School Alumni Association, in association with The Telegraph. The chief guest for the evening was Bryan Martin, a former teacher of the school. He termed his time at St. James’ as one of the most memorable periods in his life, more so because he had met his wife there for
the first time.

Principal Terence Ireland applauded the organisers for having successfully put together the annual reunion dinner. “As teachers, we must strive to make our former students feel connected to their alma mater. A sense of belonging can be inculcated only when it is taught. Such occasions mark the success of our efforts in strengthening the bond between St. James’ School and Jacobeans, a bond that connects them wherever they are.”

About 300 alumni members were present at the dinner along with their families. Jacobean Debraj Bose felt one should attend reunions not only to relive the golden student days but also as a mark of respect to the school.

“We have received a very good response from fellow Jacobeans across the globe. Many of us present tonight have dropped in from all over. The annual dinner provides us with an opportunity to meet up and have fun,” said Sudip Sarkar, the secretary of the alumni association.

A performance by the band Blue Mist and foot-tapping remixes by DJ Shaky added to the festivity of the evening.


Students battle it out during Rhythm Divine, the Antakshari round at Tarang 2011. Bangabashi College emerged winners.

Students of IAM Institute of Hotel Management decided to start the month of celebrations by hosting their annual inter-college cultural fest.

Tarang 2011 was held at Nazrul Mancha on December 10, with t2 as media partner, and promised an entire day of energy, fun and competitions. Participants trooped in from a number of institutes across town, including Asutosh College, Vidyasagar College, St. Paul’s College and Heramba Chandra College. The daylong fest gave the youngsters a chance to prove their mettle in activities ranging from music and dance to face-painting, fashion and much more.

The audience burst into applause when Aaron John of IAM-IHM went up on stage for his solo performance in the Sound Track round. The first prize for Sound Track as well as Sargam, the group song competition, was bagged by Vidyasagar College.

In the group dance round, the home team showcased pre- and post-Independence India and walked away with the top honours. Sharmistha Debnath of Asutosh College aced the face-painting contest, closely followed by Davis of IAM.

The evening saw the students glued to their seats for the fashion show — Royal Walk. “With two rounds of ethnic and casual western wear, the fashion walk was a delight to watch,” felt Debmallya Chowdhury, one of the co-ordinators of Tarang.

The final performance was by rock band Underground Authority, who had the young crowd head-banging and jiving to rock versions of popular Bolly numbers like Humma humma and Urvashi.

“Tarang, with 12 years under its belt, was bigger than ever this year!” said Annie Bose, relationship manager, IAM-IHM Hotel Schools.