St Augustine said “He who sings, prays twice”. Every devotional program needs singing to be a part of it, else it is not considered worthy. St Cecilia is the patroness of musicians. It is written that as the musicians played at her wedding, she “sang on her heart to the Lord”. Her feast is celebrated on November 22. Though she got married due to her parents’ compulsion, she warned her husband not to violate her virginity and to respect her maidenhood. She was beheaded with a sword by the then Emperor of Rome, Alexander Severus. But though she was struck thrice, she lived for 3 days and asked the Pope to convert her house to a Church. She died around 176 and 180 AD. But her body remained incorrupt when checked in 1599. The Church of Santa Cecilia in Trastevere in Rome is dedicated to this noble lady and it is built in the place where she once lived.

The choir of our Parish is one of the most acclaimed choirs in the diocese. When late Henry D’Silva was the choir master from 1960-1970, the choir of Udyavar parish was one of the most famous choirs. Late Henry D’Silva used to compose hymns, tune them and sing them out. Such was his devotion towards music that he took the choir to great heights and it became famous. For the very reason, he was awarded the medal “Benemerenthi” on April 24 1968 by the then Pope. Following his death, his son, late Richard D’Silva took charge of the choir and worked for the liturgical activities. But due to the untimely death of Richard, there was no next successor in the D’Silva clan to look after the choir. So, the then parish priest, late Rev. Fr Stanley Pereira chose a young, dynamic and a talented musician, Mr John D’Souza to lead the choir. And hence he was appointed as the choir master in 1988.

The choir has come a long way in music and singing with Mr John D’Souza. He has held his post for more than 25 years. There are nearly 30 choir members, mostly young boys and girls. He has encouraged the members to learn and play musical instruments and to participate in competitions. Some members have also won many prizes. Mr John D’Souza is well known as “Johny Mariabhumi” for all the parishioners. He has composed around 150 liturgical hymns and tuned them. He has also rendered a very good piece of music for the hymns. These are mostly sung during parish feasts and other festivals. He has brought out 3 music CDs till date – “Uzwaad Fankoi”, “Kaaliz Mojem Mandir Tujem” and “Ek manan ani Eka Kalzaan”. He has been encouraged and supported very well by all the parishioners.

The management of the choir is looked after by Mr Joe Ashwin Correa and Mrs Flavia D’Souza, along with Mr John D’Souza. The feast of the patron saint of Choir, St Cecilia is celebrated by them on November 21 every year. Every parish priest has guided, supported and encouraged the choir very well till now, especially during festive mass celebrations. Also, they are very thankful to all the parishioners too for having supported and cooperated with them.