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`Humming Birds' back home from U.K.



WELL-APPRECIATED: Humming Birds, the choir of Toc-H Public School, Kochi, which is back after a ten-day tour of the U.K. Photo: Mahesh Harilal

`Humming Birds,' a 27-member choir from the Toc-H Public School, Kochi, hummed their way to fame at the celebration of Toc-H International's 90 years of service, held in the Coventry Cathedral.

The team comprising students aged 12 to 17, flew back to India hardly a week before blasts rocked London.

"We had travelled through many of the locations where the blasts took place, like the King's Cross tube station and Regent Park," says Dominic Manuel, the school's music teacher.

Accompanying the children were school's president P.J. Joseph and manager K. Varghese, and a few teachers.

"For most children, it was their first trip abroad and they fell for the place. They sang hymns and songs in Malayalam, English, Hindi, Tamil and Spanish. Their effort was well appreciated.," says Mr. Joseph.

The invitation to Britain came after Toc-H's international director Geoffrey Smith, while on a visit to the school, heard the choir sing melodious numbers. He was quite impressed and Toc-H was the only school from outside Britain to be invited to the 90th anniversary celebrations.

"We started practice during summer vacation. Instrumentalists too were given training. But since we could take only two keyboards and a guitar, and because of the inconvenience of carrying drums, music was set into keyboards. ," says Mr. Manuel.

Sreenag Krishnamoorthy and Shabab Ibrahim, both 10th standard students of the school, literally fell in love with Britain. "The climate was good, so were the people.

Many among the audience danced as we sang. Some of us were weeping as we boarded the flight back to India, after the 10-day trip," he says.

What attracted Nikita Lopez, an eighth standard student, is the clean way in which public places are maintained in Britain. "The people there are very disciplined," she says. Her friend Julu Beth Katticaran was impressed by the arrangements made for the team's stay and tours.

John L. Paul

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