The Madras Musical Association
The Madras Musical Association (MMA) was founded in St Andrews church (the Kirk) in 1893 by European expatriates with the then Governor of Madras as its Patron. It is perhaps the oldest association of its kind east of the Suez. Signor Aloysio an Italian who was the choir director of the Kirk was the associations first choral conductor. MMA was later registered with the societies act and a committee was formed with office bearers’ life members and a full-fledged constitution.
The primary goal of the MMA is to project, perform and propagate western music. Though the choir was the main arm of the association, MMA also presented instrumental music, comic operas and musicals. Musical Stalwarts like Padmashree Dr. L Subramaniam, Padmashree Handel Manuel and Maestro Victor Parajothi have passed through the portals of the MMA. Along with the Consulates in the City the MMA has cosponsored concerts by the legendary Mahalia Jackson, Duke Ellington, Dave Brubeck, The Golden Gate Quartet, Paradise Island express to name only a few.
The Nucleus of the Association is its choir which has not only performed all over India but also in the International Church music festivals in Coventry in 1998 and 2000 and Chester in 2006 in the UK under the Baton of sir David Wilcox. One of the highlights of the choir was its performance at the New Castle Torch Relay Ceremony and at the Sydney Opera house in connection with the Sydney 2000 Olympic Games, both with a mass choir conducted by Ron Smart and as a cameo of its own. In June 2009, the choir was invited to perform in the International Church music festival in Rome with a mass choir, and on its own for a Papal audience.
The MMA choir has staged musicals like ‘Fiddler on the roof’, ‘The King and I’, ’Hans Christian Anderson’, ‘South Pacific’ and ‘Over the Rainbow’- a Collage of hits from musicals to name only a few. The association is deeply involved and committed to fund raisers and has performed a concert entitled “The Wake” for Tsunami victims supported by World Vision, a series of three concerts entitled nostalgia to support the Leprosy mission trust and the Asthma foundation.
The Madras Musical association has survived for over a hundred years through the support of its life membership and active members who are committed to the cause of Western Music in India. From an organization which was a castaway then, with a struggling choir of 6 voices initially, MMA now has a centrally located office and library, a dedicated committee and a 100-strong choir which has won the praises of choral directors like sir David Wilcox, Ron smart and Paul Leddington Wright. The choir has made 5 overseas tours.
Office Bearers and Executive Committee
M. Haricharandas, Hon F.T.C.L
Dr. Ravi T Santosham
Mrs. Mary Rodrigues, President
Mr. Kishore Das, Vice-President
Mr. Samuel Prabhakar, Secretary
Mr. Arun Isaac, Joint Secretary
Mrs. Asha Mathen, Treasurer
Mr. Augustine Paul, Director of Music
Mr. Ebenezer Arunkumar, Asst. Music Director
Mr. Kingslin Pon Bhabha, Librarian
Mr. Emmanuel Prathap Singh, Asst. Librarian
Mr. Immanuel Thiyakeswaran
Mr. John Bennett Victor
Ms. Sangita Santosham
Ms. Roshni Sharon
Mr. Vijay Chacko
Mr. T K Rajasekaran
Mr. Edser Raj
Mr. Manoj Richard