A Shillong ensemble has won what are perhaps India's first golds at a choir Olympics, claiming three of the medals at the sixth edition of the event at Shaoxing in China.
The 16-member Shillong Chamber Choir won the golds Monday night in three categories of music - scared, gospel and spiritual and popular Choral - at the World Choir Olympics that began July 22, its trainer said.
'It is a really proud moment for us and the country to achieve this milestone at the World Choir Olympics. Perhaps, these are India's first golds in the World Choir Olympics and we are proud of it,' Pauline Warjri, the trainer of Shillong Chamber Choir, told IANS.
The choir is mentored by its pianist, Neil Nongkynrih.
Eighty-eight countries from Asia, Africa, Europe and America are participating in the 12-day biggest choir competition in the world that is held every two years in a different continent.
The Shillong Chamber Choir had managed only a silver medal in the folklore category at the previous edition of the event in South Korea two years ago.
'The silver medal had emboldened them to perform better and here they got three gold medals,' Warjri said.
'I am at a loss of words, but Shillong Chamber Choir has added another feather to its cap,' William Richmond Basaiawmoit, a soloist with the choir, told IANS over phone from China.
The Shillong Chamber Choir was formed in 2001 by a group of singers who came together to produce a variety of music. Shillong, the capital of Meghalaya, is often called India's rock capital.
The group made their debut at Shillong's Pine Wood Hotel in January 2001. Their repertoire includes works of western classical greats Handel, Bach, Gershwin and Mozart, as also Khasi folk songs and Neil Nongkynrih's compositions.
Nongkynrih's composition, 'Sohlyngngem', has since earned rave reviews in several European nations.
Last year, the choir performed with the world renowned Vienna Chamber Orchestra in Shillong and Kolkata as part of the 60th anniversary celebrations of the establishment of diplomatic relations between India and Austria.