Choir Leader Profile: Samantha Dias
I’ve been working with Songbound since its inception in 2012. In these many years I’ve worked with many different choirs all over the city, and currently work with Shindewadi Jr. Choir.
How did you get involved with Songbound?
I was rehearsing in my college cafeteria for an upcoming performance when Prita, a fellow student, heard me. Her sister was helping Joe setup Songbound at the time. Prita asked me if I’d be interested in teaching children. I loved the idea of bringing the joy of music to children and helping them find a creative outlet for their emotions.
What difference does Songbound make to the children?
Over the years, I’ve watched how the children change through Songbound. They have become more respectful towards other cultures and have a newfound respect for their own. Interacting with musicians from across the globe has widened their horizons, they no longer limit themselves to singing Bollywood songs alone. I’ve also noticed that it helps channel the energy in them, quite a few of the hyper children tend to calm down with regular sessions.
What music have you been listening to during the pandemic?
I’ve been listening to a lot of Jazz, Bossa Nova and Baroque along with other favourites such as Poets of the Fall ‘Alexander Theatre Sessions’. I’ve also been listening to lots of covers especially a cappella, Jared Haley is particularly good.
How have you been keeping up with your Songbound choir during the pandemic?
We have a WhatsApp group for each grade and every week I upload a new song for them to listen/learn. We have weekly chat sessions to answer any questions or just say hi.
Honestly, it’s been a real challenge as my students don’t have their own devices (mobile phone) and don’t always have access to a family member’s phone either. So whoever can make it is there, the rest usually respond as and when they can. They miss going to school and meeting their friends and having regular class. They’re just as enthusiastically optimistic as always and we hope that we’ll all be able to meet soon.