When Valencia parish was founded in 1935, Fr Monthu Menezes was the director of Mangluru diocesan choir Committee, who took charge as parish priest of Valencia.  At that time, the liturgical services were held at chapel located in the cemetery for burying the diocesan priests.  Its due to many reasons, the liturgical services were shifted to the residences of Cyril Monteiro and Salvador (Salu) Lobo and later it was restored at the church during 1944.  There was no choir in the parish at that time.  The parish priest, butler Ignatius and sacristan Jemma were singing the hyms.  The liturgical service was held in Latin.

It was during 1946, S P D’Souza, who was residing in St Antony ward composed hymns of liturgical service in  Latin and began to train a few enthusiastic youth.  The parish priest and assistant parish priest Fr Antony John D’Souza also supported them.  During that time, Victor D’Souza, residing in church ward was helping in the liturgical service and singing hymns.  He used to train the children on singing hymns.  Meanwhile, a few enthusiastic youngsters joined in singing Latin hymns during festal celebrations.  The assistant parish priest Fr Paul Fernandes supported the youngsters in their endeavor.  It was during 1954, Marian Pinto and Arthur Master of Holy Cross ward who were violinists joined in singing during liturgical service.  Charles Rodrigues, Joseph Menezes, Joachim Patrao, Leo Saldanha, Joseph Mascarenhas, Herald Pereira, Stany D’Silva and other enterprising youth collectively formed Valencia parish choir.

Arthur Master formed 2 groups and well trained them.  Herald Pereira, Joachim Patrao and Leo Saldanha were directing the singing during festal celebrations.  The then assistant parish priest Fr Ligoury D’Souza always supported the choir group.  Fr Edwin Pinto, who was the assistant parish priest during 1956 to 57, rejuvenated the choir group.  He inducted a few talented singers.  Marian Pinto, Percy D’Sa, Percy Menezes, Baron Saldanha were the significant amongst them.  Fr Aloysius Rebello who was the parish priest during the end of 1957 bought a organ that is still used in the choir.

Marian Pinto took the leadership of chor when Fr Edwin Pinto was transferred during 1959.  The liturgical service was translated into Konkani.  The first Konkani hymn was sung during the first Holy Mass celebrated by newly-ordained Fr Freddy Pereira during December 1961 at his native parish Valencia. The Latin liturgy was gradually translated into Konkani.  The parish girls got a chance to join the choir during 1964.  Marian Pinto led the choir for nearly 40 to 45 years.  During his absence, Dolphy Pinto, Apolinaris D’Souza and Oswald D’Souza led the choir.

Fr Valerian Frank, the next parish priest began Holy Mass in English.  The English choir was led by parishioner Evelyn D’Silva.  Its during the illness of Marian Pinto (1999 to 2000) Dolphy Pinto rendered choir training.  He served for 2 years.  Fr Paul Pinto revived the choir group during his term.  Other music instruments were introduced and the children picked up the basics of music.       

The children’s choir an English choir was newly-formed at the leadership of existing parish priest Fr Bonaventure and assistant parish priest Fr Maxim Rosario.  The children’s choir group presented melodious singing during children’s Sunday Mass.  Nancy Rodrigues and Rozveera are leading the English choir during Sunday Mass and other festal occasions.  It’s going on at the direction of choir director Fr Roshan Crasta.  Fr Bonaventure also supports in this endeavor.

The families of parishioners ought to encourage their children to learn singing for the choir to become vibrant.  The vibrancy will encourage new generation to take keen interest in choir.

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