Mharomo P Kithan, Music faculty in Nagaland Conservatory of Music and Golden Crown Theological College is not new to the limelight.
This young lad has been performing in and around India and has also performed abroad in places such as Norway, Spain, Ireland, Milan and Macau to name a few. He also represented India with the Nagaland Singing Ambassadors in Belgium at the 1000 Voices and performed with the Asia Pacific Youth Choir in Milan and Macau.
In a chit chat with Rhythm Of Love, Mharomo talks us through his musical journey and his love for choral singing.
EASTERN MIRROR: What got you into singing in the first place? Tell us how you became involved in choir?
Mharomo P Kithan: Singing has been a part of me as long as I can remember. I still remember how our Dad made us sing does re mi, and we (siblings) always loved singing.
While still a Sunday school student, I would gaze at our church choir sing and I really wanted to sing in the choir. I joined our church choir (adult choir) when I was in class 8. That’s how I started making music with choir till date.
EASTERN MIRROR: What’s been the highlight of your career so far?
Mharomo P Kithan: Hmmmmm, There’s been a lot. But among them, doing full Cosi Fan Tutte, an Opera by Mozart has been one of the most important events in my career. I sang the role of Ferrando a tenor. We (Cosi Team) worked for it for more than a year for a two hour long performance. I’m still so grateful to Mr Noel de la Rosa and Miss Judy Honor to have put so much effort in us. This has been an eye opener for me to see deeper into classical music.
EASTERN MIRROR: What efforts do you make to learn music?
Mharomo P Kithan: This question looks so easy and simple, yet the efforts I have put in learning music can never be put into words.
As a young boy from Wokha, there was no proper teacher to guide me. With the help of my Dad and Mom, I learned some guitar chords and some basic rhythms. It was not enough. Then I went for around three month’s guitar lesson from Suben Murry. While I was still in Wokha, I watched a lot of music CDs on guitar lessons, these days I do on YouTube.
Then in 2008, I joined Patkai where I first started formal music study. It was really hard. Then I joined Nagaland Conservatory of Music in 2012 till 2016. It’s already more than 9 years of effort and learning, yet I feel this isn’t enough.
EASTERN MIRROR: Describe to us what it is like for choral singing.
Mharomo P Kithan: Choral singing is the most beautiful music if you are singing with your heart and not just with your voice. In my choral singing life, some of the most beautiful experiences were from foreign countries. Sorry it was not Nagaland sadly. Choral music, Classical singing, or opera productions, all need a good acoustic halls. We still lack infrastructures and means to let these hidden talents to make beautiful music.
EASTERN MIRROR: What has been the highlight of participating at Singapore International Festival of Music (SIFOM) Competition?
Mharomo P Kithan: Good thing. I learned that 2 hours practice a day was not enough to be in an international level. I don’t blame myself for this also but as I have to work for a living, like most Nagas, I have to teach and study at the same time, which gives me less time to practice.
Most of these international music students are sponsored students or those with rich parents where they don’t worry about anything else except practicing. So they have 8 to 10 practices a day. It’s similar to our NBSE Toppers’ stories.
EASTERN MIRROR: Having performed overseas on many occasions what do you think is the condition of the Nagaland or NE music industry?
Mharomo P Kithan: Like I have mentioned earlier it’s mostly lack of proper Acoustic hall and opportunity to perform in Nagaland or NE. Rock music industry is quite popular today in Nagaland. Young people who are learning classical music, namely Strings, classical guitar, wind instruments, percussions, Classical Singing etc lacks exposure. Since classical music is a new thing, we need to promote classical music too. Starting from our generation, we need a proper planning to bring up good concert halls. This is how we can invite even international Artists which would benefit our people in many ways.
EASTERN MIRROR: What do you believe the future holds for choral singing in Nagaland?
Mharomo P Kithan: There are already a number of choral groups in Nagaland. I believe if we continue to keep up striving to become better, one day people from all over the world will know that Nagas are good at this. We need better Naga composers and arrangers who would compose Naga based choral music. As of now we got very few.
EASTERN MIRROR: What life skills have you learnt through being part of a choir?
Mharomo P Kithan: Being in a choir, one need to be in tune with the other parts to bring out good harmony and make beautiful music. We always have to blend together. We also should not shift our focus away from the conductor. We have to be attentive and have to be very smart. Likewise in life I try to be focused on my one and only conductor, God, and stay in tune with people around me. If I start to give less, I won’t be in tune with others, like wise if I give too much, I won’t be in tune with others.
EASTERN MIRROR: Do you have any other musical projects lined up for the near future?
Mharomo P Kithan: If God willing, I want to go for further studies and join more competitions in the near future. In the meantime I will be focusing on teaching music at Nagaland Conservatory of Music. And I am also planning to give some concerts in and around Dimapur.