In the presence of Governor of Assam Prof. Jagdish Mukhi, Chief Minister Dr. Himanta Biswa Sarma, and others, Vice President M Venkaiah Naidu presented the prestigious Lokapriya Gopinath Bordoloi Award for National Integration and Contribution for the year 2021 to eminent writer and scholar Dr. Nirode Kumar Barooah, Kasturba Gandhi National Memorial Trust, Assam Branch, and “Shillong Chamber Choir”.
The award, which is one of Assam’s most prestigious civilian honours, comes with a citation and a cash prize of Rs 5 lakh.
The Vice-President praised Shillong Chamber Choir’s contributions to the cause of national integration over the past two decades, saying that “music like this will be very helpful in arousing the country’s passion for national integration…
We must all believe that we are Indians first, regardless of caste, creed, language, or religion….a national feeling must be cultivated.”
Shillong Chamber Choir was founded in 2001 by Neil Nongkynrih, who also serves as the choir’s mentor and conductor. The choir’s repertoire includes works by Handel, Bach, Gershwin, and Mozart, as well as Queen hits and Khasi folk songs and operas.
It has also appeared performance in the United Kingdom, Poland, Switzerland, Sri Lanka, Italy, and the Indian cities of Delhi, Bangalore, Mumbai, and Guwahati over the years.
In 2010, the choir won the reality TV show India’s Got Talent. The choir also won three gold medals at the 6th World Choir Games for Musica Sacra, Gospel, and Popular Music in the same year.