The Octet Cantabile

The Octet Cantabile, one of the foremost singing sensations hailing from Chennai, is a group of eight mixed voices that had its inception in 1994. With each member of the group having undergone varying levels of musical education individually, the synergy that such training has produced has stood them, in some good stead.

They sing different kinds of music - ranging from the classical (the music of Bach, Mendelssohn and Mozart - even a mass by a Renaissance Spanish Composer, Padilla) to the contemporary (country gospel, from reggae to rock and some highly complicated arrangements by the Kings Singers and the Swingle Singers) and everything else in between. With all their singing involving the music being set in at least four parts, they sing both in English and in the local languages. Their rendition of Keerthanais (Tamil devotional songs) in harmony is as unique as it is pleasing and has thrilled the hearts of everyone who hears them. A cappella singing is their forte - but appropriate accompaniment is used as and when needed. While music forms an integral part of the presentation by the Octet, the focus, however is God - and desire to spread the Gospel of peace and love through their singing.

Receiving great adulation wherever they perform, the Octet Cantabile has sung in various parts of the Indian sub-continent. Spreading their wings overseas, they have captivated audiences in a couple of highly successful concert tours of Malaysia and the United States of America. Their concert repertoire is always tailor-made to suit audiences - and the whole experience is as rich as it is varied, with songs sung to recorded tracks, interspersed with a Capella numbers or those accompanied by acoustic guitars.  It is to their credit that they are the only group in India that has cleared the Advanced Level in Ensemble singing - an examination conducted by the Trinity College of Music, London - with distinction. They have released some of their music in the form of audio cassettes and CDs, which is sold the world over. Some of their albums include "Keerthanai Arpanippu" - Volumes 1 and 2 are collections of Tamil keerthanais;"Simply Acoustic", songs rich in harmony, and sung to the accompaniment of hollow guitars and shakers."A Christmas Rhapsody" - released in December 2007 - is a collection of Christmas carols and keerthanais. They are currently working on a collection of Church Anthems, which would be released soon.

The leader of the group is Paul Augustine, a young, vibrant, gifted and highly qualified musician. His passion is harmony, and has a very clear, unique style that can be seen in all of his arrangements of songs presented by the Octet.
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