Born on March 26, 1961, Vitorin B J de Araujo hails from Cujira, Santa Cruz. During his childhood days, his father, Sebastiao de Araujo, who was a noted musician, with the saxophone and clarinet as his forte, taught him the basics of music.
At the age of 15, for two consecutive years, Vitorin learnt solfagio from his father, besides the intricacies of the trumpet. Thereafter, he received a strong and solid foundation in solfagio (theory) at Kala Academy Music School for seven years.
In 1987, when late Fr Lourdino Barretto was the director of Western Classical Music, he was fortunate to play as member of the Goa Symphony Orchestra. During that period, he also received a scholarship of three years in order to learn the oboe (an instrument similar to the clarinet).
Vitorin also played for the St Cecilia Music School orchestra and choir under the director and founder late Fr Martin Fernandes in 1988. In 1992, when Nauzer Daruwalla took over as conductor, Vitorin contributed as member of the Goa State Symphony Orchestra. His dedicated services continued even when Jerome Rodrigues served as conductor in 1996-97.
Availing of every opportunity crossing his path, Vitorin has participated in the Kala Academy’s annual tiatr competition for the last several years, winning first prize for music in the 21st, 22nd, 23rd tiatr competitions for three consecutive years during the period 1995-96, 1996-97, 1997-98 respectively. He also bagged a prize for music in 2008-09 in the KA’s 34th tiatr competition.
After proving his calibre as a musician in 7-8 tiatrs staged by Peter Barbosa, mostly during annual village feasts, Vitorin found entry in tiatrs presented by noted directors on the professional stage. He has performed in tiatrs staged by Mariano Fernandes, comedian Dominic, Elvis/Carmin, Oldrin, Wilmix-Sharon, Anil/Olga, comedian Agostinho, John Claro, Aleixinho de Morjim, Francis de Tuem and several others.
Soft-spoken Vitorin also made his presence felt in tiatrs presented by the Mumbai tiatr directors C Alvares and Remmie Colaco. He continues with his service in music by presently performing in Saby de Divar’s tiatr ‘Goy Konnachem?’ and comedian Joana’s tiatr ‘Ghorchim’.
Besides his passion for music, which he expresses through his active participation in tiatrs and other cultural activities, Vitorin presently serves as assistant in finance department at the Secretariat, Porvorim since 1996. From 2000 to 2006, he sought extraordinary leave and joined the Sharjah Police Academy, serving as a trumpeter there for five years.
While performing in tiatrs staged by Mariano Fernandes, comedian Dominic, Peter/Roshan and Saby de Divar, Vitorin was fortunate to make foreign tours and travelled to Qatar, Bharain, Dubai, Muscat and Kuwait.
As a musician, Vitorin has also performed in musical plays (songit khell) on AIR and musical programmes for Doordarshan. He is also a regular performer at hotels, besides musical shows, feasts and funerals.
Earlier, Vitorin would teach music to children and youngsters from his village and neighbouring places, with prime focus on solfagio and the keyboards. “Students show interest in music initially, but give up midway due to other commitments,” he says, “they should continue and complete the full course for better results in the future.”
“Sometimes young minds don’t understand and realise the value of music in their lives, but if they learn music, both in theory and practice, it can fetch them self-employment, be it for litanies, feasts and funerals,” Vitorin adds.
With regard to learning the solfagio, which is the need of the hour, he says, “Children and youngsters should compulsorily learn to read and write notations. Those hard efforts will help them to play any instrument as notes are the same for all instruments.”
Maintaining a low-profile, Vitorin insists that youngsters that have a musical ear, should take keen interest in wind instruments. “Musicians playing the wind instruments are in great demand and there’s ample scope for them in tiatrs and musical shows,” he reveals.
Vitorin’s two daughters, Valeska and Vanessa, may not follow in their father’s footsteps as musicians, but they both are interested in participating and singing in tiatrs. They have taken part in singing competitions and won prizes too. [H]