Wednesday, August 5, 2009
Playing a trumpet passionately for a span of more than 30 years is an extraordinary feat. And he being a Goan makes it all the more a big difference. Carlito Fernandes knows everything from the minute to the melodious details of a trumpet, writes Dolcy D'Cruz.
Carlito Fernandes has made a name for Goa by playing the trumpet for the Indian Navy Band as well as the Bahrain Police Band. He rendered 30 years of service to the Bahrain Band and was awarded a Special medal embossed with Shaikh ISSA Medal.
As a young boy, he was inspired by watching the Hollywood flick â€˜Seven Brothersâ€™ in which he noticed a young girl playing the trumpet. Determined to learn playing the trumpet perfectly, he enrolled under Roque Jacinto Fernandes. Through his first teacher, Carlito learnt the first steps of music and to sing songs, solfam. After this, Luis Henrick Rebello taught him the natural scale of the trumpet. At age 17, and with some assistance from Baltazar Carvalho (a musician in the Air Force Band), he was enrolled in the Indian Navy Band. He was designated as Leading Band Man after completing 10 years with them.
He then joined Chris Perry after completing his ten years of service to the Indian Navy Band who in turn helped Carlito improvise on Jazz music, Blues and Foxtrot. They played at the Hotel Venice along with the world renowned Goan singer, Lorna. Carlito then applied to the Bahrain Police Band, the band master of which enquired about Carlito's skills. He was informed that Carlito is far more experienced and has the knowledge of classical music reading than anyone in the band at that time. He was appointed without even an interview to the Bahrain Police Band. There he was first given a rank by the Bahrain Government as ˜Reserved Officer" and later was granted a special medal with the embarkation endorsed ˜Shaikh ISSA Medal" after completing of 30 years of service.
Carlito, who is a resident of Navelim passed the violin music examination and the trumpet music exam of 5th grade from St. Christopher Senior School, Academic Royal College Music (A.R.C.M.), London with flying colors. He was awarded the â€˜Gulabâ€™ award for Classical and Jazz music on 20th June, 2008. Currently, he can be spotted playing for our famous tiatrs, the more recent ones being Tony Diasâ€™ Chint Chedva Chint, Milagres de Chandorâ€™s Mhozo Ugdas Korat and Minnie Marioâ€™s Ho Bazar Kiteak Cholta. He has also played for the Indian Film Industry.
A dignified musician, Carlito feels that Goans should give support to their children when they show interest in learning a musical instrument. He says that there is no much scope for the profession of a musician in Goa or even India but abroad there is a huge demand. It really takes talent and passion to pursue your goal, exclaims Carlito. His 3-year old daughter loves playing the organ and hopes to teach her the trumpet when she grows up. He even teaches children who come to learn the trumpet at his place. I feel proud to impart my knowledge of the trumpet to these young kids, adds Carlito. So the next time you watch drama, do pay little attention to the musicians playing those melodious tunes.
I had the opportunity of working with Carlito when I acted in Konkani Tiatros in Bahrain from 1972-1980. Goan musicians from the Bahrain Police Band, headed by the late Custodio Fernandes (guitar), Carlito (trumpet), late Cajy or Cajetan (drum) and others played for our tiatros in Bahrain. Custodio did not write solfas; so, he depended on Carlito and Cajy.
Carlito is a very nice, quiet and down-to-earth person. The last time I saw him was when he played for "Padr Agnel" tiatro in Gaumvaddy in February 2008. I wish Carlito all the best in his life and in his career as a musician.
(Herald 2day Supplement/22-08-2008)