The 16-member orchestra of Nohron in Meghalaya poses for a group picture Credit: EastMojo image

Shillong: How often have you heard of a farmer also doubling up as a member of an orchestra? Well, a group of villagers in Nohron, located on the outskirts of Smit, about 65 km from Meghalaya’s capital Shillong, is doing just that.

The village comprises 271 households. A majority of the people survive on farming.

However, apart from their livelihood, the locals of Nohron also found their passion in music that led to the birth of a 16-member Orchestra, called by the same name. Age is not a deciding factor for being a member of the band.

EastMojo travelled to Nohron and found to its surprise that all the residents from children to adults were dancing to the tunes of guitars, mandolins, violins and drums.

Interestingly, all the members of the band learnt to play the instruments by merely watching others play and practise. Not a single member has been trained and yet plays the instruments quite efficiently.

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Gosper Revive Nongrum, secretary of the band, believes that this is God’s gift to them. “The musicians in our band are not educated or have any training in this profession. But this is hereditary that we have been gifted and the ability to learn and play music. The people in this band have just learned by looking at how the others play and then practise, there has been no theory that we have studied. What we did was just looked at how the instruments were played, eventually by practising it daily we were able to learn. So there was no learning but what we believe is that this is God’s gift to learn.”

Making their appearances at wedding ceremonies, Christmas and new year gatherings, the band is now garnering a lot of attention from nearby villages as well. “Dealing with the band we perform at wedding ceremonies, Christmas, New Year, birthday celebrations and many more occasions we perform whenever we are called,” said Gosper.

Even though it may not have much to offer yet, Nohron is slowly making its mark through its scenic places and waterfalls.

Strumming the guitar to the local Khasi songs, the band members mainly perform gospel songs.

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