To the beats of success

Goa College of Architecture, Panaji, recently won the first place in ‘Battle of Bands’, a national-level music competition


A group of students from Goa College of Architecture, Altinho, Panaji, has brought honour to their institution and the state by clinching first place at a music competition called ‘Battle of Bands’, organised by the National Association of Students of Architecture (NASA India) in Bengaluru.

The team of budding architects in the making comprised Vera de Noronha, Mariah Gonsalves, Ansh Volvoikar (vocals), Tenecia Afonso (keyboard), Erwin de Souza (bass), Joshua Mascarenhas (drums), and Shawn D’Sousa (electric guitar). All the students are from different years.

“Tenecia, Mariah, and I, being the seniors, called those who were interested in participating and held auditions to select the best among them,” says D’Sousa.

The competition, he says, tested their creativity and ability to merge songs into an enjoyable storyline. And their chosen songs, which included a mix of Bollywood, Konkani, and English tracks such as ‘Mitawa’, ‘Tere Naina’, ‘Stand by Me’, ‘Take on Me’, ‘Dildara’, ‘Alice’, ‘Konkani Mashup’, ‘I Will Survive’, ‘Begging’, ‘We Will Rock You’, and ‘Bul Bulaya’, revolved around the theme of unrequited love. “It started with innocent longing and youthful optimism and ended with a mature understanding of life’s complexities,” says D’ Sousa.

Connecting the theme to architecture, D’Sousa explains that it is common for architects to invest their passion and creativity into a design, only to face rejection or a lack of appreciation from clients or the public. “Similar to enduring historical buildings, unreciprocated love can persist and hold significance in a person’s life, even when it remains unreturned. The final track was the chorus of ‘We Will Rock You,’ which served as a powerful reminder that even when the world seems against you and your self-esteem is hurt, you possess a unique and incomparable essence,” he says. “This compilation was dedicated to those who struggle for acceptance in social circles that fail to recognise their true worth.”

Winning first place at the contest, he says, felt “absolutely amazing” for the team! “It was the result of hard work, dedication, and passion we put into our music. We were overwhelmed with excitement and a sense of achievement, and it is a moment that we will cherish and remember for a long time,” says D’Sousa.

However, the team faced many challenges along the way. They had limited time to prepare and had to come up with a set quickly. “We practiced during breaks and after college, managing our already busy schedules. But our biggest test came when one of our teammates was rushed to the hospital a day before the performance. We all prayed for his health, and through the grace of God, he recovered quickly. It was a reminder that when we gather together in faith, miracles can happen,” says D’ Sousa, adding that the biggest lesson they learned from this experience was the importance of working together as a team. “Everyone gave their 100% and brought their skills to the table, for which I am extremely grateful,” he says.