“Where words fail, music speaks”: Festival of Choirs 2016

Since its inaugural event held in 1994, Festival of Choirs, organized by the Western Music Society of Royal College, has not only been one of the most prominent events at College, but has also maintained its reputation as one of the first and only choral events for school choirs in Sri Lanka.

This year, Festival of Choirs took place on the 14th of October at the Bishop’s College Auditorium, and it gave the audience a reason to sit at the edge of their seats, with great choral performances by Asian International School, Bishop’s College, Elizabeth Moir School, S. Thomas’ College, Ladies’ College, Musaeus College, S. Thomas’ Preparatory School and last but definitely not least, the amazing performance by The Royal College Choir, which put smiles on the faces of the entire audience.

The event started off with the Royal College Choir ceremoniously opening the show with the College Song: School of our Fathers and a classical piece: ‘For unto us a child is born’ from Handel’s Messiah (HWV56), followed by the choir of Musaeus College who performed a Michael Jackson Medley and a medley of Baila music by M.S. Fernando and Annesly Malwana.

Asian International School managed to pull off a great performance of Adele’s “Skyfall“, followed by a crowd pleaser, in “Better when I’m Dancing” by Meghan Trainor and a Sinhalese item as well, while The Canto Perpetua Choir of S. Thomas’ College, Mt. Lavinia performed “Impossible Dream” by Mitch Leigh, which was followed by Elizabeth Moir School taking the stage with “Adiemus” by Karl Jenkins and a “Rhythm medley” arranged by Ms. Sureka Amerasinghe.

After the interval the choir of Bishop’s College took to stage with “Stand by you” by Johnny Angel. Following this the choir of S. Thomas Preparatory School directed by past Royal chorister and Deputy Head Prefect Sanchitha Wickremasooriya gave their rendition of “As the Deer” by Martin J. Nystrom and “Don’t Let me Down” by The Chainsmokers.

The penultimate performance was by Ladies’ College who gave the crowd a very upbeat rendition of “September” by Earth, Wind and Fire followed by “Celebrate” by Kool and the gang.

However, the highlight of the evening’s performances was when Royal College took the stage again with their “Queen” medley which left the audience in awe. This year incidentally was the 25th death anniversary of Freddie Mercury, the lead singer of the band which was formed in 1970. The medley included the songs “Bohemian Rhapsody”, “A Kind of Magic”, “Another one bites the dust”, “Under Pressure”, “Radio Gaga”, “I want to break free”, “Don’t stop me now”, “We will rock you”, “The invisible man”, “Somebody to love” and the medley ended on a high with “We are the champions” which left the audience up on their feet.

Following the breath-taking medley performed by Royal College, which gave the entire event and evening it’s true purpose, The Chairman of the Western Music Society, Vinukh Kalansuriya delivered the vote of thanks which was followed by the combined choir item which was prepared, with choristers from Royal College, Elizabeth Moir School, S. Thomas’ College, S. Thomas’ Preparatory School, Musaeus College and Bishop’s College performing “The Power of Love” by Huey Lewis and the news’, which was followed by the same choristers singing the National Anthem,  bringing to a close, an event which exposed the best choral talents.

A well-executed event by the Western Music Society of Royal College, which set the platform for the Royal College Choir, among the other choirs, to sing their hearts out, which eventually added value to the event in its entirety.