History and Background
The Western Music Society Of Royal College was first formed in the November 1919 by Acting Principal Lewis Walker, Esq. as the Royal College Music Society making it one of the first music based organizations in the country. The Society reached great heights thanks to the efforts of Miss E. K. de Zilva, Messrs S. P. Foenander and J. M. Fonseka. The students were led by Phiroz Mehta. He was appointed as one of the first ever Prefects of Royal College when the Prefects Council was formed a year later in November 1920 and after leaving school he went on to become a pianist of international fame.The Society conducted many programs to uplift musical standards at college which included visits to musical concerts, lectures, workshops, lunch hour programs, arranging recitals by by well known musicians, listening sessions to the works of masters and arranged screenings of educational films provided by institutions such as the British Council, United States Information Service and Alliance Française. A Grand Piano was bought for College with subscriptions totaling Rs. 652/- collected by the Society and a donation of Rs. 600/- provided by the Government.
The College Choir, which traces its origins back to St. Paul’s Church, Wolvendhal where Royal College itself was formed, was made part of the Society with its formation. During the tenure of Principal Major Harry L. Reed the Choir won the prestigious R. Meaden Shield (Senior) for Singing for 10 successive years from 1920 to 1931, once with a perfect score of 200/200. The College Anthem ‘ School of our Fathers’, composed by Principal Reed made its debut at this competition on the 13th day of July, 1928 and to this day takes responsibility in preserving the College Anthem. The Choir was trained by Mrs. Reed with the support of Robert C. Edwards, Esq. The Choir today continues to sing at many major events in and out of College, the most significant out of which being the Annual Carol Service. It is currently trained by Ms. Sureka Amerasinghe,
The Society’s main annual finance project and public event FESTIVAL OF CHOIRS made its debut in the year 1993. It features the best of Sri Lankan School Choirs and has grown in reputation as an event eagerly awaited each year by Sri Lanka’s youth choral music sphere.
The Society is what it is today because of its past and our aim is to repeat history at its best. Western Music has, is and will continue to be a part of this great institution.
The main objective of the society is to promote western music among the students of college. Western music is not a very prominent subject in our country as in the west. The western music society of Royal is working with an aim in changing this by making western music a medium of communication to all. Music is no doubt a universal language and our aim is to make it known to all.
- To increase an interest for the subject among the students of Royal College
- To exploit the talents among the students doing Western Music in Royal College.
Chairman – Vinsara Jayalath
Secretary – Nipun Kannangara
Treasurer – Yashanka De Zoysa