How would you like to get a taste of almost every region of the world, in one night? And that too, through some beautiful, rhythmic music? Bringing the world to your feet, the Bridgeteen Choir, have high plans of entertaining you in the near future! All you've got to do is get yourself to Spell Bound, scheduled for October 5, 6 and 7, at 7.15pm, at the Lionel Wendt. With the tag-line for the show being "Binding the world in harmony," it sums up what the evening holds for you, promising to literally serve you a slice of world music on a platter.
Directed by Ruwani Seimon, the music performed by the choir will be a mix of well-known songs, as well as some unknown ones. "Since we're doing songs from most regions of the world, and also belonging to many genres, some of it will be quite unfamiliar. So though we will be enjoying performing them, the challenge will be to get the audience to enjoy it as well!" she said, explaining that the girls would be performing songs from our regions, African songs, as well as South American. The genres of music would range from semi-classical, gospel and jazz, to pop and rock. "It will be an interesting line-up, with us even doing one hit by Queen."
Spell Bound will have 66 kids performing, between the ages of 11-19, with this being Ruwani's 11th year, training the choir, and the fourth production with the school. According to her the girls have been training only for about one and a half months. But going by her decoction of success – which is part discipline and commitment, part a doze of fun – the concert is bound to be nothing short than some fabulous entertainment.
The accompanists for the show will be Ruwani herself on piano, Shanon Jacob on keyboards, Ruvin de Silva on drums and Nishan Daniel on bass guitar. The best part of the concert is the fact that the kids are a hundred percent involved in the production.
"The girls are completely immersed in the show, with some of the seniors designing costumes, doing the choreography, helping out with the tickets sales and basically every aspect of the concert. So there’s lots of pressure on them to make the show a success, but they're all having a ball as well!"
Speaking to Peumi Rodrigo (18) who is choir leader, and Trudy Herft (17) who is assistant choir leader, the fact that this production was different was something they agreed on. "No one has tried this type of thing before, and it will be a very interesting experience for the audience. For instance, we have an African medley with three songs and two chants, and that itself is extremely unique," said Peumi.
"We are also doing some Latin songs, a Sinhala medley and an Indian song as well, so it will be a wide repertoire. Plus, the music will belong to many genres such as jazz gospel and even rock!" says Trudi, giving a glimpse of what's in store.
With both of them having been a part of the choir for the last eight years, working with Ruwani is nothing new to them. "Working with her is just amazing. She gives us lots of strength, and most importantly gets the best out of everyone." says Trudi. "Another thing about Ms. Ruwani is that even if we aren't sure of ourselves, she will always have confidence in us, so that makes everything worth it. And we're all so grateful for that," said Peumi.
For Bennola Gerard (18), also a part of the choir for eight years, the experience has been wonderful. "We've worked hard for this show, and we've had a great time in the process," says this soprano. Sandamali Perera (17) put it this way. "We obviously could not have done this without Ms. Ruwani, and we fully appreciate the fact that it's not just singing that we learn from her, but lots more. Punctuality, discipline, you name it!"
"She inspires us tremendously, not just when it comes to singing. We have learnt how to deal with life as a whole, from her, and it's not just through words that she shows us, but by actions," says Pavani Perera (18).
"This concert is definitely a challenge, because it's different to everything else we have done. We had to learn Spanish, Latin, African and Hindi songs, but Ms. Ruwani made even learning the pronunciation, all so easy," said Amali Peries (18). "We are all trying to make her proud in the best possible way!" said Rochelle de Silva (16).
So make a date with the Wendt next weekend, and allow yourself to be spellbound and let the Bridgeteens take you on a magical, glob-trotting journey.