When the Eagles soar…
The Choir of St. Anthony's College, Kandy is back again... After a successful and glamorous rendition in January 2007, at the Bishop's College auditorium, where they had their baptism in Colombo, this year too they will be taking the stage both in Kandy and Colombo, with their trademark presentation On Eagle's Wings. The two concerts are scheduled to come on stage on February 23, at the Rev. Fr. Angelo Rosati Memorial Auditorium at The College itself at 5.30pm, while the Colombo concert will be held at St., Joseph's College, Bonjean Auditorium on March 1, at 7pm.
The unique feature of these events would be the launching of their maiden CD Antonian Melodies: Chimes of Brotherhood. The inaugural launch in Kandy will be patronized by Rt. Rev. Dr. Cletus Perera OSB, Bishop of Rathnapura as the Chief Guest and Rev. Fr. Stephen Abraham OSB, Principal emeritus (1978 – 1994) of St. Anthony's College, Kandy.
The Antonian chorale is a living and dynamic sign of commitment and cooperation on the part of the Students, staff and the alumnae of the College. The Choir undoubtedly is an outcome of the untiring and combined efforts of these segments of the Antonian family. Commenting on their achievements, the present leader of the Choir Mast. Sangeeth Dissanayaka, who is studying in Year 13 Arts stream, says that the successes they have attained is a collective effort and appreciates the generosity of the Old Boys in helping them to harness their singing talents. "The choir functions as a team in all their activities. With a membership of more than 50 voices representing the entire student population, the choir is multi-ethnic and multi religious." This, for him is in keeping with the true brotherhood of the Antonian family, where students from all walks of life, irrespective of cast and creed join together to create a harmonious and a vibrant community.
Master Dilshan Hasthika, recalls the tremendous achievements of the choir in the recent past, especially after laps of more than 20 years. For him, the climax of the past three years has been the victory they had in 2006 as the All Island Champions. He adds "we always knew that we had the talent and the necessary guidance to achieve something of this nature. But I never expected it to happen so quickly, given the fact that the 'New Choir' (after the glorious days of Late Mr. Cyril Brown in the 1970's) was only one-year-old. I will never forget that moment."
Rev. Fr. Araliya Jayasundara, the present priest in charge of the Choir recalls "the story of the Antonian chorale is a unique one. The beginnings of the College choir can be traced back to the first quarter of the 20th century. Then in the 1940's and 1950's that dynamic personality late Cyril Brown took the choir to unimaginable heights. Then again after laps of about 20 or more years, a professional group was formed thanks to the visionary mind of Rev. Fr. Cletus Perera OSB, then head of the Benedictines who responded to the request made by the former principal of St. Anthony's Rev. Fr. Hilarion Fernando OSB to resurrect the College choir." Today, as the Antonian chorale releases their début CD, they recall with gratitude the support extended to them by the present Principal Rev. Fr. Titus Rodrigo OSB and the alumnae of the College, especially the benefactor, who sponsored the CD production and who in all his humility prefers to remain anonymous. As a token of their appreciation the maiden CD is dedicated to all the Old Boys of St. Anthony's College.
With the experience they had from previous performances in both Colombo and Kandy, this year too On Eagles Wings comes out with a combination traditional and contemporary of songs. The CD consists of pieces done in four languages – the most prominent being the devotionals done in four part harmony. Added to these traditional Latin classics such as Panis Angelicus, Veni Creator Spiritus add colour to the production.
The live presentation will come on stage with a set of traditional hymns such as Jesu Redemptor Omnium, Hodie Christus Natus Est and Spirit of The Living God.
This time, in the absence of the student music maestro Pradeepa Anthony the music will be directed by the ever versatile Priyashantha De Silva, who will lead the usual team of talented all Antonian musicians. All in all this year too, the Novum Canticum of the Choir of St. Anthony's College Kandy, with these performances is bound to place yet another gigantic stride in their journey as a professional unit. The Choir invites all of you to join with them. The tickets are prized at Rs. 500/-, 300/- and 150/-, which can be obtained from the gate.