Music fusion

By Natasha Fernandopulle, Pix by Saman Kariyawasam

A Youth Music Council is pretty much a new idea, and forming such a council among schools in Sri Lanka, can be credited to a phone call between Dylan John, President and Shawn Abeynaike, Vice-President, of the Classical Music Association of S. Thomas’ College Mt. Lavinia.  

“It all happened while we were organising the Inter School Music Quiz, last year,” said Dylan, adding, They realised that it was not easy to organise a quiz of this nature due to there not being a proper networking system. This idea evolved and finally resulted in the inauguration of the Youth Music Council of Sri Lanka, on March 3, 2009. The interactive programme, held at the Main Hall of S. Thomas’ College was conducted with the participation of the four schools which form the Co-Council – Bishop’s College, Ladies’ College, Nalanda College and S. Thomas’ College. 

The programme consisted of performances by Bishop’s College and Nalanda College. “They have taken a small step which might prove to be a giant leap,” said Harshana Perera, Acting Warden, S. Thomas’ College, at their inauguration.  

“It’s going quite well, we have put in a lot of effort and our principals are supportive,” said Yanitra Kumaraguru (18) of Ladies College, upon meeting them prior to the inauguration, to which Dylan added that they have been very committed and focused with what they want to do.

Being an outlet for ideas aside, they also want to help in preparing students for their O/ Levels by organising seminars. What must be noted is that this is a Council for all forms of music and not Western Music alone. “It’s been a wonderful experience so far as it’s been a bridge to each other’s schools,” said Udaya Dias (17) from Nalanda College. Chief Advisor will be Mrs. Ranjini Abeynaike, who also supported Dylan and Shawn build up on what was initially just an idea which took place over a phone call.

Dylan went on to say that the Youth Music Council will be a forum where young musicians can meet and also support young musicians. “We don’t believe in stopping at anything,” he said, adding, “We won’t shoot down ideas, whatever is workable – we will push for.”     Currently, there are 80 members in the Council and it took them four months to organise their inauguration. “We want to inculcate musicians and make people get in to music, said Zainamb Wahid (18) of Bishop’s College and that with everyone being enthusiastic, the future definitely looks brighter.

“The entire war and conflict is due to the language barrier, but music is a common language in the way the sea is the sea for anyone, anywhere,” says Dylan, adding that the Youth Music Council sincerely wishes that more schools would partner with them and join their endeavour . Currently, two more schools have got in touch with them which is quite an encouraging sign, says Dylan therefore, anyone interested and for further details on the Youth Music Council contact Dylan John on 077 318 4705 or Shawn Abeynaike on 077 766 1892 or

email them at cma_stc@yahoo.com.

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