Building bridges

By Natasha Fernandopulle

Age, gender, background... All of this hardly matters when it comes to singing, because the end result is all about carrying on a tune, and on some occasions you are given the chance of allowing others to hear you and bring an immense sense of happiness to their lives. This is what music does - it brings happiness, bridges gaps and builds bridges.

Music is truly beautiful, and a good evening of singing is always looked forward to, so this May it would be great to see the Cantabilé School of Singing, when they bring to you, Beat It – In A Singing Style, directed and produced by Mahen and Prashalini Peiris.

This is what a few singers participating in the concert had to say about the journey towards their big day…

Dinara Punchihewa (14) a soloist among the kids, will be performing, “I have a dream” as well as “God help the outcasts.” She started singing at the age of three and is a student of Ladies College, Colombo. “It’s going to be a great show because of the effort that has been put in,” she says.

Yelani Dias (10) a student of Methodist College, Colombo says that she has been with the Cantabilé School of Singing for six years and will be performing in the Mama Mia medley as well as understudying for “Hakunamatata,” “God help the outcasts” and “I know you’re here beside me.”

A student of S. Thomas’ College, Mt. Lavinia, Eranga Goonewardena (10) is in his fourth year at the Cantabilé School of Singing. He has also sung for some of his school concerts.

He will performing a solo, namely, “Hakunamatata,” and understudying for, “When you believe.” Eranga said, “We have done our very best and we have been practising really hard so we hope the audience will enjoy the concert.”

“I’ve got kicked out from most singing schools,” says Shraepathy Attanayake (27), a lawyer by profession, “And I was looking for a singing teacher and I joined the school.” He went on to say that he has learnt to read music as well as develop his ear and voice, all with Prashalini’s help.

He will be performing three songs, which include, “You are the sunshine of my life,” I’ll be there” and “Save the last dance.” “I see a tremendous improvement in myself,” he says adding, “I can reproduce whatever I hear and I see subtle variances.” And as for the show, “It will be an all round event because it is not particularly focussed on one age group.”

Dinukh Anthony (28), a fitness trainer by profession started off with Prashalini in 2006. However, singing was not totally new to him because as a kid, he was in his school choir that of St. Peter’s College. “I always wanted to find a class and I see a big improvement in my singing, which I feel is due to the individual attention that we receive,” he said of being part of the Cantabilé School of Singing, and is set to perform three songs, including a solo, that of “When you say nothing at all.” 

Dilini Sunderampillai (22) who is currently reading for her degree says, “I have been singing with her right from the start,” she says of singing with Prashalini.

Dilini will be performing in eight songs for the concert. She works part time in the field of special needs and says, “Singing is so relaxing and calming.” “She’s the teacher who brought me up,” says Priyanjali Ratwatte (14) a student of the Colombo International School (CIS).

“I enjoy singing and I have got the chance to meet a lot of people,” she says. She will be performing nine numbers which include a solo from the famous Phantom of the Opera – “Wishing you were somehow here again.”

“The concert will consist of a variety of music like Gospel, Classical and Pop so everyone will enjoy it, hopefully,” Dilini and Priyanjali said. 

The choreography for the concert, is handled by Ashanthi Colombage. Beat It – In A Singing Style will go on boards at the Lionel Wendt Theatre on Wednesday May 6 and Thursday May 7, 2009, at 7pm. Contact the Cantabilé School of Singing on, 251 4733 or 077 373 1152, for details on tickets.

The official Electronic Media Sponsor for the concert is Channel One MTV, while The Daily Mirror and The Sunday Times are the official Print Media sponsors.

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