When in late 2006, a seemingly random group of guys came together to form a choral group, they had no idea of exactly how much they had in common.
Since then, the Saints have presented two major concerts and appeared in a series of other performances and have come to find that their success has been dependent on many things - long musical backgrounds, the same tastes in music, and to a certain extent, a little coincidence.
“Shortly after we were established we were casting our minds around looking for a suitable name. It was at this point that one of the guys commented on the fact that we were all from the saints’ schools; so we decided to call ourselves the saints,” recalls Bosco Fonseka, a director of the choir.
Nalake, Bosco, Suren, Denzil, Placi, Allan, Russell, Gladwyn, Priyanke, Carlo, Kenneth, Asiri and Rohan now excitedly prepare for their latest venture - Renaissance 3, which will take place on October 31 at 7 pm at the Lionel Wendt. “So far, our major concerts have been held in October,” says Bosco. “And it looks like we are going to make a habit of that - like our version of the Oktoberfest!” he smiles, while bopping his head up and down in time to the singing in the background.
The concert will consist of devotional, contemporary, pop and Sinhala numbers, and will also feature “Sweet Inspiration” the all female choral group and the Denzil and Bosco duo. They will be accompanied by Ruwanthi Perera and Anoma Fernando on the piano, Christo Prins on drums and Alfred Perera on the Thabla.
Why Renaissance? “We wanted to point out the fact that we are doing a revival of the semi classics - that’s what our repertoire is, and that is the sort of music we all enjoy listening to as well as performing,” declares Suren Abeysekera, director and conductor of the group.
The striking aspect of this particular male choral ensemble seems to be its family atmosphere. “We all go a long way back,” explains Suren. “And apart from the fact the love for music helps us make that commitment towards practicing twice a week, our families are close too, and this would be one of the most significant factors of our success.”
Tickets for the show are priced at Rs. 600/-, 500/- and 250/-. While the main sponsor for the event is Dialog, the co-sponsor is DIC Lanka (Pvt) Ltd. The electronic media sponsor will be Gold FM, while the print media sponsor will be The Sunday Times.