TV Times

When Saints go singing…

By Chandani Kirinde, Pic by Ranjith Perera

Their ages range from 22-70 and their ambition is to be the best male choir band in the country. And given the drive and passion with which the Saints are readying themselves for their fifth successive concert, they cannot be far away from reaching their goal.

This year’s concerts will see the Saints up the tempo with a selection of popular hits from the swinging 60’s to gospel favorites and a wonderful mix of medley’s to guarantee you an enjoyable evening of song and harmony.

“This year we have widened our repertoire to suit a bigger audience, ‘said Nalake Fernando, the President of Saints. For all the members of saints, all employed in various demanding jobs in the corporate sector, it’s sheer commitment and love for music and each other’s company that drives them to spend so many hours practicing for the concert. “We all are occupied with our jobs during the day but we never miss practices because it’s such an enjoyable experience for us, “Nalake said. All 14 members of the Saints were active members of the choirs of various churches and it was through this common experience that the band came together.

“We are also all from Saint Schools such as St. Benedict’s, St. Thomas’s, St. Mary’s St. Anthony’s and so on which is why we decided to call ourselves the Saints,” he explained.Audiences to the concert next Sunday will be treated to a rendition of hits made popular by Legends such as Neil Diamond, Billy Joel, Demis Roussos, Harry Belafonte as well as the Beatles. There will also be a sing-along time for the audience in the form of Trini Lopez’s rousing medley while the Saints’ will also present their version of Joseph Lees’ classic arrangement of the Lord’s Prayer. Part of the proceeds from the concert would be channeled towards “Achievers” - Sri Lanka’s only school for children identified with Dyslexics, Hyperactive and Attention Deficient Disorder located at Park Road, Colombo 5.

This school was established by a group of volunteers who formed an Association for Individuals with Learning Differences (AILD) with technical advice from the Alpha to Omega Learning Centre in Chennai, India.This will be the fifth consecutive year that “Achievers” will get the support of the Saints which each member does as part of each of their social responsibility.The Saints comprises Bosco Fonseka – (Director), Nalake Fernando (President) Rohan Fernando, Kenneth Pereira, Sampath Perera, Allan Perera, Russell Gomesz, Denzil Perera, Placie Gomez, Janith Abeysekera, Gladwyn Ramanaden, and Carlo Fernando with Suren Abeysekera and Priyanke Perera as conductors.

The Saints are accompanied this time by a set of accomplished and well known personalities in the music scene. On piano will be the versatile Dayadhree de Silva, a pioneer music teacher at Yamaha Music Centre and presently operating her own school of music.

She was with Revel Crake and formerly with Peter Prins Combo, riveting bass sounds from Basil Paiva previously with the Fireflies and Peter Prins Combo and the exhilarating and magical genius of Christo Prins on drums. They will no doubt give this event the added lustre and sparkle.

The Saints in concert will be held on Sunday, October 30 at the 7.00p.m. at the Lionel Wendt. Box plan is available at the Lionel Wendt. Tickets are priced at Rs.1000/-, 800/-, 600/- and 300/- (balcony).

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