Mirror Magazine

National Youth Orchestra concert at Visakha
Over 100 young musicians from 10 to 25 years will perform at a special concert on October 19 to celebrate the 10th anniversary of the National Youth Orchestra (NYO) at Visakha Vidyalaya Hall.

The National Youth Orchestra is undoubtedly the premier launching pad for many children who learn to play orchestral instruments. Since its inception 10 years ago, the Orchestra has trained over 500 young musicians.

The main object of the NYO is to take Western music to all parts of the island and encourage rural school children to participate in orchestral performance instead of restricting it to privileged schools in the city. This is the aim of the founder of the National Youth Orchestra, Maya Abeywickrema, Consultant to the Ministry of Human Resources, Education and Cultural Affairs.

These young musicians of the NYO have regular training programmes on Saturday under the baton of well-known conductors like Ajith Abeysekera, Dayananda Fernando and Manilal Weerakone.

The programme for the concert offers a wide variety of music ranging from popular music to Broadway and the classics including Mozart's "Jupitor Symphony and Titus Overture" and Tchaikovsky's "1812 Overture".

The National Youth Wind Ensemble will also be performing at the concert.

Time for Talent Search again
The categories under which the competition is being judged;
Solo Singing Group Singing
Instrumental - Acoustic & non-acoustic
Group Dancing

Judges for the first round of semi-finals;
DJ 'Everton' - Romesh Fernando - DJ Category
Ms. Kamalini Samarakoon, Ms. Sureka Amarasingha and Ms. Ravindrini Ratnayake - Instrumental (Acoustic) Category
Mrs. Dianna Jayasekera and Shohan Chandiram - Dancing Category

By Marisa de Silva
Sixteen young people have been working very hard these past few weeks to organise an event for approximately 250 young students islandwide. The event? Yes, it's the "Interact Grammy's" organised jointly by the Interact Club of Royal College and St. Bridget's Convent Colombo being held for the third consecutive year. Regarded as a talent search, the competition has already seen the end of its first round of semi-finals. The second round will be worked off today and then it will be time for the grand finale on October 19 at the Navarangahala Hall, from 6.30 p.m. onwards.

Action from last year's show

This event has been the annual pet project of the Interact Club of Royal College. The Royalists have been organising it over the past 12 years, together with other member schools. The organising committee's main aim is to bring out the hidden talents of youth at school level and give them an opportunity to 'shine'. For the second time around this competition will be open to non-interactors as well, therefore giving more young people a platform for their talents.

The 16-member committee consisting of eight from each school have some veterans on board but for the most part they are new to the project. According to Nilangika, (17), "The committee was picked by the Chairperson, representing SBC, judging by their past performance as an active member of the club and whether they could withstand hard work and meet specific deadlines."

It's been a lot of hard work over the past few months as the members will agree.

But they've enjoyed the process and as she adds, "We learn how to be responsible and goal-oriented by doing something worthwhile like this for the youth of our country."

Past winners of the contest have been the likes of 'Bathiya and Santhush' and the Creators, who would have considered this competition, as a stepping stone to success. "They also continue to help us by agreeing to guest star at our final, free of charge etc.," says Kanishka (19), the project co-chairperson from Royal College

"Talent Search has always attracted plenty of out-station talent," said Chryshanie, the Project Co-Chairperson from SBC. "The response from out-station schools has been quite positive, not just this year but in the past as well. The largest number of participants are usually from areas like Kandy, Galle and Matale. This time around we even contacted schools in Batticaloa, but due to transportation difficulties and practical problems, they may be unable to come."

And the age-groups? "Our youngest participant so far was a 13-year-old girl, from Asian International School, who played the recorder in the 'acoustic' instrumental category."

"During the initial stages of this project the entire committee sat together with the two presidents of the Interact Clubs and discussed the 'game plan'. Whenever a decision had to be made we would put it to the committee and vote on it. You could say we had our own little democracy," she added laughing.

Fazim (17), explained how the work was delegated amongst the committee members. "We were divided into five groups, namely, entertainment, printing, decor, refreshments and publicity," he said. "Another member and I were in charge of entertainment therefore, we had to handle the entries and select the judges etc. So far, the winners of the DJ and acoustic categories have been judged. The non-acoustic category will be worked off today and the winners will perform at the final.

So, this year's 'Interact Grammy's' is all set to go off with a bang. A wonderful means of uniting and displaying the varied talents of our youth, the event deserves all the support it can get. So, be there and who knows, maybe, you'll discover tomorrow's stars.

Tickets are available at both Royal College and St. Bridget's Convent offices.

Sing along with Y'smen
Y'smen International affiliated to the YMCA will have its popular Sing-Along programme at the BMICH on Saturday, October 26 at 7.00 p. m. This much-looked after event is being held for the fifth time.

Entrance is by Song-Book priced at Rs. 350. The Song Book contains over 100 well-loved songs of yesteryear and can be kept and re-used whenever the occasion demands.

Both young and old who had flocked to support this annual fund-raiser organised by the Y'smen in the past would be fully aware of the capacity of the organisers to cater to the tastes of all. The music backing will be by Saybhan while the versatile Kumar Samuel of broadcasting fame will compere.

While proceeds will go for community service projects, this year, a most deserving cause which has been earmarked is the Thalaessemia ward at the Kurunegala General Hospital consisting mainly of children who are the unfortunate victims of the disease. The remedy at present is to pump blood monthly through the use of individual pumps to prevent infection. These are expensive, yet essential for almost a lifetime for survival, till a cheaper alternative emerges. Indeed, a most worthy cause to support. The Sing-Along is being sponsored by Ceylon Cold Stores.

For reservations call - Jayantha (645934), Norman (732748), Rita (074 300209), Godfrey (646687), Ranjan (645238) or any Y'sman/ Mennette.

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