Mirror Magazine

The solo win
It was a double victory for the Holy Family Convent Senior Choir in Wales when young Dinushka Jayawickreme (15) also from the choir (who unfortunately couldn’t sing with the choir in the main category as she was under age) managed to clinch second place in the Vocal Solo – Under 16 Category. Sri Lanka was on a role!

Singing since she was six with the Merry-an-Singers and a part of the Holy Family Choir for the past four years, Dinushka has one of the most powerful voices in the choir, although she is one of the youngest. Advised by Soundarie David to enter for the competition in the solo category, Dinushka sent in a CD featuring two of her solos. Before long she received a letter of acceptance and started training for the event immediately.

Be focused in what you’re doing, was ‘Aunty Mary Anne’s’ constant reminder to her during Dinushka’s weekly sessions with her, she said. ‘Aunty’ had also given her many tips on how to improve her voice and stage presence and what she should expect from the foreign audience and judges. Taking her words to heart, Dinushka began vocalising, exercising and practicing her song, daily over the months leading up to the competition. She worked hard towards achieving her goal and thus, was aptly rewarded.

Her family has always been supportive of her singing, says Dinushka adding, “My sister (who’s also a member of the choir) was so nervous that she got fever before my semis,” she said with a laugh. “I’m very thankful and appreciative of my family, aunty Mary Anne and all the prayers and support, I received from my relations and friends at home,” she said. She was also very grateful to the choir for showing their support by draping the balcony of the little Town Hall in Wales, with flags and cheering her on.

Having won school solo singing competitions and having passed with merit from The Royal College of Music, Grade Five, Dinushka is quite accustomed to public solo singing. Referring to her accomplishment in Wales, she said that she was a bit nervous before the semis when she found out that only three of the 14 would be selected for the final.

It was no nail biting, trembling girl who took on the stage at Wales at the finals, however. She didn’t have time to get nervous for the final, she admitted, as just singing on that stage was an experience on it’s own.

“A young singer of considerable accomplishment,” said the judges, of Dinushka’s performance at the final. “She sang like a veteran” they added, obviously impressed by her rendition of Schubert’s “Hark! Hark! The Lark”. And sing like a veteran she did, doing both her school and country proud!


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