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!
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.
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.
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
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.
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.
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!