Bridget Halpé reaches 50 years of music teaching this year. She has been dedicated to music since she was six years old, regularly updating her knowledge by practical training and research both here and abroad. She holds the L.R.A.M. in pianoforte performance of the Royal Academy, UK.
To honour her achievement her senior students have joined her family and friends to present Concertaid X – Magnificat! They have named this concert Magnificat! because it celebrates the dedication and contributions to musical culture of Bridget Halpé and the other music teachers of this country.
Bridget Halpé is also a well-known choral director, directing the Peradeniya Singers, successors to the University Singers of the University of Ceylon, and the Kandy Junior Singers – a group she founded five years ago – besides readily giving advice and training to schools which ask for her help.
The Peradeniya Singers have always given their concerts in aid of worthy charities or on invitation to participate in special occasions such as the Bach/Handel Tricentenary, the golden jubilee of the University of Peradeniya, the second centenary of the French Revolution, the ceremonial reopening of the rebuilt Central Bank building and most recently the 50th anniversary of Cuba’s establishment of diplomatic relations with Sri Lanka.
Composing music for lyrics in plays has been another of her activities – she wrote the original music for the Peradeniya University’s Drama Society (Dramsoc) production of Shakespeare’s The Tempest and for the Sinhala translation of Lorca’s Blood Wedding by Hemamali Gunasinghe as well as for extracts from Shakespeare’s As You Like It and A Midsummer Night’s Dream presented at the annual Schools’ Shakespeare Competition. She also worked with Prof. Sarachchandra on his request to compose counterpoint for the ragadari music of Jayantha Aravinda for the play Pémato Jayati Sôko.
A notable innovation in her teaching has been the use of traditional Sri Lankan songs in the section in the singing examination syllabus which requires a traditional song. She accompanied each song with a translation of the original into English for the information of the examiners.
She has developed a compendium of musical theory for the use of her students and is engaged in research, making a structural evaluation of the 48 Preludes and Fugues of J.S. Bach.
All proceeds from this concert will be used to set up a Trust Fund to help once active music teachers who are no longer able to make a living from teaching because of various disabilities and are in difficult circumstances.
Guest artistes- the Ravibandu/Samanthi duo, Ramya de Livera Perera and Soundari David Rodrigo will perform at the concert. The concert also includes premiere performances of contemporary works.
Concertaid X—Magnificat! will be presented in Kandy at the E.O.E.Pereira Theatre University of Peradeniya on June 5 at 6.30 p.m. and at the Lionel Wendt in Colombo on June 13 at 7 p.m.