Making some noise

By Dhananjani Silva, Photos by Sanka Vidanagama

The sidewalks of Ananda Coomaraswamy Mawatha along Green Path Colombo are famous for events like the kala pola and street food festivals and last Sunday yet again the streets made way for a big band festival.

The day long event - ISIC Young Drums 2011 brought 16 schools from the Western Province on a common platform to vie for the prestigious young drums award for the best school band. Presenting their formations, 12 schools from the western category and four from the eastern category marched through the streets before a wide audience. Their pulsating beats wrapped the environment while crowds cheered on and clapped their hands to encourage the participants. The colourful pageant caught the eye of many passers by who stopped to gaze at the show for a moment.

Clad in their stylish band outfits from sophisticated western designs of vibrant colours to typical eastern costumes studded with glittery accessories and head ornaments, the formations and drills presented by each school was unique to one another. Each band had a style and rhythm of its own that earned the appreciation of the audience.

A novel concept, ISIC Young Drums was a great opportunity for school bands to show case their talents, the participating band members opined. The band leader of the Central College Piliyandala, Kalana Kavinda who competed in the western category said it is his maiden experience at a band competition and schools in the outskirts of Colombo like theirs hardly get any invitations to take part in events to display their talents. “Our cadet band hasn’t performed outside, except for village or school events.

Events such as these help us build confidence and present our talents to a wider audience,” he said.
Shalini Padmanadan the band leader of Ramanathan Hindu Ladies College Bambalapitiya said her 29 member band put a lot of time and effort into the event in terms of creating innovative music formations, drills etc. “When we take part in a competition, the determination to win should be there. But more than wining the competition, we also wanted to give the maximum to bring out our skills as it would be an honour to our school,” she said.

Some of the participating band members were of the opinion that the event gave them space to work on their skills as they had a lot to take from other bands in terms of leadership, discipline, creativity etc by observing them perform.

The winners were selected by a panel of judges comprising eminent personalities like Ravibandu Vidyapathi, Jananath Warakagoda and military personals from Army, Navy and Air Force. The criteria for judging the performances was based on creativity, discipline, showmanship and team work.

After a stiff competition Royal College Colombo emerged the winners of the Western category while St. Paul’s Milagiriya and Thurston College bagged second and third places respectively. In the Eastern category Sirimavo Bandaranaike Vidyalaya emerged the winners while second and third places went to St. Bridget’s Convent and Museaus College.

The Chief Guest at the event was Deputy Minister of Education Wijayamuni Soysa and the Guest of Honour was Secretary General of UNESCO in Sri Lanka Preethi Perera. The event was held to launch the International Student Identity Card (ISIC) Wolrdwide work in Sri Lanka.

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