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Divine calling

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All for one Soul Sounds choir performing at Sacred Heart Cathedral.
All for one Soul Sounds choir performing at Sacred Heart Cathedral.

MANGALA RAMAMOORTHY

Soul Sounds, the renowned choir from Sri Lanka, had the audience spellbound with its performance in the Capital.

Their love for music surpasses everything else. Perhaps that is why despite a tiring journey from Austria to India and lack of sleep thereafter, they exuded amazing energy and enthusiasm on stage during their performance at the Sacred Heart Cathedral in the Capital this past weekend. A well-known choir from Sri Lanka, Soul Sounds participated in the World Choir Games in Graz, Austria, where they won three gold medals in Jazz, Gospel and Popular Choral music categories. “Everyone is actually drained out. But when it comes to music, the girls are always ready. They really enjoy singing,” explains Soundarie David, the choir’s leader and music director.

This is the choir’s second trip to India — the last was during Bhakti Utsav in 2006. “The girls really enjoyed it last time, so they were eagerly awaiting this trip. We are looking forward to do some shopping, especially since we couldn’t buy anything in Europe,” adds Soundarie, a lawyer by profession.

Soul Sounds came about when some students from Holy Family Convent, Colombo, decided to continue with their passion for singing beyond the school choir. Soundarie, along with the choir’s artistic director Jerome L. de Silva, brought together a bunch of like-minded singers to take the message of God and peace forward. “There is a demand for talented choirs, especially in Colombo. Also, our country has a strong ethnic music culture. When we combined the two in our music, we found a growing interest among people,” says Jerome, also a theatre director.

Take the 24-year-old Andrea Melder, a speech and drama teacher, who has been with the team since she was 12. “People from different backgrounds have come together for the choir — there are students, bankers, lecturers and even lawyers. We all take out time from our schedules to practice on a regular basis. Participating in this World Choir Games was a great learning experience, as we got to interact with choirs from across the world. Unlike in the China Games, held in 2006, we were well prepared this time,” she says proudly.

Picture of unity

The cathedral was brimming with people eagerly waiting to hear this bunch of talented 25 girls, who, dressed in bright red ponchos and cream skirts, were a picture of unity. The one-and-a-half hour concert saw some magical presentations, which made the audience erupt into applause. The choir members struck a chord with the first piece itself. Carl Off’s “O Fortuna” (made popular by the Old Spice ad) was brilliant. Their soaring and sincere voices, combined wonderfully with their sparkling chemistry, did everything to enhance the divine atmosphere. “Adiemus”, “Oh Mary Oh Martha” and “My Eternal King/ Total Praise” were other gems.

After the interval it was folk time, with traditional white and green costumes. “Danno Budunge” and a medley of Sri Lankan poems saw the girls showing off their theatricals skills as well. With “Seasons of Love” and “Prayer” the girls got back to the devotional mode. Neranjan de Silva on the keyboards, Soundarie on the piano and Christopher Prins on the drum supported aptly. The event was organised by the Neemrana Foundation and the Sri Lankan High Commission.


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