The year 2017 was both a memorable and an eventful tenure for the Choir which started off with the induction of the Choir Leader, and concluded with the Christmas Eve Service. It was quite a challenging and a tough year since many performances were carried out within and outside of college. The Choristers had a wonderful time enjoying musicals and live orchestral performances, and it was also a great learning experience for the Choir.
The first term started with the traditional Trinity – Thomian Weekend. ‘O Praise God in his Holiness (Psalm 150)’ by Noel Rawsthorne was sung as a special anthem by both Choirs.
This was followed by one of the major events: the ‘Cross and Triumph of Christ’ , was held on the 9th of April. The Choir started by singing “Ride on Ride on” by Henry Milman as they proceeded to the chancel. ‘Ah, Lord, when my last end is come’ by Bach, ‘Lacrymosa’ by Mozart, ‘Were you there?’, ‘Christe, Adoramus te’ by Monteverdi, ‘Come and see’ by Graham Kendrick, and ‘With a voice of singing’ by Martin Shaw were among the musical pieces that were sung by the Choir which moved the hearts of the congregation. As the pièce de résistance the Choir sang the triumphant ‘Hallelujah Chorus’ written by Handel filling the air with a sense of heavenly majesty. The Hallelujah Chorus once again was conducted by the Principal, Mr. Andrew Fowler-Watt.
The second term began with practices for the CBS Annual Festival of Choirs. ‘All things Bright and Beautiful’ by Rutter and ‘Ezekiel Saw the Wheel’, a Negro Spiritual item written by Dawson were performed by the Choir at the event.
‘The Church’s One Foundation’, a public choral event held at the Cathedral of Christ the Living Saviour, was a great experience for the Choristers who sang along with 150 other voices and an orchestra under the guidance of Internationally acclaimed musicians. The organists for the evening were Dr. Jonathan Clarke (London), and Neranjan De Silva (Sri Lanka), and the conductor was Battista Pradal (Italy). The Trinity College Choir was the only ‘outstation choir’ joining the top school choirs in Colombo such as St. Thomas’, Ladies’, Bishop’s, St. Joseph’s and the adult choirs – the Cathedral Choir and ‘Oktave’. Many known hymns such as, ‘Guide me, O thou great redeemer’, ‘My song is love unknown’ and ‘God will take care of you’ were sung during the event.
The second term came to an end with Annual Choir trip to Trincomalee. It was a unique experience for the Choristers who got to stay on an island isolated from the mainland. The Choir also visited the naval museum followed by a boat ride around the bay. The scenic view around the Trincomalee bay would have been without doubt an unforgettable experience for the choristers. We are indeed grateful to the former Navy Commander, Admiral Travis Sinniah for his generous and genial hospitality offered to the Choir throughout our stay at Trincomalee.
The third term was quite arduous as the choir was constantly engaged with various performances and services. During mid-September the Choir was invited to perform at the ‘Royal College Festival of Choirs’ and for an Evening of Choral Music with the St. Thomas’s Choir. At festival, the choristers performed ‘Greatest Love of all’ by Whitney Houston, ‘Peter Piper’ and a TTBB version of Billy Joel’s ‘For the Longest Time’, keeping up the renowned repertoire of the Choir. At the Evening of Choral Music, both Choirs sang many familiar hymns. The Choir singly performed, ‘Abendlied’ by Rheinberger, ‘All Things Bright and Beautiful’ by John Rutter, ‘Beauty for Brokenness’ by Graham Kendrick and the negro spiritual; ‘Ezekiel saw the wheel’.
The Choristers were then fortunate to attend ‘SOSL Pops’ concert that included famed movie scores which were performed by the Symphony Orchestra of Sri Lanka. After a stay of four days in Colombo, the Choir started strenuous practices for The Festival of Nine Lessons and Carols; considered as one of the main events in the school calendar.
The Festival of Nine Lessons and Carols, was held on the 10th of December. The Choir started the Advent Service by singing ‘Once in Royal David’s City’. The candle lit chapel availed the congregation to indulge in the atmosphere of the Service. The Choir also sang, ‘Born on a New Day’ by Philip Dawson, ‘The only son from heaven’ written by Bach and arranged by John C. Martin, ‘Es ist ein ros enstprungen’ a German carol by Preatorius, ‘Dixit Maria’ by Hassler, ‘My love is always here’ by Alexander Desplat, ‘Quelle est cetto’ French carol by Willcocks, ‘All Bells in Paradise’ by Rutter, and some well-known Christmas carols. Following this sensational evening the Choir attended the traditional dinner at the Principal’s Bungalow.
Although the school was closed for the year, the Choir was still in progress during the vacation. The Choir Party was held on 23rd of December, a great time of entertainment which also brought out many hidden talents of the Choristers. It included dramas, a-cappellas, musical performances, karaoke sessions, surprising magic shows, and heart-warming speeches. As a conclusion for the year the Choir sang at the Christmas Eve Service spreading the blessed joy of Christmas.
The Choir extends its most sincere gratitude to the Principal, Mr. Andrew Fowler-Watt for his tremendous support in all the events of the Choir as well as his advocacy.
The Choir continued to play a leading role at the New Entrant’s Service, Old Boys’ Service, Leavers’ Service and other obligatory events such as, weddings and funerals. Amidst all these events the Choir treads on forward maintaining old traditions and core values with a strong sense of brotherhood preserving its rich choral history for 145 years.