The Trinity College Choir made great leaps and strides in the year 2018, with its Choristers being involved in various events with diverse genres of music. It is worth noting this year was led by three Choir Leaders who took their turns in each term.
The year started off with the high profile visit of the Earl and Countess of Wessex who visited Trinity College on 1st February 2018 as part of their visit to Sri Lanka in commemoration of the 70th Independence Day celebrations. The Choir sang the hymn ‘God Save the Queen’, national anthem of the United Kingdom, followed by the Hallelujah Chorus which surprised the Prince as it was sung by a Sri Lankan School Choir.
The traditional joint service with S Thomas’s College Mt. Lavinia took place on 18th February 2018 with Thomian Choristers coming to the School on the hill. The special combined item of the morning, “God So Loved the World” by Bob Chilcott was performed by both choirs as a special anthem, which filled the chapel with the angelic voices of a combined choir of more than 100 voices. The service attracted many visitors including several parents and well-wishers who travelled all the way from Colombo. The event was a absolute pleasure to host, as well as to interact with a school so closely tied to our own.
The annual Lent service, ‘The Cross and Triumph of Christ‘ took place on 25th March 2018. The eagerly awaited service was commenced as the choir sang Henry Milman’s “Ride on Ride on in Majesty” as they walked up to the altar. Bob Chilcott’s “God so loved the world”, J. Cruger and J. S. Bach’s “Ah holy Jesu”, Aleksandras Kacanauskas’s “Christus Factus Est”, Tchaikovsky’s “Crown of Roses”, Graham Kendrick’s “The Servant King” and Antonio Lotti’s “Crucifixus” were some of the musical works performed which inspired the congregation to a great reflection on the nature of Christ’s death and resurrection. For the finale of the service, the congregation stood for Handel’s triumphant “Hallelujah Chorus” which was conducted by the Principal Mr Andrew Fowler-Watt by special invitation as the previous year.
During the term holidays, the choir took part in the “Speechless” event along with Ishan De Lannerolle and the choir of the Cathedral of Christ the Living Saviour on 08th April 2018. Throughout the musical performances, short messages were read, which reminded the congregation of the meaning behind the music. The songs each melded into each other, with bright rhythms and joyfully sung choruses. The audience was held in awe. It was also an excellent learning experience for the choristers to be exposed to a different musical style. The event was arranged by the Inner Wheel club of Kandy to collect donations for their charity work.
The Choir took part in the annual Kandy Festival of Choirs organised by the Ceylon Bible Society, which was held in the Trinity College chapel on the 24th of June. They performed “Beauty for Brokenness” by Graham Kendrick, and “Jericho” an Old American Spiritual. Both songs were performed with an enthusiasm and dedication which clearly stood out. The Choir also commenced its practices in the 2nd term and during August holidays for its long-awaited concert.
On 17th September, the choir performed Mind Your Music 2018, in the College Hall. Every concert of Mind Your Music is centred around a theme to showcase a broad array of genres and eras. This year, the theme “Musicals to Movies” was intended to shed a spotlight on the many influential creations on film and on stage, and the music used in them.
Performed solely by the Trinity College Choir with live musical accompaniment on keyboard, guitar and drums, the 80 minute concert covered many genres of music and film: “Somewhere Over the Rainbow” from the Wizard of Oz, “As Time Goes By” from Casablanca, the “Ascot Gavotte” from My Fair Lady, The Pink Panther’s theme, “Yesterday” from the Beatles’ movie Help! , The theme to Top Cat, “Girl from Ipanema” from Get Yourself A College Girl, “Edelweiss” from the Sound of Music, “The Vulture Song” from the Jungle Book (sung A Capella by the Tenors and Basses), The James Bond theme, “Memory” from the musical Cats, the theme from Arthur, the Mr. Bean theme song “Ecce Homo”, a medley of several of Batman’s theme songs, “Blue Moon” from Manhattan Melodrama, “The Show Must Go On” originally written by the famous rock band Queen, “Goodnight Sweetheart” from the film American Graffiti (sung A Capella by the Tenors and Basses), and “Tomorrow” from the film Annie were all masterfully executed by the Trinity College Choir in a stunning show of versatility. This ambitious project was widely acknowledged as a massive success.
The Tenors and Basses of the Choir attended the Kandy Music Festival on 30th of September, performing two A Capella songs, “For the longest time” by Billy Joel, and “We’re your Friends” from Disney’s The Jungle Book.
The Choir became a part of history on 11th November 2018, as the 100th armistice anniversary of WWI was commemorated with a special Remembrance Day Service held at the College Chapel to remember and honour the Trinitians who served in WWI and in all other conflicts. After the service a commemoration ceremony was held in the Quadrangle with the participation of the Cadet Band, Cadet Platoon, Senior Scouts, Junior Scouts and the Choir, while the names of the brave Trinitians who sacrificed their lives for the benefit of many others were read out. The Choir sang “O God, our help in ages past” at the end of the commemoration.
The most awaited event of the year was held on December 2nd of 2018, the annual Festival of Nine Lessons and Carols. This years’ service was special as it marks the 60th year since the traditional Festival of Nine Lessons and Carols was held at Trinity for, the first time in 1958. “Adam Lay Abounden” by Boris Ord, “O Little One Sweet” composed by J.S. Bach, “Virga Jesse” composed by Anton Bruckner, “Bogoroditse Dyevo” by Arvo Part, “In the Bleak Mid-Winter” composed by Harold Darke, “Quittez Pastuers” arranged by Stephen Cleobury, and Peter Cornelius’s “The Three Kings” were all wonderfully performed, bringing a tear to many an eye in the congregation. For the finale, the chapel was lit only by candles held by the choir and congregation as the choir performed “Candlelight Carol” by John Rutter. After the service, the choir was invited to the traditional after service dinner at the Principal’s bungalow.
Even after the school year ended, the choir was still active. The Tenors and Basses of the choir were invited to the “Celebration of Carols” event organised by Elizabeth Moir International School. The choir performed two solo items, “Born on a New Day” by Philip Lawson and Peter Knight, and “Ah Dearest, Dearest Jesu”, by our own former Choirmaster Mr Ronnie Thangiah.
As the final event of the year, on the 24th of December, the Choir was part of the School’s annual Midnight Service which was held at the Trinity College Chapel. The quiet service was a lovely way to celebrate the birth of Jesus. It was a well-attended service, and it is hoped that this means that this tradition will continue for the future.
The Choir continues to play a major role at the New Entrant’s Service, Old Boys’ Service, Leavers’ Service, Trinity Monday and other obligatory events such as, weddings and funerals. As the oldest student association in the school, founded in 1872 with the new school. The Choir looks forward to further development while preserving the strong sense of brotherhood, its rich choral history and maintaining old traditions and core values, as it moves forward on its 146-year journey.