The Silver Jubilee of the Peterite Easter Cantata will be a sublime celebration of grateful thanksgiving to the Risen Lord at the College Chapel on the evening of Easter Sunday, April 16 at 7:00 p.m. A joyous choral tradition of the Senior Choir of St. Peter’s in symphonic harmony with the Peterite Chorale, a dedicated group of Old Boy Choristers, have got together for the past twenty-four Easter Sunday evenings to celebrate the Resurrection of Our Blessed Lord Jesus.
Music, in its many captivating forms from plaintive Gregorian Chant and the symphonic magnificence of Palestrina to the hypnotic spellbinding romance of Rachmaninov, Chopin, and Liszt have been at the heart of Peterite leisure. This 80-year Peterite tradition of commitment to choral perfection has inspired the visionary Peterite Musical Directors of the ilk of Noel Crusz, Jerome de Silva, Shannon Raymond, and Jehan Bastians to superlative productions such as ‘Oliver’ ‘Jesus Christ Superstar’ ‘Evita’ ‘The Christmas Story’ and more recently ‘Joseph and the Technicolour Dream Coat.’ It is this inspiring DNA that produced the amazing Hussain Mohamed and Nihal Abeysundera, the prolific violinist of the 40’s and 50’s, Douglas de Niese, Tony Don Michael, Nihal Fonseka, and Father Claver Perera, our most sought after tenors, Earl de Fonseka creator of the Sri Lanka Symphony Orchestra and its first Conductor, our brilliant choral Directors George de Niese, Father Mervyn Weerakkody, Stefan Corera, the Founder Director of the Peterite Chorale and more recently Eshantha de Andrado, Jehan Bastians, Sanjive Dabare and Neomal de Alwis who, as a brilliant pianist, has been the prime collaborator and accompanist of the Peterite Chorale since its inception.
This same DNA has created a younger generation of illustrious musicians – Dilip Seneviratne, Yohan de Alwis, Ishan Denipitiya all versatile and imaginative pianists. On the lighter and brighter side, the most sought after Gypsies, Sunil and Piyal Perera, the pop star of the 50’s Bill Forbes, the star studded three generations of the Denipitiyas, Gavin Senn the sensational saxophonist, notwithstanding an illustrious galaxy of other reputed musicians and singers.
This traditional evening of joy and thanksgiving owes its origin to the untiring dedication and loyalty of the Peterite Choral Director of the 80’s and early 90’s Priyanthi Seneviratne. Hers was a vocation of dedication and love in continuing a 50 year tradition of choral perfection. It was her brainchild to inspire the choir leavers at the time to continue their singing tradition which led to the formation of the Peterite Chorale – an inspiration to a host of other past pupil choirs.
With a tinge of humility but justifiable pride, mention is made of the writer’s contribution to music as the Sri Lanka Representative and the other Peterite, Neomal de Alwis, Deputy Representative of the illustrious Associated Board of the Royal Schools of Music London, the prime examining body of the Royal Academy of Music, the Royal College of Music, the Royal Scottish Academy of Music and the Royal Northern College of Music, which take pride in having Her Majesty Queen Elizabeth as Patron and His Royal Highness Prince Charles as President.