The Prestantia Chorale and Chraft presents an Easter Choral Reflection: “Wounds of Healing” to support the Deaf and Blind School
The Prestantia Chorale in collaboration with Chraft (Christian Arts Foundation) will present “Wounds of Healing”, a choral reflection for the fourth consecutive year to celebrate the Lent and Easter season. The programme will be held at the Cathedral of Christ the Living Saviour, Colombo 7, on Sunday, April 2 at 7 pm (free admission). The music is directed by Dr. Priyeshni Peiris Perera and the original script is adapted from Steve Moore’s narrative based on the human struggle of Thomas’ refusal to believe and experience the inner healing which comes through Christ. The chorale wishes to raise funds through a “Free will love offering” for the Deaf and Blind School in Ratmalana.
As in the past years, this event is free and open to both young and old with an interest in music. The Prestantia Chorale promises an evening of reflective, spirit-filled choral music to celebrate the season as witnessed in the past years by attendees.
The Prestantia Chorale
The Prestantia Chorale was formed in February 2013 under the musical direction of Dr. Priyeshni P. Perera. Dr. Perera, who obtained her Doctorate in Music from the Texas Tech University, USA, returned to Sri Lanka in 2010 and established the Prestantia School of Music (www.music.edu.lk) and linked the choir calling it “The Prestantia Chorale.” The word prestantia means ‘Excellence’ in Latin. She is a full-time lecturer at the Department of Western Music at the University of Visual and Performing Arts (UVPA), Colombo 7.
The chorale had its humble beginnings in 2013, with eight people singing at an Easter Morning Sunrise Service at the Holy Emmanuel Church (HEC), upon a humble request from Rev. Keerthisiri Fernando from HEC and currently the Archdeacon, Nuwara Eliya Diocese. Keeping with tradition as it were, the Chorale has continued to present an Easter-themed choral production each year; “The Borrowed Tomb” in the successive years 2014 and 2015 and “On Angels Wings” in 2016.
At present, the choir consists of twenty-two passionate singers who devote their precious time to sing in four-part (SATB) with the Prestantia Chorale. They are; Pavithra Madapatha, Ranthilini Fernando, Sudarshi Nonis, Sunara Ranasinghe, Praveeni Fernando, Prashanthi Perera, Privanka Fonseka, (Dr) Amal Shehan Perera, Janaka Fernando, Melantha Fernando, Wasantha Kumara Geekiyanage, (Rev.) Upul Fernando, Shavan De Mel, Pabasara Jayarathne, Tharaka Peiris, Dave Fernando, Shamal Fernando, Michelle Refuge, Sanduni Perera, (Dr.) Sanuri Pandikorala and Siroshni Illangage. The group consists of professional and amateur musicians who are bankers, doctors, lawyers, members of the clergy, software engineers and musicians by profession.
The Chorale in
The Prestantia Chorale has performed at Church Services, weddings, on national television and the “MTV Good Morning Show” at various occasions. The presentations of Easter Musicals such as “The Borrowed Tomb” by David Clydesdale (2014 and 2015) and “On Wings of Angels” (2016) by Dhanan Senathirajah has functioned as musical underpinnings of Prestantia Chorale’s evolution as a leading choir in the country.
The highlight for the Chorale was the presentation of the National Anthem sung SATB in both Sinhala and Tamil languages, probably for the first time in Sri Lanka in 2015 to an original SATB arrangement by Dr. Priyeshni P. Perera. In Dr. Perera’s own words, the hope was that “this choral music initiative will contribute in a small way towards ethnic reconciliation in our motherland.”
The chorale has appeared as guest performers at the “Prestantia Musica 2014 & 2015,” the “Throne of Praise” and “The Priests in Concert” at the Holy Emmanuel Church among others. Subsequently upon requests that were made, the musicals were re-presented at the Methodist Churches as fundraisers.
Wounds of Healing
The choir plays a prominent role in communicating a variety of emotions through songs ranging from classical to contemporary repertoire. With the energetic and lush choral harmonies of Thomas Rutter, David Clydesdale, Steve Townsend and Keith Getty and selections from “The Messiah” by G.F. Handel, combined with the creative writing abilities of Steve Moore, this Easter musical dramatically portrays the story of Christ’s death and resurrection through the eyes of three symbolic characters namely, Thomas, Peter, and Mary Magdalene.
The audience will experience the emotions of how the death and resurrection of Jesus affected their lives. It will portray the inner tensions the disciples went through during this period, the self-inflicted emotional turmoil behind Peter’s denial of Jesus and the doubt that Thomas had to overcome to be ultimately healed through the resurrection of Jesus.
The Junior Choir of the Prestantia Music School will join with the Chorale this year too.
The instrumental ensemble will consist of (Dr.) Priyeshni P. Perera (Piano), Christopher Prins (Drums), Nimalka Marian (Keyboard Synthesizer), Saranga Cooray (Cello), Sachiththa Fernando (Violin) and Tironi Rathnayake (Flute). Sound Engineering Support by Navin Fernando, Janaka Fernando and Madhawa Perera.