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Old 05-09-17, 11:58 PM
sriyanj sriyanj is offline
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Default S. Thomas’ College celebrates 100 years at Mount Lavinia with song

S. Thomas’ College celebrates 100 years at Mount Lavinia with song

By Joshua Surendraraj

After its move from the dusty neighborhood of Mutwal in 1918, for almost a hundred years, S. Thomas’ College, Mount Lavinia nestled by the side of the beach, has grown throughout the years to become an endearing landmark.

To the men, who are proud to call this school their alma mater, S. Thomas’ College has played a major role in their lives. Today they come together, with the present students of the college to showcase ‘The Musical Perpetua’, a concert which is part of the College’s 100 year celebrations since its move to Mount Lavinia. It will take place at the Bishop’s College auditorium on September 19, starting at 7.30 pm.

It’s after school hours as we make our way past security and into the college grounds. The slight drizzle had left a chill in the air and the lush landscape adds to the pleasant surroundings of the college. It is here that we meet Dyan Fernando, Joy De Alwis and Niran De Mel.

Their age definitely sets them apart, but the one thing they have in common is their Thomian background. “Once you say you’re a Thomian, you belong to one family. You just say ‘machan you’re from college’ and that’s the beauty of it,” Dyan is the first to share. The trio will be showcasing their individual performances alongside, the De Lanerolle brothers, Gananath Dassanayake, the college Western Band, and the lower and middle school choirs.

Over the years, the school had been popular for several things, one of which has always been their choir. As our conversations with Dyan, Joy and Niran indicated, these three individuals had started off their singing back in school. In fact both Dyan and Niran had been choir leaders, during their respective years in the college. It is this training, which pushed them to be who they are today.

“I’ve never been to a voice trainer or anything like that,” Dyan tells us. He began singing in the school choir, since his young days and that developed his voice and also gave him the confidence to speak to a crowd. Today Dyan is an energetic presenter, speaker, trainer and management consultant. He is also the Warden of Lyceum International School, Nugegoda.

Dyan’s connection with the school goes back to when he was baptized at the College chapel. As we take a trip down memory lane, he also recalls the many fond memories, which he had from school. He says this concert means a lot to him as Thomians “we are very proud of our history and to be a part of it, is a great thing.”
He reveals that he plans on dedicating the song ‘You Raised me up’ to the school, “because it was S. Thomas that raised me up to who I am today.”
Unlike Dyan, Joy had never been a part of the school’s choir. But that certainly did not stop him from taking part in several school productions, which involved singing, he tells us.

Joy is a banker by profession. He also sings on a professional level at various events as a solo artist and has a few songs of his own.

Joy adds that no matter where he goes in school, there’s always fond memory, which hits him. “St Thomas means everything to me,” he tells us adding that it’s not just a school that teaches you your ABC, rather it gives you personality, recognition and a good name. Now that he has a chance to give back, Joy looks to showcase his take on an Elton John classic and a single by Ed Sheeran, at the show.

Niran is the youngest out of the three and is fresh after completing his degree. He tells us that he is into operatic, classical and gospel solo singing and is currently a part of the Menaka singers, opera ensemble. This is Niran’s first show on behalf of the college, which is a “really big deal” for him, because he feels that this is his chance to give back.

In his days at St Thomas, Niran was a head prefect and also the choir leader. He shares that the time he spent in the choir and the drama society are his fondest memories from school. “They are what molded me. Be it my education, singing and extracurricular activities. All I am today is because of college and that’s why I want to give back.”

‘Musical Perpetua’ promises to be a wonderful celebration of the school’s past and present. The music that it has to offer, definitely brings with it a series of treasured memories and endless gratitude which both the young and old generations have towards the College.

Tickets are priced at Rs. 3000, 2500, 2000, 1500, 1000 and 750 (Balcony). They will be available at the Bishops College Auditorium.


Pix by M.A Pushpakumara

Dyan Fernando, Joy De Alwis and Niran De Mel.

Some of the youngsters who will participate at Musical Perpetua.
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