Following a seasonal concert on 8 December in the familiar setting of Jesus College Chapel, the College Choir set off to Sri Lanka on the 11 December for what would be a once-in-a-lifetime opportunity, returning home for Christmas on 23 December.
During the tour, the Choir carried out workshops with children from several schools in Galle, Colombo, Kandy and Jaffna. In addition to these workshops the Choir enjoyed the opportunity to sing joint services and concerts with pupils from St Thomas's College Colombo, Trinity College Kandy and St John's College Kandy. In running the workshops, Jesus College Choral and Organ Scholars taught the children some songs with Jingle Bells and The Holly and the Ivy (with added actions!) proving firm favourites with the enthusiastic students who ranged in age from six to 18. The College Choir also performed solo concerts to packed-out hall in Colombo Ladies' College and in the vast 1200-seat Bandaranaike Memorial International Conference Hall. The Choir's social media pages were inundated with several positive responses to both concert performances and school workshops and many new friendships were formed. Reviews of our concerts in Colombo Ladies' College and Trinity College Kandy can be read here and here.
When not singing, the Choir were treated to some of the wonderful sights that Sri Lanka has to offer. Visits to Pinnawela Elephant Orphanage, the ancient city of Anuradhapura, and the magnificent rock palace of Sigiriya were highlights and the group were treated to receptions hosted by the British High Commissioner in Colombo and by the British Council in Jaffna. In addition to many musical and cultural highlights, the group enjoyed generous hospitality thanks to many sponsors, and were exposed to a wide range of delicious Sri Lankan cuisine. The College and Choir owe a huge debt of gratitude to Professor Manouri Senanayake and her family and to Mr Priyan de Livera whose organisation, fundraising and company throughout the trip made for a truly memorable end to 2014.
Blog posts written throughout the tour may be read on our Diary of a Choral Scholar blog.
Go to: Tours
Go to: Switzerland 2014