14 October at Lionel Wendt
Funds in aid of educational scholarships for children of prisoners
Aptly titled ‘Hello’, in a bid to acknowledge and assist children of prisoners to continue their education, the award winning Soul Sounds Academy Choir will come together in exciting harmonies to sing music inspired from the ‘80s to the present day. To be held on Friday 14 October at the Lionel Wendt, the repertoire featuring complex vocal arrangements encapsulates the spirit and diversity characteristic of pop and rock ranging from the music of Lionel Ritchie to Adele, with a choral twist.
Friends of Prisoners Children, a Trust which was mooted in 2005 by Sister Immaculate de Alwis, focuses on children whose mother, father or both are serving prison sentences and undergo numerous challenges to remain in school, continuing their education. Having begun the program with just 47 children, 11 years later, there are nearly 300 children being supported annually.
“Often, children whose parents are in prison get penalised or ostracised by society for no fault of their own,” explains Sr. Immaculate. “This leads them into retreating from society and not attending school. By giving them all their school supplies and Rs. 1,000 monthly via these scholarships we have provided an incentive for them to remain in school.” With a number of success stories to be very proud of, Sr. Immaculate also mentions that the intangible benefit is that the children themselves greatly value the fact that society supports them and take on a mantle of courage to face any challenges they may face, feeling less stigmatised as children of prisoners. Scholarships amount to just Rs. 12,000 per year to help a child remain in school.
The award winning Soul Sounds Academy Choir (SSAC), which has won two Gold Diplomas in the Pop and Scenic Folklore categories at the Asian Choir Games, is the senior choir of the Soul Sounds Academy established over 10 years ago by Soundarie David Rodrigo. Comprising singers from their teens to their twenties, the choir has participated at the Llangollen International Musical Eisteddfod in Wales, the Christmas concert series Joy to the World with local artistes and numerous international and local events.
“The focus of the choir is to push beyond their limits in achieving a sound that is harmonious while being challenging, and this is the first time that the choir would be performing to aid scholarships for prisoners’ children and we are privileged and happy to support such a worthy cause,” says Founder and Musical Director Soundarie.
Tickets for the concert are available at the Soul Sounds Academy, 57/2, Kassapa Road, off Jawatte Road, Colombo 5.