Koggala reverberates to the sound of music
It was a lovely day, the rural landscape where the Music Festival
took place added beauty for the festival. The theme "Music is for all"
was experienced by all of us. We felt that in spite of colour, race,
religion and ethnicity music could be enjoyed by all. The theme of the
day was indeed made a reality.
There was commotion everywhere as we walked into the premises in
which the children's music festival was held. The children from the
southern district were preparing to participate in the events. They were
dressed in beautiful costumes with heavy jewellery. They looked like
colourful birds from a distance.
The events were held at the Martin Wickremasinghe Folk Museum
premises at Koggala. The main entrance was wonderfully decorated. It was
really colourful. Many students were standing in long queues to enter
The children were overjoyed when the Indian music group started to
perform. Donn Bhat and the Passenger Revelator band from India caused a
sensation and created a unique space for themselves. This spot attracted
many children. They seemed to enjoy the music.
A festival atmosphere was created in the minds of the children's
through activities such as magic, face painting, mimicking and karaoke.
We were not sure as to which stall that we could go into. Then all of a
sudden, we were attracted towards the face painting stall.
The children enjoyed the face painting activity. They began to form
queues to get their faces painted. Their faces were painted in
different, bright colours. Their faces were painted like animals and
birds as well as flowers. They were awesome.
The dubbing workshop was interesting and funny. There were sounds of
laughter everywhere. A boy was dubbing a scene from a drama he acted in
school. The staff in charge of dubbing told the boy to dub a verse
saying, "I can't imagine as to what I will do at this moment." It was
really terrific as the students burst out laughing for the different
changes in tone and accent he displayed.
On our way to the next stall, we met Sahan Ranwala, son of the late
Lionel Ranwala, the world renowned singer. He said that children get a
general knowledge on different types of local and international music
apart from what they learn from the school curriculum. They also paid a
visit to the Martin Wickremasinghe Folk Museum which was surrounded by a
restored ecosystem planted with hundreds of varieties of indigenous
trees and shrubs in which bird life abound.
Children learnt different types of music and they enjoyed it. A
student from the southern district said she got an opportunity to
experience different types of music. "It is really fun and we rarely get
an opportunity to participate in such an event", she said.
The Norway music group was the one which was enjoyed most by the
children. The music group performed in such a way that the children and
the audience were impressed. The Norway group had communicated the
language of music with stunning effect. They sang songs in simple and
clear English in which the children understood and reacted.
At times the children could not communicate with the music bands
because of the language barrier. They found it difficult to understand
certain words. It would have been good if they invited students from the
other provinces as well.
As the saying goes "All's well that ends well." Everything started
well and ended well. The children went home in a happy mood with a small
gift of a note book in their hands.
Sumana Jayathilake got the award for her services to the children of