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It's been awhile since we reached out to our families, friends and fans of Soul Sounds all over the world, but life has been quite hectic, in terms of our schedule, work commitments and family. However, music and singing still continues to be a major part of our lives. We started the year with quite a few weddings to sing for. Valentine's Day was special, because Soul Sounds, together with Sri Lanka's popular radio station - Yes Fm, serenaded some special people with love songs. This was indeed different from the usual concerts, and a fun experience overall. It was back to hard work, when Soul Sounds worked together with the Zonta club of Colombo 1, to put together a show celebrating International Women's Day on the 8th of March 2013, at the Lionel Wendt Theatre.

New repertoire was compiled, and the show was well received, with proceeds in aid of a project on Violence Against Women in Sri Lanka. Colorful costumes and African songs were much appreciated by all when the girls of Soul Sounds sang for the South African National Day celebrations in Sri Lanka, as well as the American medleys sung for US National Day Celebrations on the 3rd of July.

The highlight however of the first six months of 2013, was the series of workshops, Soul Sounds conducted together with Prof. Thomas Caplin from Norway in the North of Sri Lanka. It was truly a learning and rewarding experience to work with such talented and eager students in Jaffna. Pre workshops were conducted by Soul Sounds in Jaffna, and the main workshop was held in Jaffna from 28th - 30th of June 2013, culminating with a concert featuring choirs from the North, and Soul Sounds performed together with the children.

Soul Sounds will be working on new repertoire as well as on its new CD, which will feature your favorite vocal arrangements of the group. The 10th Moods of Christmas concert will be held on the 22nd of December 2013, at the Cinnamon Grand - a very special Christmas show, as it will also mark ten years of Soul Sounds being together as one family.

We hope you will enjoy the music we continue to bring to you. Do visit our new website - www.soulsounds.org, and follow us on facebook where our regular updates will keep you informed of the group.

Thanking you for your continued support.


Musically Yours,

 
   

With the start to the year 2013, it came as no surprise that Souls Sounds would have an extremely busy and eventful few months. From celebrating love to acknowledging the power of women, while experiencing the true meaning of singing together with people from all walks of life, a wedding, a baby boy...

I think we as leaders have some great stories to share.

Let’s start with the month of February. A few of the girls were part of an unusual promo together with Yes 101, where female listeners got to surprise their loved ones on Valentine’s day with Soul Sounds members serenading them. Armed with bouquets of roses, gifts and our first time with an acoustic guitarist to accompany us, we played singing cupids to five lucky guys. Completely out of the ordinary for most of us, but definitely worth it.

Pop repertoire in a choral arrangement is more often a daunting task, but we took up the challenge never the less and shared some empowering songs with the audience on the 8th of March, Celebrating International Women’s Day. It was our way of saying “thank you” and “we are here for you” to the strong, intelligent women who continue to battle with abuse, both mentally and physically.

It's always a new experience, followed by much laughter, when learning a new language for a particular song. But it’s even more fun when you have the honor and privilege to work with the High Commissioner of South Africa and his wife. They were both amazing. Making sure we get the pronunciation right in certain words and giving us a better insight into their culture. It really helped with getting to know the songs better as we performed it for the South African National Day.

We have so many things to be grateful for. Our experience with the choirs in Jaffna alongside Prof. Thomas Caplin was indeed inspiring. On a more personal note we our first baby boy introduced to the choir. So it comes as no surprise that he will be one of the most pampered and spoilt little boys with so many of us to cuddle and shower him with much love and kisses, Angela you will have a lot to put up with, thanks to us!! We also celebrated a beautiful and meaningful wedding as one our choristers Saumya said her ‘I do’s’ in June to hubby Nili. We wish you both so much love and happiness.

It’s never a dull day at choir; either it’s a good joke, sharing someone’s lunch amongst ten hungry mouths or a rare occasion when we decide to take the practice into our ‘own’ hands. One day we spontaneously sang our favourite love songs (in the dark for added ambiance), recalling the good old days. It was FUN and we’re sure practices of this nature are bound to repeat itself.

We as leaders look forward to the coming months and moreover next year as we at Soul Sounds will be celebrating 10 years of singing together. We’re currently recording a few songs for our upcoming CD. Here’s to a fantastic few months. And thanks again for all the support.

 

 

 
 

 

A Message from Prof. Caplin

For eight days I had the opportunity to visit Colombo, Jaffna and Kandy, in order to conduct workshops with school children and conductors. Together with Soul Sounds we made this a great success and the girls were absolutely super to work with. It's really a privilege to have skilled and generous musicians to help you out as one achieves results so much quicker. Soul Sounds is not only a choir, it's a musical and pedagogical institution that other singers in Sri Lanka can benefit from. Thank you, girls!!!

Professor Thomas Caplin

Professor in Choral Conducting and Management,
Hedmark University College,
Hamar, Norway



 
   

 


 

 

“For the first time I enjoyed what I did”
- Experience of a student from St. Johns College, Jaffna

I was glad to hear that we were going to participate in a music workshop with a Professor. To be honest this was to be the first music workshop I was to participate in. I was thrilled but a little nervous about it because my teacher told us that we should do a live performance on stage. For the first workshop Marisa and some of the singers from Soul Sounds came to Jaffna and trained us with the basics. Usually we never do warm ups or any type of vocal training before practices, but the way in which they taught us everything was amazing and different from our normal way. They taught us how to breathe properly and to control our vocals which I had never heard of. However most importantly we learned how to enjoy ourselves while singing. Those two days of training gave us a foundation on how to improve our vocals.

The training with Professor Caplin was one of the most memorable days of my life. We were a bit anxious because we didn’t know how the professor would train us or how he would deal with us. But from the first minute he entered the hall and until we finished our live performance it felt so wonderful to sing with the Professor. Our little mistakes were corrected gently by the members of Soul Sounds. The singers from Souls Sounds were friendlier than we thought they would be. They were smiling all the time and were helping us to sing with much ease. Because of them I was confident about my singing. After the practices we were informed of what we had to sing the next day. However unfortunately we didn’t have a pianist to play the music, but Soundarie came to our rescue, and within a short time she played extraordinarily and our choir is grateful to her.

All the training and that last day's performance was wonderful. For the first time I enjoyed what I did. I hope we get another chance to train under this team.

J. G. Abraham Anojan
St. John's College,
Jaffna

 

 

 


A Simple Prayer...


“I need you, you need me, we’re all a part of God’s body. Stand with me, agree with me, we’re all a part of God’s body. It is God’s will that every need be supplied. You are important to me, I need you to survive”

 

A simple prayer taught to us by Professor Mark Wilson from UC Berkley the first time he visited Sri Lanka and worked with us on the Gospel show in 2009. We sing this as a vocalizing exercise and also at times when we need to give our collective confidence a little boost. They say that African-American Gospel music brings out the core of an idea or the most complex of prayer in the simplest of words. But its power is magnanimous. Its power to touch the hearts of those who believe in a higher being, irrespective of the religion one follows, to me is the most amazing quality of Gospel music. Each time we sing these words I feel like my heart will overflow or burst into pieces. I cannot really explain which exactly it is, but it certainly stirs something within me. If you know what it is like to love something so much that you want to cry and laugh at the same time, you would know the exact emotion I am trying to explain.

The love we share as a group, the friends we’ve made throughout the years, the hardships that we have faced together, the heartache we have shared, the moments that we know we will cherish forever are all made to come alive at the same time by the words in this simple prayer. Sometimes I wonder what all our lives would be like if we were not a part of Soul Sounds and I cannot imagine it. The years we have been together have been the best years of my life - the heartaches as well the joys have made us better people. I hope the memories we have made together will remain in all of us forever so that when we look back at our lives with Soul Sounds we will remember to hum the tune, “You are Important to me, I need you to survive”.

Saumya Fernando


 

 
 

 

Soul Sounds will be celebrating its 10th Anniversary! Await the many exciting events which are planned for 2014.

The celebrations will begin on the 22nd of December 2013 with our Annual Christmas show, 'Moods of Christmas' held at the Cinnamon Grand Colombo.





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