A magical world of fairies and princesses, wizards and phantoms comes alive as Ruvini Hapugalle and her students present ‘MuzikAAAle’- an evening of instrumental and vocal medleys from Disney to Broadway. This merry group of musicians is geared to entertain the audience with their talent and versatility in singing and playing instruments.
“We are excited and looking forward to presenting a concert with a difference,” enthused Ruvini adding that they have been practising for nearly two months. The practices though, have been relaxed as Ruvini avoids stressing her students out with long and tedious rehearsals.
The concert caters to all age groups with a variety of music from Phantom of the Opera and My Fair Lady to The Wizard of Oz and The Flintstones. “I want to pay tribute to my school as my love for music was enlivened during my schooldays at Ladies’ College,” said Ruvini, adding that the chief guest at the show will be Principal of Ladies’ College, Nirmali Wickremasinghe.
Ruvini shared some thoughts on ‘MuzikAAAle’ during this interview with the Sunday Times.
Q: What inspired you to come up with the concept of this concert?
Well, I realized that my students, who were well-grounded in classical music, were equally proficient and displayed tremendous creativity in exploring more popular styles of music. So, I thought this was an opportunity to develop more advanced skills, and adaptability in music.
I will continue to produce concerts to highlight their individual genres and encourage a progamme to develop their creative skills further. The emphasis is not only be in performance but also arranging or transcribing music, working with their second instruments, and encouraging group activity to bring about team work and leadership in a creative environment of freedom! It is wonderful to witness the two groups working together and inspiring each other.
Q:For how many years have you been
I have organised many student concerts during my 19 years as a music teacher specializing in piano, focusing mainly on classical music where students are encouraged to learn a variety of classical styles with dedicated study in developing advanced technique and interpretation and a balanced focus on its theoretical and historical background. In the last few years I have been introducing music making in a group setting where the emphasis is on developing a love for music though group activities such as singing and rhythmic games with percussion. The children are exposed to a wide range of music - children’s songs, Disney, Broadway, world music, and classical music.
Q: What will be the highlights in this concert?
I have a very young group called the Little Kindermunks and the Kinder-Singers who are between the ages of 3 and 7. They will be singing from some of the most loved Disney films/musicals such as Mary Poppins, The Sound Of Music, The Wizard of Oz, and Snow White.
The junior and intermediate piano students will perform some popular songs such as music from the Sound of Music and Phantom of the Opera while senior students will also play solo piano and their own arrangement of a selection of songs from ‘My Fair Lady’ and ‘Porgy and Bess’ by Gershwin. They will be performing songs from Lion King in acapella and the finale will be an Andrew Lloyd Webber instrumental and vocal medley.
Amongst them are students who have won prizes at the Royal Schools of Music and Trinity College of Music London exams. Eshan Denipitiya won the Young Musician award conducted by the Institute Of Western Music and Speech and was also the first winner of the competition- ‘Sri Lankan Life’ conducted by Rupavahini, Sachiththa Fernando has consistently won many prizes for piano and violin at the Royal Schools of music, London and there will also be a guest performance by Dilini Perera who won The Yes FM Radio Superstar.
The concert will be held on Sunday, June 5 at 5.30 p.m. at the British School auditorium, Elvitigala Mawatha, Colombo 8. Tickets priced at Rs. 1000, Rs. 750, Rs. 500, Rs. 400 and Rs. 250 are available at The Commons, Sir Ernest de Silva Mawatha, Colombo 7.