Musical Yatra enlivens the body and soul

Venkat Raman

Sinhalese Music in all its manifestations will resound the corridors of the Selwyn College located on Kohimarama Road in Auckland next weekend.

Called, ‘Yatra,’ (Journey), the Programme will be held on Saturday, March 3, 2018, featuring the best of melodies for the young and the old.

Tickets, priced at $50 (Gold), $30 (Silver) and $20 (General) are on sale. The Programme is a fundraiser for Lotus Hill Children’s Home, located in Baddegama, Sri Lanka.

Further details can be obtained from Sandya on 022-1712074.

About the Programme

Rachel Hale and her brother Jason Bandara are the musical duo at the heart of this Yatra, bringing forth once again the inherent talent among New Zealand’s diverse communities.

They will be supported by Basant Madhur (Sargam School of Indian Music) on the Tabla, ‘Dragonz’ (local Sri Lankan pop legends) and other musicians.

Says Dharmesh Parikh of Rishab D Productions and Rhythm House, an event management company: “As it is often said, Music, like Love, transcends manmade barriers of nationality, ethnicity, language, religion, caste and economic status. The universal Rhythm bonds people and hearts, as those attending ‘Yatra’ will experience. This is a programme that will bring together artistes of Sri Lankan, Indian and New Zealand origin.”

Rich Tapestry of Music

He said that although the songs will be in Singhalese, music lovers of other ethnicities will be able enjoy the beautiful compositions of evergreen hits produced in Sri Lanka.

“Yatra will take you through a rich tapestry of Sri Lankan folk music, from the mystical sounds of Nurti, later influences of Hindustani & Carnatic Schools from neighbouring India, and 1970s funky pop, to Afro-Portuguese inspired, high energy Cafrinha and Baila rhythms. This Programme will provide quality entertainment,” Mr Parikh said.

About Rachel Hale

Born in Kandy (Central Sri Lanka) and raised in Auckland, Rachel Hale showed her proclivity toward music as a toddler and began her career at the tender age of three. Trained in traditional Sri Lankan and Western Music, 20 different traditional and modern musical instruments Udarata Dance, Bharata Natyam and acting, she is a versatile artiste.

Rachel was a regular performer on Sri Lankan Radio, singing original songs composed by her mother Dr Mallika Bandara, and in a Children’s programme.

She has a bachelor’s degree (BA) in Performing Arts and Music from the University of Auckland, where she also trained in a wide range of music, performances and productions. She appeared the guest female artiste at a programme in 2006 featuring the famous Priyantha Fernando and Walter Fernando.

Rachel migrated to Australia a few years ago.

Mr Parikh said that ‘Yatra’ is bound to create intrigue, bring back memories and highlight the rich Sri Lankan culture.

“This Programme will enable Rachel to reconnect with her love for nostalgic Sri Lankan music of yesteryears. After a break, she returns to co-host her first show with her brother, with an array of incredibly talented musicians and guest artistes,” he said.

Photo : Rachel Hale (Supplied)

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