CHOGM 2013 in Sri Lanka

Report on Educational Programmes in Sri Lanka

The Commonwealth Resounds! ran a number of unforgettable, life-changing educational projects in Sri Lanka during CHOGM 2013. The visiting musicians worked in schools, colleges, orphanages and communities sharing their musical skills. This report was written by Co-Directors Sarah Noon and Nicholas Oliver from Chethams School of Music.

The Purcell School’s Commonwealth Trip to Sri Lanka

The Purcell School was one of two specialist music schools in the UK to attend CHOGM 2013 in Sri Lanka as part of The Commonwealth Resounds! Eight young musicians were chosen for the Sri Lanka Team, and they joined eight from Chethams School of Music, chosen in a similar way. The Purcell School musicians created a presentation for the rest ofthe school about their trip giving an outline of their experiences.

Ruth Dingle tells of her experiences

A young musician’s diary and photographs from her trip to Sri Lanka as a member of The Commonwealth Resounds! She took part in concerts, outreach work, projects and Commonwealth events linked to CHOGM 2013.

Music Off Canvas

“Before Language” is a cross-cul tural project which connects people by sharing culturally specific phrases of love through music and movement. Run by pioneering cross-arts specialists Music Off Canvas, three artists will travel to Batticaloa to work with victims of the Tsunami through the Ocean Stars Trust, to Kurunegala to work with El Sistema-inspired “The Music Project” and to Galle and Colombo to work in local schools. The project also sees a collaboration with Sri Lankan peace-building arts companies nATANDA and Arpeggio Dance Company as well as the creation of a new work inspired and affected by the explored material.

See for more information.

Just So Opera

Photo: Georgie Lord

Rudyard Kipling wrote the Just So Stories to entertain his Best Beloved infant son and daughter. He created in prose a primitive world of mythical transformations through which a Leopard got his spots, a Rhino his thick skin, a Whale his throat, and dogs, horses, cows and cats became domesticated. Farrukh and Danyal Dhondy’s opera takes the renowned characteristics of these creatures, and retells the stories mostly in verse, exploring them through modern operatic voices and action.

Premiered at Tête à Tête: The Opera Festival in 2012, Just So will be developed for a new production, involving current and former pupils from the Purcell School of Music, which will be performed in Colombo Ladies’ College as part of The Commonwealth Resounds in Sri Lanka.

We would like to thank the PRSF and the Bliss Trust for their support in this project.

More information on the opera, and a video of the first performance, is available at