Berklee College Musical Show celebrating Sri Lanka’s Independence, 4th February 2016

berklee cluster

“Berklee Celebrates Sri Lanka” is a project initiated by Sri Lankan students at Berklee College of Music, USA with the sole intention to promote Sri Lankan tradition and culture. The project brings together over 50 performers representing 17 different countries such as the United States of America, Colombia, Luxembourg, Indonesia, Malaysia, India, Japan, South Africa, Kenya, United Kingdom, France, Madagascar, Ecuador, South Korea, Mexico, Puerto Rico, and Turkey, all working as one unit to celebrate the rich culture and heritage of Sri Lanka.

All these students [came] together to create a musical masterpiece by fusing both old and new musical traditions packaged in the form of a music video [that was] released on February 4th 2016 as a means of Berklee Celebrating Sri Lankan Independence Day along with the 21 million+ Sri Lankans worldwide.

The project was led by Sanchitha Wickremesooriya and Shannon Jacob, two Berklee Alumni from Sri Lanka who have been able to achieve great heights and do such projects thanks to the College’s unparalleled contemporary music programs. The video additionally features our New York based guest artists Nalinda Pieris, Uthpala Eroshan and Dilhan Pinnagoda on the Yak Bere, Geta Bere and Devil Dancing respectively.

The project was initiated in August 2015 and was planned as a two-part program. Phase 1 was a workshop conducted for students of Berklee College of Music led by our featured artists, which exposed the audience to traditional forms of drumming and dance whilst feasting on Sri Lankan short eats provided by a Boston based catering company, “Lakrasa Sri Lankan Cuisine.”

Phase 2 is the release of the music video on February 4th 2016 depicting Berklee’s acceptance of other world cultures, traditions and music, allowing the institution to create relationships with the people of Sri Lanka.

The music video features various traditional and modern Sri Lankan genres such as chants, traditional drums and dance, baila and papare covering a vast scope of the rich history of our nation. The musical arrangement and orchestration done by fellow Sri Lankan Shannon Jacob brings together instruments of Western and Eastern roots such as the traditional 5 piece band (drum set, electric guitar, electric bass, piano and acoustic guitar), a 10 piece string section, a 6 piece woodwind section, a 4 piece brass section, 6 percussionists and 10 singers.

Scroll down for the video…..

Celebrating Sri Lanka

Published on Feb 3, 2016

“Celebrate Sri Lanka” is a project initiated by Berklee students from Sri Lanka in order to foster relationships between the island nation of Sri Lanka and Berklee College of Music, USA. The project was commenced at the LOFT, featuring guest artists Nalinda Pieris, Uthpala Eroshan and Dilhan Pinnagoda, all traditional Sri Lankan musicians based in New York. They conducted a workshop on Sri Lankan drums and dance with performances featuring the various costumes, performance techniques and rituals. The second phase of the project was the release of this music video, which brings together students from both Berklee College of Music and the Boston Conservatory, representing 17 different countries all journeying together in this musical voyage.

Special mention to the following individuals, without whom none of this would have been possible: Tamia Jordan: Director of Student Activities Center, Joshua Crary: Diversity Programs Advisor for the Office of Diversity and Inclusion, Brenda Bailey: Assistant Director of the Office of Diversity and Inclusion, Michael Borgida: Marketing Manager at Berklee College of Music, Sara Galo: President of Student Government Association at Boston Conservatory, Swarna Adikari, Arjuna Balasuriya and Families for providing decorations.


Arranger: Shannon Jacob (Sri Lanka)

Lead Vocals: Sanchitha Wickremesooriya (Sri Lanka) & Harshitha Krishnan (India)
Pahatharata Beraya (Yak Beraya): Nalinda Pieris
Gata Beraya: Uthpala Eroshan
Devil Dancer & Thalampata (Hand Cymbals): Dilhan Pinnagoda
Dancers: Shreya Navile (USA/Boston Conservatory), Carolina Salomon Simon (Mexico/Boston Conservatory), & Madeline Miller (USA/Boston Conservatory)
Voice: Dhruv Goel (India), Ryan LaForrest (USA), Caleb Kishan Savari (Malaysia), Sashank Navaladi (India), Razafindratandra Ny ony (Madagascar), Yaevin Lee (USA), Jenna Kohut (USA), Harshitha Krishnan (India), Wambura Mitaru (Kenya), & Sanchitha Wickremesooriya (Sri Lanka) Trumpet: Nicholas Alleyne (USA) & Alonzo Ryan, Jr. (USA)
Alto Saxophone: Emery Mesich (USA)
Tenor Saxophone: Chris Allison (USA) & Nicholas Suchecki (USA)
Trombone: Yoshie Nakayama (Japan) & Amanda Fairbank (USA)
Baritone Sax: Gabriel Nekrutman (USA)
Bansuri: Srishti Biyani (India)
Flute: Missy Jaworski (USA)
Kelsey Rogers Violin Durban, South Africa
Kailey Zercher Violin
Santa Fe, NM, USA
Mona Seyed-Bolorforosh Violin
Lake Forest, Illinois, U.S.
Ethan Anderson-Carter. Violin Liverpool, United Kingdom
Gabriel Majou Violin Paris, France
Antoine Beux Violin
Paris, France
Gerson Eguiguren Viola
Quito, Ecuador
Hyo Jin (Jina) An Viola Busan, South Korea
Connor Frawley Cello Fairfield, Connecticut, USA
Cristobal Cruz Garcia Cello Tijuana, Mexico
Piano: Shannon Jacob (Sri Lanka)
Acoustic Guitar: Santheep Surendra (Sri Lanka)
Electric Guitar: Aleif Hamdan (Indonesia)
Electric Bass: Achal Murthy (Luxembourg)
Drum Set: Juan Felipe Mejia Tobon (Colombia)
Bongos, Chekeré, & Pandeiro: Laura A. Crespo (Puerto Rico)
Glockenspiel & Chimes: Brian Difrancisco (USA)
Orchestral Percussion: Phoebe Chou (USA)
Congo: Daniel Feldman (Mexico)
Doumbek: Berat Sahan Jazzar (Turkey)
Tabla: M.T. Aditya Srinivasan (India)
Recorded at Perfection Recording Studio
(617) 333-8989
Recording Engineer & Mixing Engineer: Calum Brockie
Assistant Engineer: Kaushlesh Purohit & Akin Orbay
Filmed by: Kevin Greene Productions
Videographer: Kevin Greene & Samuel Harchik
Editor: Teo Karakolev
Mastered by: M Works Studios
Engineer: Jonathan Wyner

Dinukshi Kirthisinghe

This is brilliant! As a person who always listens to English oldies, this was very refreshing to my ears. Can we please have some more music like this?
+Dinukshi Kirthisinghe Thank you so much for listening! Glad you enjoyed it. Here is another song you might enjoy


My ears to me=> Mate, you know what? Sometimes you know how to treat me well.


ALSO see


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