05th September 2018 22:34:43 Hours
A combined military band of Sri Lanka, making its distinguished debut in the International Military Music Festival, 'Spasskaya Tower' in Moscow, Russia for the first time in its history, showed its colours and was ranked the fourth in the festival having competed against more than 40 military bands of 11 countries, including the United Kingdom, the Netherlands, Myanmar, Israel, Italy, Oman, Monaco, Russia, Finland and Mexico.
'Spasskaya Tower' International Military Music Festival, an annual spectacle within the precincts of the Red Square, the historic iconic meeting point for Russia enables world-wide military orchestras to display their musical and theatrical performances, blending various musical rhythms, global theartical masterpieces, techniques and styles, parade patterns, etc, along with display of own creative dancing skills or any other pyrotechnique shows.
Sri Lanka was represented by a 50 member ensemble of musicians and dancers, comprised of 16 Army personnel and equal numbers of Sailors (15) and Airmen (15) from Sri Lanka with the blessings of the Commander of the Army and other service Commanders.
During their stay in Russia, Sri Lankans performed first in the Red Square premises to face the competition. The festival got underway during 24 August - 02 September in Moscow and different other crowded public places away from the Red Square after the mainstream performances were over.
However, towards the end of the main festival Sri Lankan military band was invited to perform at several major Moscow railway stations and around the suburbs of Moscow city, which was regarded as a rare and unique privilege.
'Spasskaya Tower' in collaboration with the Russian Railway has extended this opportunity to a few handpicked bands including the Royal Guard Military Band of Oman. The Sri Lankan military band entertained the passengers at the Yaroslavskiy Railway Station and one more opportunity had also been awarded for the Sri Lankan contingent to conduct a band display along the Moscow City Road with the Sri Lankan National flag holding afloat, perhaps for the first time in the Army history Band members performing in that manner in a foreign land.
Among the performances of foreign participants, Crescendo bicycle show band of Netherlands was voted as the Best Band. The Second and Third places went to Monaco and United Kingdom bands respectively as judged by the percentage of electronic votes.
Secretary to the Ministry of Defence Mr Kapila Waidyaratne PC and the new Sri Lankan Ambassador designate for the Russian Federation, Dr Dayan Jayatilleka and a few other Sri Lankan officials, governmental officials in Russia during the festival met the Sri Lankan contingent, encouraged them and warmly greeted them.
The contribution of the Sri Lankan military band and its performances in an attractive manner, enriched with groups of traditional drummers stunned the spectators who watched performing artistes with glee and aesthetic curiosity.
Colonel Samson Jayakody, Contingent Commander, Group Captain Chandana Amerasinghe, Music Director, Commander Shantha Rupasinghe and Major Sarath Edirisinghe headed the Sri Lankan contingent to Russia.