How SYAMA was born:
SYAMA (Society of the Youth for Artistic Music Appreciation) was started in August 2000, as an informal group of young and upcoming artistes in Singapore. Soon it won the appreciation of many, due to its participation in many events such as The Singapore Arts festival, Esplanade’s Music box and Kalautsavam.
SYAMA was then registered in 2004 as a non-profit organisation under ROS, and has grown substantially. SYAMA elects its society committee members – The President, Secretary, Treasurer, Vice-president, Asst-Secretary and Asst-Treasurer, once in 2 years. Our objective is to grow Singapore into a vibrant city of traditional arts in its purest form, by actively involving youth.
We are currently structured into 3 initiatives:
SYAMA Performing Arts: SYAMA started with regular monthly concerts by young budding musicians in 2004. Slowly we grew to produce major music and dance productions. Here are some of our events:
Jan 2004 to – Jan 2005 Monthly Youth concert Series
2006 – ‘Different Strokes’ – collaboration with Govin Tan
2007 – ‘Aarohanam’ – a music orchestration – collaborated with performers from NTU
2007 – ‘Prahlad’ – a musical – collaborated with Musicians in Singapore such as Dr. Bhagya Murthy
2008 – Aarohanam – Folk to Fusion – collaborated with Sruthilaya Sethuraman
2008 – ‘BLISS’- a dance performance – Collaborated with Dancer Sitaravamma and Mr Sitarama Sharma (India)
2009 – ‘Daasaru’ – A dance theatre – Collaborated with Singapore Kannada Sangha and The Global Indian Cultural Centre
2009 – Santh mela – a Music theatre – Collaborated with Jyothi Unni, Theeban Ganesh and others
2010 – ‘Devadasi and the Saint’ – a dance ballet – Collaboration with Ms Priyalatha Arun and Ms Durga Manimaran
2011 – ‘Tamizh Isai Vizha’ – collaboration with Singapore Tamil month celebrations (www.tamil.org.sg)
2012 – A Carnatic Musical – A ‘High school musical’ concept in Carnatic music.
2013 – ‘Living Legends’ – Collaborated with Singapore musicians – Mr TR Vijayakumar and Mr T Saravanan
2013 – ‘Tajmahal’ – Collaborated with Ramkumar vasudevan and Suman Bhattacharya
2014, 2015, 2016 and 2017 – To commemorate its 10th anniversary, SYAMA started Dhwani – a music festival to showcase collaborative efforts. The first event was held at The substation theatre on the 15th and 16th of March 2014, at the Civil services club auditorium in 2015 and at the Goodman arts centre Blackbox in 2016 and 2017. Dhwani includes concerts of various genres such as Hindustani, Carnatic, Jugalbandhi and Fusion.
2014 – Nothing But Strings – A concept of harmonisation in Carnatic music
2015 – Bhakti – Utsav of Sangeet : A collaboration of 6 vocal artistes from Singapore.
2017 – Veena Fiesta – Tampines Arts Hub. SYAMA entered Singapore book of records through a Veena ensemble of 35 Vainikas along with 6 instrumentalists
SYAMA Academy: SYAMA also has 3 qualified teachers imparting training in Carnatic and Hindustani Vocal, Mridangam, Keyboard, Flute, Violin, Veena and Harmonium. SYAMA’s ensemble teams won prizes at the National Indian music competition in the year 2000, ‘02 and ’04. SYAMA’s students won top prizes in mridangam, veena and vocal categories in the National arts council’s Indian music competitions in various year and also various other competitions as well.
SYAMA has been conducting NAC-endorsed arts education programmes at various schools in Singapore since 2008, under the Arts exposure and Arts Experience categories. Some of our regular events were at the Maha Bodhi School, Zhong hua primary, Rulang Primary, etc. In 2018, we started – Isai Vazhi Kalvi – An innovative approach to get children get interested in Tamizh language speaking, via singing and recording popular songs such as compositions of Mahakavi Bharathiyar and Avvayar.
Our vision is to see the next generation of Singaporeans carrying the tradition and culture of Indian classical music. We see this as a continuous journey and not really as a goal…