The Other Festival 2006 – a Report


80 students, 3 teachers, a Chief guest and about 150 spectators. 3rd September 2006. Glass hall, Singapore Arts Museum. 6:30PM sharp. Off started the concert with a prayer song.

It was followed by ‘Sa ennum Sadjamam’ – a contemporary tamil song based on Shankarabharanam, in the mazhalai voices. Kids tried in vain to hear their own voices amidst others who got hold of the mikes!

Next followed the Keyboard quartet with a bang! – ‘Shakthisahita’. It was so apt for the keyboard that one wondered Dikshitar should have been bold enough to visualise such a contemporary song even in those days! Raghupati raghava was inspiring!! I believe Adithya can weave magic with his students.

The promising vocal students gave a crisp rendering of Nee mudhu and Idhigo badradhri. Gowri mami can rest assured that these children will be the torch-bearers of TMT tradition of the future! Even more promising were Ananth and Prahlad who gave a non-stop 15-min Entharo song to the reverberating applause of the audience. Excellent gamakas from the guitar!

There is nothing short in carnatic music when compared to english chorals. The ladies group proved this with their unison performance of Sumanasa vandita and Maasil Ayodhiyil. The rhythmic percussion ensemble was just superb. One could not believe that some of the kids started learning mridangam just 3 months since! Kudos to Deena Sir!!

Out came a fantastic Vivaadhi number from the seniors who followed; Maaravairi will sure linger in our ears for the days to come. Kuvalaiporutiru in desh was a jewel in the crown. GOH Mr. Nandakumar gave inspiring advice to the children. Ramkumar gave the vote of thanks. Throughout the evening, Emcee for the day- Bhuvana Sriganesh, wove the songs into a beautiful garland, through her creative scripts.

The stage closed to the contemporary tamil number ‘Sa sangumalar vandugal’ in raga mayamalava gowlai by the children, led by Bhuvana Bala. Audience left the concert wondering that even basic exercises from Sarali varisais could be sung like this! (Im sure at least some of them would have reached out to their old music books, when they headed back home)

-From the Spectators
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