Chicago IL: Akshaya Music Academy, a well known Music school in Schaumburg, IL, celebrated its Annual Showcase in a very grand manner on May 2nd, 2015. About 93 students gave group recital of various classical Fusion songs at Countryside Church Sanctuary, Palatine, IL.
The founder-Mrs. Minu Pasupathi had trained about 93 students to sing Raga-based Fusion songs & made them perform with live orchestra. In honor of Saint Tyagaraja, his kritis were combined with various south Indian film songs based on the same raga / melodic scale. The event began with a welcome address, followed by a Solfeggio Special – about 19 children from ages 3 to 8 sang the swaras from the Telugu Movie Sankarabharanam. Then, there was just a group full of boys who sang Sarekaysaari song from the Hindi movie Parichai, combining it with Swara Raga Sudharasa kriti & gave it as a SANKARABHARANAM MEDLEY. One of the boys named Arjun sang & played the guitar simultaneously.
The song Kaatril varum geethamey from the Tamil movie Oru naal oru Kanavu, was combined with Shivey pahimam kriti & was performed as KALYANI MEDLEY by a group of Red color coordinated students. Likewise, the SRIRANJANI MEDLEY consisted of Sogasuga mridanga talamu kriti & Azhaitthaal varuvaaley song from the Tamil movie Jaadhimalli was rendered by the Green color group of students. As the name itself suggests, HAMSADHWANI MEDLEY consisted of SWAN-LIKE students beautifully dressed up in white color costumes, sang Sri raghukula kriti combining it with Sriranga ranganadhanin (both Telugu & Tamil versions) from our Kamalhaasan’s movie Mahanadhi.
What is a Tyagaraja Aradhana without his PANCHARATNA KEERTHANAIGAL? Yes, the afternoon session resumed with the evergreen JAGADANANDAKARAKA in Naattai raga, combined with the famous Telugu song Jagadanandakaraka from the movie Sri Ramarajyam. This group was dressed up in Purple. Special mention was given about the student Maya Santhanam, who memorized the entire pancharatna keerthanai & rendered flawlessly. The adult students performed a group song of HINDOLAM MEDLEY where they combined Samajavaragamana(Telugu Movie-Sankarabharanam) & Nigama nigamaantha (Telugu Movie-Annamaiyya). This group was beautifully dressed up in blue.
Here, it is finally Summer. Yes, musical summer. Four wonderful students sang SURYA MEDLEY, combining Isaiyarasee song from the Tamil movie Thaai Mookaambikai & Narahari Veysha by Smt. Rukmini Ramani (daughter of Sri.Papanasam Sivan). It was sung in honor of Lord Narasimha Jayanthi. These kids were shining in yellow/orange shades of the sun & sang powerfully as well.
The wonderful live orchestra consisted of talented budding artists namely, Akshaya (Keyboard), Adrian (Keyboard), Vaibhav(Flute), Manisha(Flute), Keshav(Violin), Nikhil (Mridangam), Arjun (Guitar) & professional artists namely Sri. Guruprasad(Flute), Sri. Nathan (Dolak).
All students were given a very good exposure – singing with live orchestra, irrespective of their ages. The color coordination among the different groups was very impressive.
There were few SPECIAL GUEST PERFORMERS who delighted the audience in the afternoon. A Keyboard solo performance by Sarvaagh from Carmel, Indianapolis thrilled the listeners with his fabulous control over the keys while bringing out the intricate beauties of Sahana & Kathanakuthuhalam ragas.
There was an extra special treat – a soothing Hindustani Vocal Concert by Sri. Ashwin Rode (disciple of Smt. Chandrakantha Courtney & Sri.Tappan Bhattacharya) from the University of Chicago. Ashwin was ably accompanied by Sri. Shyam Kane -on the Tabla (disciple of Ustad Allah Rakka & Ustad Zakir Hussain). It was indeed a great honor to listen to those great performers.
14 of the students made CREATIVE SWARA PROJECTS depicting the meaning, color, emotion, devathaas, animals & birds associated with each of the Saptaswaras. They were all displayed for public voting & the best projects were awarded special prizes. All the 14 students were recognized as well.
The day was concluded with a HUGE GROUP PERFORMANCE by all 93 students together. They sang Doe a deer (song from the English movie Sound of Music), Nottuswaram of Sri. Muthuswami Dikshitar, My country ‘tis of thee (Patriotic song), Hum hongey kaam yaab with We shall overcome song by Martin Luther King junior, Janaganamana (Indian National Anthem) & Star Spangled Banner (American National Anthem). All students were uniformly dressed in Black and White costumes while rendering these group songs.
The honorable chief guest for the day was Sri. Jayaraj Narayanan – Srutilaya Music School. He was patiently listening to all the performers from 10am till 4pm. His words of encouragement & his short & sweet interactive speech inspired many among the audience. He selected the SOLFEGGIO group & the SURYA MEDLEY group as the BEST PERFORMERS of the day. He was very appreciative of all the participants & their teachers. The best performers were awarded Medals. All participants were awarded Trophies & Certificates.
Delicious food was catered by Indian Café, Arlington Heights, IL. Thanks to Mrs. Sumana Satyanarayana & Mr. Sridhar Esturi for their food stall & snack stall. The sale proceeds from the snack stall were contributed to MAHARUDRAM at Lemont Temple.
Great Sound System management was done by Mr. Balaji Ramanathan. Stage decoration was aesthetically done by Mr. Ramesh Ramachandran. The wonderful auditorium & the sound system belong to the Countryside Church, Palatine, IL. Special Videography by Mr. Kevin Domer.
The event was meticulously organized by Mrs. Minu Pasupathi. She has been teaching aspiring students of all ages for the past 2 decades. Apart from in person classes, she also teaches online to students living outside Chicago & overseas. Minu is the Director of South Asian Music Ensemble at the University of Chicago, Hyde Park, IL. Minu is a professional singer, gifted with a versatile voice which can make her sing in various voices Baby, Male, Female, Nadaswaram, etc. & also in different genres. She concluded the event with her vote of thanks & her impeccable rendering of the all time classic – “Singara veylaney deva” with her VOCAL NADASWARAM. This was indeed a crown ending of all the performances.
Source: Asian Media USA
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