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Group concerts by students perk up Sundaram Finance Mylapore Festival
CHENNAI, January 25: As part of the four-day Sundaram Finance Mylapore Festival, students from different schools in Chennai presented group concerts every evening at the Nageswara Rao Park in Mylapore from January21.

Vandalur Vishwa Vidyalaya
Four years after they launched the Sunday Kutcheri in the Park (in February 2006) with a group performance, the students of Vishwa Vidyalaya Matriculation Higher Secondary School, Vandalur, under thee guidance of their Vice-Principal Ms. Vasumathi, took one down memory lane to the early days as they enthralled the audience with a dedicated presentation of 15 devotional songs in Tamil and Hindi under the lights at the Chess Square, watched by a big crowd.

On Friday evening, 16 students from Sri Sankara Vidyashram, Tiruvanmiyur, presented devotional songs in Tamil and Marathi, Bhajans in Sanskrit and Thevaram and Thiruvenpaavai. These students were brought together as a group by their music teacher Mrs. Sumathi.

Over the week-end, over a dozen students from PSBB presented group concerts for an hour in front of a packed audience. On Saturday evening, it was the turn of students from Nungambakkam. On Sunday, at 6 p.m., students from Tirumalai Pillai Road branch of Padma Seshadri presented a group concert.

Individual concerts
The early morning concerts at the Sundaram Finance Mylapore Festival saw individual performances on each of the four mornings. The Sundaram Finance Mylapore Festival kicked off on Thursday (21st January) with a one-hour `mike-less concert’ by three eighth class students - S. Shyam Prasad (Vidya Mandir), S. Vijay Ganesh(DAV) and S. Maleshar Sastri (Sivasami Kalalaya). Accompanied on the violin by Parur M.K. Ananth Lakshmi and on the mridangam by V. Santhana Gopalakrishnan, the students of Smt. Lakshmi Krishnaswamy got the festival off to a sweet start with a lively kutcheri that had the morning park audience applauding right through.

Their presentation of songs included Muthuswami Deekshidhar’s Gajananaytham (Chakravaham-Aadhi), Bharathiyar’s Muruga Muruga (Bhageshree-Aadhi), Thyagarajar’s Bhajanaseyavey (Kalyani-Roopakam) and Madurai Sundarambal’s Aaru Padai Veedu (Ragamaligai-Aadhi).

On Friday, 14-year-old Nivedita Ravi, a class 10 student of Sri Sankara Senior Secondary School, Adyar, presented a mike-less kutcheri. Nivedita was accompanied on the violin by Shraddha J. She is currently learning music from Smt Vijayalakshmi Subramanium.

Week-end concerts
On Saturday, at 6.30 a.m., Vidya Mandir student R. Ashwini presented a concert. She was accompanied on the violin by R. Amirthraj and on the mridangam by B. Venkatramanan. Ashwini’s current guru is Smt. Champa Kumar.

On Sunday morning, 10-year-old Shreya Shankar, a 5th class student of Sri Kumaran Children’s Home, made a train trip from Bangalore for her maiden mike-less concert. She was accompanied on the violin by D. Swaminathan and on the mridangam by D. Sivaraman. Shreya’s presentation of songs included Sri Rama Padama (Amruta Vahini- Aadhi), Himadrisuthey (Kalyani-Roopakam), Devarnama (Sindhu Bairavi-Aadhi) and Kanukantini (Bilahari-Aadhi). Shreya has been learning music from Smt. Shubha Pradha for the last 7 years. It was the first time a non-Chennai artiste (within India) has performed at the concert in the Park.

In the past, a couple of children from Dubai and the U.S. have presented the mike-less kutcheri.
The idea of these mike-less concerts, organised by Sundaram Finance, is to provide a platform for young children aged below 15 years to perform in front of an informal Park audience and gain confidence.

For audition for the monthly Sunday Kutcheri in the Park, contact: 94440 40748.