Capable performance at classical music concert

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Raaga Sudha students put together a commendable show

The Raaga Sudha School of Carnatic Music held its ninth annual students concert on May 12 and 13 at the Chandler Community Centre, Keysborough, Victoria. The school was started in 2002 with a view to fostering the art of carnatic music, specifically violin and vocal music in the south Indian carnatic music style. Raaga Sudha has since grown in stature rapidly to become a premier institution, having already produced some fine local talent in Melbourne. The founder, guru and artistic director of the school, Mr Murali Kumar, is a celebrated violinist of Indian classical music, a violin virtuoso who needs little introduction to Indian music and dance circles in Australia.

The two-day event featured several solo vocal, solo violin and group items, all performed with skill and enthusiasm by the students. Students at all levels, whether junior, intermediate or advanced/senior, performed capably and with great confidence and enjoyment. The trademark of Raaga Sudha students amply stood out in this concert; that is, adherence to classicism, spontaneous innovation or ‘manodharma’ and clarity of musical notes, ‘shruti’ and tonal quality.

The chief guest for the event was the renowned carnatic musician and teacher Dr Rama Rao. In her address she noted that in just a decade’s time the Raaga Sudha school has gained an enviable reputation as a school dedicated to the promotion of new musical talent in the most authentic, yet innovative, brand of carnatic music. She congratulated Mr Murali Kumar on the development of the school, in particular praising his committed service to promote and foster the classical violin and vocal music forms in Australia through the school. She also expressed admiration for the enthusiasm of the students for this complex music form, and the high quality of the performances.

Dr Rama Rao presented the annual awards to deserving students on day two of the event. The winners in the beginner, junior and intermediate categories were selected by renowned vocalist Mrs Uthra Vijay, who was the external examiner for these categories. Dr Rama Rao also had deserving words of recognition for Mrs Vandana Kumar’s efficient management and organisation of the school’s activities.

All in all, a wonderful two-day event was successfully completed, and marked another milestone in the growth of Raaga Sudha School of Carnatic Music.