There are a great many events during the Thyagaraja Aradhana that are intended to involve and inspire children. One of my favorites is K.N. Sashikiran’s Carnatic Symphony. Sashikiran has conceptualized the idea of putting symphonic music with western instruments (violin, flute, piano, and bass guitar) behind traditional Carnatic songs. It adds interest for these kids, many of whom have learned Western music in addition to Indian classical music. The children who participate learn up to 10 new songs in a very short time, and have the opportunity to be a part of a large program at the Thyagaraja Aradhana. Additionally, they often share the stage with very big artists: in addition to Sashikiran, the program was conducted by Nirmala Rajasekhar (vainika from Minnesota) and accompanied on violin by B.V. Raghavendra Rao. It was an inspiring performance and a great learning opportunity for everyone who participated.
This year the performance was April 1, 2018 and was broadcast live via iCarnatic. Urja participated in vocal, while Sahishnu, Sachi, Sujith all played on the violin. Congratulations to all of them!
Here’s an example of a few of the songs: