Carnatic Symphony – A One of a Kind Experience

Three students from Ragapriya participated in the Carnatic Symphony in the Cleveland Thyagaraja Aradhana. This took place in Waetjen Hall, Cleveland State University on April 20th at 8am. When we reached the venue at 7:30am, the whole place was buzzing with activity. There were excited parents and the audience was trickling in. For the most part, all the participants were already seated on the stage.

The audience settles in
The audience settles in

When the program began, there was a surprise. Sri Balamurali Krishna was escorted to the stage and the first song “ Vadanadyuthi” was led by him. To share a stage and sing with the living legend Dr. Balamurali Krishna is truly a once in a lifetime opportunity. Everything in life has price tags but sometimes there is an extraordinary experience such as this which is priceless. It was very thrilling.

Dr. Balamurali Krishna leads the children with Sri Ganesh.

There were approximately 100 children participating from all over the United States. In addition, a handful of Western instruments who were students at Cleveland State did the Western fusion music.  Sri Shashi Kiran and Sri Ganesh (known as the Carnatica Brothers) directed the children and the orchestra.

Sri Shashi Kiran directs the western orchestra and the children

The whole program was very crisp, interesting and very entertaining. The children sang 12 songs in all. Everything was learnt in six weeks. The rehearsals at CSU were lengthy and it gave the children an idea as to what it takes to put together a professional stage performance. Kudos to Raksha, Harsha and Aarti and their parents for making it to all the extra classes, for memorizing all the songs, and putting this extra effort. It was a worthwhile experience.

Raksha and Aarti
All the children performing


Photo Credit: Viji Karthik

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