Congratulations to Divya Deverakonda for completing her Carnatic Vocal Arangetram!
The evening started with a puja to get the blessings of God, her gurus, and her parents. Our good friend Mr. Dattatreya conducted the puja.
After that, Divya presented her concert. She elaborated on Mari Vere Dikkevarayya Rama in Shanmukhapriya with alapana, neravel, and kalpana swaras, and her main item with full elaboration and thani avarathanam was O Rangashayi in Kambhoji. After the main item, everyone especially praised her rendition of Jagadodharana. Her voice was very pleasing and she did a great job. She was ably accompanied by Mr. Indiresh Maktal on mrdangam and Keerthana Shankar on violin.
The chief guest for the ceremony was Mr. Cleveland Balu, who spoke about how proud he was to support young people and foster their interest in music. He supported me as a young child, and is now happy to support my students as well as they come up and learn about music. He also told Divya to keep it up and take advantage of the many musical opportunities that may come her way.
Divya also honored her gurus – me (Shruti) and my mother (Shanti). We gave her all our blessings.
An arangetram is a huge undertaking for both teacher and student, and for the student it is possibly the biggest project they have ever taken on. When Divya came to me several years ago and said that this is what she wanted to do, I told her how much work I expected it to be. I don’t think she entirely believed me as we embarked on this journey, but at every stage she has kept her goal in mind and done whatever needed to be done. This past year was her junior year of high school, which is a very busy time with SAT’s and AP exams and other activities. Divya came unwaveringly to class every single week, prepared with whatever homework I had given her, while not letting any of those other things suffer. Her music dramatically improved and I am very proud of what she was able to accomplish. Manodharma, or the creative aspect of music, is not easy to learn and she has understood all of these concepts. She did a great job of presenting these aspects. The things she has learned through this experience will stay with her throughout her life and bring a new depth of understanding and joy to her experience of Carnatic music. An arangetram is really just a first step, and I hope that she will stick with it and continue to learn throughout her life.
In recognition of her accomplishment, we presented her with a plaque from Ragapriya.
Congratulations, Divya, and best wishes for everything you do!