For music lovers, Easter in Cleveland means Thyagaraja Aradhana. This is the largest Carnatic music festival outside India, and is attended by people all over the country. One of the features of the festival is a focus on children. There are many opportunities for kids who are willing to work hard to participate.
Ragapriya participated in two events at this festival. The first was the bhajans on Saturday morning. Our group presented bhajans just prior to the Pancharatnas. The kids did great – they were in unison, in tune, and sang with enthusiasm.
The next day, Shruti and Sujith played violin for Sasikiran’s Carnatic Symphony. This program was a tribute to both Thyagaraja and Dr. Balamurali Krishna. This year is the 250th birthday of Thyagaraja, so the program consisted of Divyanamams and Utsava Sampradayams. Several of the songs had been taught to kids by Dr. Balamurali Krishna in Carnatic Symphonies in years past. It was an opportunity to share a stage with stalwarts such as the Carnatica Brothers and VVS Murari. It was an intense few days of rehearsal but a nice opportunity and a good experience.
We are fortunate to have such a great festival in our backyard, and our students were blessed to be a part of such a grand musical tradition.