This year we asked our students to attend one concert and write one paragraph about what their favorite thing was. These are the best essays we received.
On Monday, April 21, 2014 I attended the Dr. Balamuralikrishna Concert at the Cleveland Thyagaraja Festival. I thought it was a wonderful experience for a variety of reasons. Having recently completed my Arangetram, I understood a lot of the concepts more. I was able to identify the different parts of each song, including Alapana, Neravel, and Swaram. I especially liked Dr. Balamuralikrishna’s concert because in the Korupu he plays around with the accompanying artists. He keeps them on their toes by decreasing the notes per turn all the way down to one. As an audience member, I am mesmerized by the music because he manages to bring out the best in each member by giving them a little extra push. In addition to enjoying the technical aspects of the concerts, the song choice was also very good. He sang Endaro Mahanubhavulu, which I am learning right now. That provided a very real connection to what I learn in class each week, which made the concert that much more enjoyable. I also enjoyed the Thillana and the three percussion instruments, the Mridungam, Ghattam, and Kanjira, provided a fantastic accompaniment along with the flute.
Divya Deverakonda (12th grade)
The Cleveland Thygaraja Festival is the largest Carnatic music festival in the United States; it is well known for its showcasing of singers, dancers and instrument players who come from India and all over the US. Carnatic music is a wonderful form of art, and I am very happy that I became a part of this special music seven years ago.
Although I didn’t attend many concerts during Thygaraja Festival, I did happen to see a little bit of the B. Ranjani and B. Gayatri concert. Both of them sang exceptionally well, and I really enjoyed the short amount of time that I was there. I also attended the violin concert by Nagai R. Muralidharan and Nagai Sriram. The thing I liked best about the concert was learning what raga swaram, niraval, and kalpana swaram meant and how it fit within one keerthanam. It amazed me how much knowledge and proficiency of the raga was needed to perform just one song. It made me realize how much more there is to learn, and how much time and effort is needed to reach that level of proficiency. We are extremely lucky to have such an experience right in our backyard, and I plan to attend many more concerts in the years to come.
Aarti Raghavachari (9th grade)
My favorite part of the concert was going to the balcony. I liked it because I could see the violin person on the stage. I could see the audience. I saw the people on the stage taking turns.
Sujith Aring (age 4)
Thanks to all of you who attended concerts and sent in your essays! Listening is such a critical part of the learning experience, and we hope that all of our students continue to attend concerts by professional musicians as they continue to visit our area.