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CAMAGA celebrates Great Composers Day

April 2008
CAMAGA celebrates Great Composers Day

The Carnatic Music Association of Georgia (CAMAGA) organized a two day music festival to honor the Great Composers of Carnatic Music—Thyagaraja, Muthuswami Dikshitar and Syama Sastri.

The event took place on February 16th and 17th at The Hindu Temple of Atlanta. The objective was to give a forum to young children learning music, along with music teachers and other adults in the Atlanta region. Over 200 participants, mostly children, sang or played instruments at the event to an audience of 600.

The master of ceremonies for the two day function, Dr. Kalpana Rengarajan, ably managed the time and allowed for all participants to have their time on stage.

Traditionally during the celebrations, CAMAGA invites a professional musician to give a live concert. This year’s special invitee was Mrs. Kiranavali, a disciple of the illustrious Sangeetha Kalanidhi Smt. T. Brinda. Mrs. Kiranavali, accompanied on the violin by Mrs. Deepa Ramachandran and Ram Sriram on mridangam, gave a theme concert that included compositions of the Great Composers from the pre-trinity period such as Oothukadu Venkata Subbier to modern day composers.

On the second day, after individual participants had completed their performances, a group of local artists led by Mrs. Usha Balakrishnan sang the Pancharathna kritis or the five gems of Thyagaraja. Divya Nama kritis and Utsava Sampradaya kritis followed and the event concluded with an arathi.

President of CAMAGA, Dr. Ram Sriram said, “One of the most fulfilling aspects of this two day celebration is the enormous interest, enthusiasm, and talent exhibited by young children. Thanks to the teachers, these young people continue to grow in their talents. I am confident that some of them will soon reach concert level performances. More so than the talent, these youngsters are inheriting the benefits of our musical heritage – modesty, respect to others, and dedication.”

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