Society for the promotion of Indian classical music and culture amongst youth (SPIC MACAY) celebrated its fifth Annual Night to Dawn Overnight Classical Concert ‘Yamini 2015’ dedicated to Dr. A P J Abdul Kalam, inviting Chief Guest Hon’ble Governor of AP and TS Shri E S L Narasimhan on August 14, 2015 in DST auditorium, University of Hyderabad.
Prof. R. P. Sharma, Vice-Chancellor, UoH welcomed the Hon’ble Governor and emphasized upon the need of cultural literacy and in particular among the young people. He mentioned that Indian classical music is not an entertainment, it’s an offering and with its spiritual engagements it contributes to holistic nurturing of our body, mind and soul. One needs to put time, practice and patience to get benefited by these aspects. It’s not easy to involve youngsters today as they get easily taken by the disinterest. SPIC MACAY’s contribution to make young people aware of this great treasure of our country through voluntary activities is commendable, he added.
Governor Shri E. S. L. Narasimhan appreciated the SPIC MACAY’s continued effort to expose the youth to the priceless cultural heritage rooted in what is essentially Indian. He opined that with the onslaught of rapid change and global homogenization, the multi-faceted Indian heritage is being increasingly marginalized and diluted and presence of organization like SPIC MACAY has brought some ray of hope. SPIC MACAY is making all possible efforts to conserve this culture and promote an awareness of our rich and heterogeneous cultural tapestry among the youth of this country through focus on the classical arts, with their attendant, legends, rituals, mythology and philosophy and to facilitate an awareness of their deeper and subtler values. Its work is educational in spirit and character and locating itself only in educational institutions is highly appreciable. Eminent maestros such as Pt. Birju Maharaj, Vidushi Sonal Mansingh, Dr. T. N. Krishnan, Shri Lalgudi Jayaraman, Pt. Hari Prasad Chaurasia, Pt. Shiv Kumar Sharma and Ustad Amjad Ali Khan and many others have been supporting this voluntary movement and this speaks volumes about its commitment for the promotion of these art forms. It is need of the hour to preserve our cultural heritage and SPIC MACAY has been actively engaged in transmitting our rich heritage, culture from the generation to generation particularly “Gen ex to Gen X”. He called upon young people to take active part in such activities.
Governor Narasimhan further mentioned that the festival such as the SPIC MACAY Yamini will go a long way in keeping our art forms alive. One of the ways to attain enlightenment is by appreciating the beauty of the world, and therefore the divine, which created it. This concept includes the appreciation of both natural beauty and the audience are involved in this spiritual communion. Whether the beauty is a sculpture, a piece of music, a dance performance, or all three at once, all that creates it and all that beholds it seeks to become imbued with spiritual ecstasy, which transforms one from something simply human into something divine in that moment of execution. This beauty is experienced ecstatically in the forms of classical dance, music, sculpture and architecture, and also in the experience of love between human beings, explained Shri Narasimhan.
He also expressed his happiness and satisfaction that the overnight concert was dedicated to Dr. A P J Abdul Kalam, our beloved people’s President. “Kalam’s interest in music is well known; he was a great Veena player and the Yamini programme being dedicated to his memory is indeed a great tribute”, he said.
The overnight concert organized by ‘Spic Macay’ is an eclectic mix of five Indian classical music and dance performances on a single dais by India’s leading performers Vidushi Rama Vaidyanathan (Bharatnatyam), Vidushi A.Kanyakumari (Violin Recital), Shri. Sikkil C. Gurucharan (Carnatic Vocal), Pt. Nityanand Haldipur(Bansuri recital) and Ustad F.Wasifuddin Dagar (Dhrupad Vocal).
Rama Vaidyanathan is one of the leading classical dancers. She is considered as one of the best interpreters of the ancient art form of Bharatanatyam. From rural Indian schools to the World Music Institute in New York, Rama’s performances have cut across the barriers of Nations, language, religion and culture. She has been fortunate to have trained intensively under the legendry dancer Yamini Krishnamurty.
Rama has received prestigious awards and titles for her contribution to Bharatanatyam including Kalai, Maamani from the Govt. of Tamilnadu. Sanskriti award from the Sanskriti Pratishthan and Jewl of India from the Govt. of Srilanka and others.
Sikkil Gurucharan is among the foremost young performing musicians of Carnatic Music in India today. One might think his musical lineage precedes him, but his voice, training and dedication stand their own ground. He is the grandson of Sikkil kunjumani, elder of the internationally acclaimed flautists Padma Shri awardee Sikkil sisters. Gurucharan has been under the tutelage Vaigal Shri. Gnanaskandan and is currently being mentored by Shri B Krishnamurthy.
The album “Miles from the India” a collaborative effort, was nominated for the ‘Best Contemporary Jazz Album’ at 51st Grammy Awards. The magazine India Today featured him among 35 Game Changers under the age of 35 in India.
The talented Nityanand Haldipur was ranked among India’s leading flautists and a senior disciple of the reclusive genius. Padma Bhushan awardee Smt. Annapurna Devi, represents the pure essence of a highly revered musical heritage. His polished tonal grace, rhythmic elegance and depth as well as lucidity of expression evident in him mesmerized the audience.
A top Grade artist of AIR and Doordarshan and also participated in the National Programme of Music and All India Radio Sangeet Sammelan. In 2010 Nityanand was given the highest award for his Contribution to Indian classical music by Sangeet Natak Academy, Govt. of India, New Delhi.
Vidushi A. Kanyakumari is a native of Vijayanagaram, Andhra Pradesh and has been living in Chennai for more than four decades. She belongs to family of musicians. Her parents Sri Avasarala Ramarathnam and Smt. Jayalakshmi encouraged her immensely to pursue music. She was fortunate to be a sishya of three great legendary gurus, Ivaturi Vijeswara Rao, M. Chandrasekaran and M.L Vasanthakumari.
Many prestigious awards and titles have been bestowed upon her including the Padma Shri award, Kalaimamani from the Govt. of Tamil Nadu. She was selected for Limca Book of Records 2004 for her various achievements in music as a versatile woman violinist. She is a top rank artiste of All India radio.
Ustad F.Wasifuddin Dagar represents the 20th generation of dedicated dagarvani dhrupad singers in the Dagar family. He is the nephew of Ustad N. Zahiruddin Dagar and son of Ustad N. Faiyazuddin Dagar, the legendary “Dagar Brothers”. Ustad was honored by the president of India with Padma Shri award in 2010.
Over the years he has developed subtle variations and improvisations by modulation of volume and sound application to prevent many shades of the same musical phrase. The composite effect of his dhrupad rendition remains traditional, merging techniques and styles of both of his teachers. He is very popular with young listeners for his lively lecture.
His performances have received rave reviews in The Washington Post, The New York Times, most major Indian publications, as well as other world press. Despite his active concert schedule, Wasif still finds time to teach many talented youngsters grooming the next generation of torchbearers for his ancient august tradition. He has performing students in India and abroad.
–By CH.Sandeep Manohar, Department of Communication