Wednesday, July 13, 2011

4th Annual Ashu Babu Memorial Tabla School Concert

My annual tabla school concert on (or near) Guru Purnima has become one of the definite highlights of my year.  This year's event was held in Sunnybank Community Hall on Saturday 9th July, 6 days ahead of Guru Purnima.  Guru-ji's magic was evident in the atmosphere as always, and more and more each year I feel we are cultivating the energy passed down from guru to student through several generations including Benares Gharana originator Pt Ram Sahai and my late Guru-ji Pt Ashutosh Bhattacharya.

In this year's 4th annual concert (click the links for 1st, 2nd and 3rd concerts) we had 11 students performing.  Four of the students had performed at previous concerts but happily we had a lot of new students performing this year.  The concert always brings out the best in the students, with lots of extra practice in the weeks beforehand and a lot of inspiration to keep practising in the weeks afterward.  Everyone put in a great performance but special mentions must go to youngest and only girl tabla performer Rhea Ravi, naal solo by Vraja Dhama, fine accompaniment in bhajan by Tito Basu, and excellent all-round playing by Sanjey Sivaananthan.

Many thanks to Joseph Abhay Nand for patient harmonium accompaniment as always, and of course to all the parents and friends for helping out with the concert and throughout the year.  Special thanks to super volunteers Darshil Shah, Vraja Dhama, Yuki Taniguchi and Feridun Avar, and to Brent James for these splendid photographs and other assistance.

An altar to Guru-ji

 Our distinguished guest, Smt Vijaya Visvanathan, inaugurated the proceedings

Yuki Taniguchi (Sanskrit mantras)

 Darshil Shah (bansuri) accompanied Yuki's mantras

Sulagna Basu presented some bhajans in honour of goddess Saraswati and the Guru.  She was accompanied very well by her son Arka Tito Basu on tabla, and Joseph Abhay Nand on harmonium.

Diptanu Debroy (11) started the tabla solos

Bipro Hussain (9) and Ishaaq Jamil (8) (see them on youtube!)

 Rhea Ravi (7) played in a tabla duet with her older brother...

Ritvik Ravi (13)

 Nitin Niranjan (12)

Vraja Dhama - naal solo

Thejan Elankayer (11)

 Arka Tito Basu (15) gave tabla solo in Jhaptaal (10 beats) and Teentaal (16 beats)

Jesinthan Ketheeswaran (17) and Sanjey Sivaananthan (15) also performed in Jhaptaal and Teentaal

Joseph Abhay Nand gave patient accompaniment on harmonium throughout

 The students received certificates, presented by Smt Vijaya Visvanathan.  The certificates feature the lineage of Benares Gharana guru-shishya parampara starting from gharana founder Pt Ram Sahai.

Finally I gave a tabla solo, also in Jhaptaal and Teentaal.  If you play something twice, you should make a tihai and play it three times!

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