Chandra, a student of Aparna Balaji, Abhyaas Academy of Music performed her
music arangetram on Saturday, July 11, 2009 in the Bedford Old Town Hall in
Bedford, Massachusetts. She was accompanied in her Carnatic music recital
by K.V.S. Vinay on the violin and Gaurishankar Chandrashekhar on the mridangam.
Usha Dwaraknath, a trained Carnatic music singer herself, served as the MC for
the event and initiated the proceedings. On an unusually beautiful day (a rare
day without rain this summer!), Meghna performed to a packed and very
appreciative audience of over 140 people. Meghna has been learning
Carnatic music for the past eleven years. She started her training with Sandhya
Sridhar and has been training with her current guru, Aparna Balaji for the last
five years. Meghna is an accomplished performer of the Carnatic Arts;
having completed her Bharatanatyam Dance Arangetram in an equally impressive
debut in 2006 (She is a student of dancer/teacher Neha Parikh).
years of rigorous training and dedication to the art were well on display in
her debut vocal arangetram. Meghna’s powerful, yet rich and mellifluous voice
roused an enthralled audience for an hour and a half. She began with a
traditional Varnam in Hamsadhwani (Mânambhuchâvadi by Venkatsubbaiyer).
Competently performed, the varnam set the tone for a wonderful sequence of
songs. This was followed by four beautiful compositions - Mâm Avathu (by
Mysore Vâsudevâchâri) in Hindolam, Padumanâbhan Maruga (by
Pâapanâsam Sivan) in Nâgaswarâvali, Devineeyethunai (by
Pâapanâsam Sivan) in Keeravâni and Thelisi Rama (by Thiâgarâjâ)
in Poornachandrika. The sequence allowed us to see the range of Meghna’s
repertoire, going from the melodious Mâm Avathu (in Hindolam) to the
quick pace of Thelisi Rama where her training for bringing out the
sweetness of a ragam as well as her voice control in scaling the brisk swaras
was easily apparent.
short break, she sang Sârasâksha (by Swâthi Thirunâl) in Panthuvarâli.
She began with a beautiful alapana of the ragam. She displayed her command of
the ragam and her ability to bring out the beauty of this popular ragam. She
followed this by a wonderful rendition of the pallavi. She then performed
three beautiful pieces, the first a haunting rendition of Vedanâyakam Pillai’s,
Nâle Nalla Nal inKapi, followed by a stunning rendition of Mâsillayodhiyini
by Neela Râmamoorthy. This Râgamâlikâ included the ragams Bowli, Bilahari,
Kedaragowlâ and Shanmukhapriya. In hearing her sing this piece it
was as if she took us from the rising sun through a joyful day of music. She
followed this with Yevinainervizhi (Thiruppughazh by Arunagirinâdhar) in
Valaji. She concluded the concert with a joyful Thillânâ by Lalgudi
Jayaraman in Rageshri and Thiâgarâjâ’s Panthikimangalam in Aarabhi.
accompanists, K.V.S. Vinay on the violin and Gaurishankar Chandrashekhar were
wonderful. Encouraging and patient, they guided the budding singer Meghna with
competence and variety. While they kept their solo expositions to a
minimum, the depth of their musical talent was readily apparent to a very
After a beautiful and impressive concert, most moving to the audience were
the speeches at the end. What does it take to get to a Carnatic musical
arangetram for a young Indian-American student? Usha Dwaraknath, the MC of the
event , Meghna's guru, Aparna Balaji and her mother Karthi Chandra spoke eloquently
about the difficulties of pursuing such passions as well as the discipline,
time and effort this had taken Meghna for over a decade. Meghna in turn thanked
her parents, her guru and the audience.. She thanked the accompanists for their
patience and encouragement.
As for the
audience, we could only cheer and marvel at Meghna’s talents. In addition to
her accomplishments as a Bharatanatyam dancer and a Carnatic music vocalist,
she is an intellect to be reckoned with as well. Interested in politics and
international relations she worked on Barack Obama’s important and critical
campaign in New Hampshire and is now on her way to her undergraduate degree at
the University of Pennsylvania. Philadelphia, here she comes!
Thanksgiving time is Lokvani's opportunity to thank all our sponsors who support us generously, loyal readers who stand by us and our well wishers who believe that we are here for the specific purpose of giving a voice to the community.
A BIG THANK YOU FROM THE LOKVANI TEAM
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