Yesterday (April 3, 2019), saw the students of the Advanced School of Carnatic Music (ASCM) run by the Music Academy, form an alumni association and hold its first meeting. The ASCM, which replaced the earlier Teachers’ College of Carnatic Music, was formed in 2010.

The programme began with Shri N Murali, President, Music Academy, Madras, Dr Meenakshi (Sumathi) Krishnan, Secretary, Music Academy & Convenor, ASCM and Dr Ritha Rajan, Coordinator, ASCM, addressing the audience. A recorded message from Sangita Kalanidhi R Vedavalli, Director, ASCM, was played. The present students of all three years of the ASCM put up a staging of Gopalakrishna Bharathi’s Nandan Charittiram. The performance, directed by Dr S Sowmya, had the students perform the roles of Bharathi, Nandan, Vediyar, Lord Shiva, Nandi, the farmhands and other people of Nandan’s community and the Dikshitars of Chidambaram. The enactment had selections from Bharathi’s Nandan Charittiram sung. The props were all created by the students themselves.

It was a very powerful performance, packed with high quality music and acting. The audience was often moved to tears and at the end gave the artistes a standing ovation. This was followed by a music performance by some of the alumni of the School. The experience of studying at the ASCM was shared by two alumnae as well. They spoke of the contributions of the individual faculty members such as Sangita Kalanidhis R Vedavalli and Trichur V Ramachandran, Sangita Kala Acharyas Prof TR Subramaniam, V Subrahmanyam, Suguna Varadachari and PS Narayananaswami, Dr S Sowmya, Dr Sriram Parasuram, Neyveli Santhanagopalan, Dr RS Jayalakshmi and Dr Ritha Rajan.