Monday, July 6, 2020

Mikeless Kutcheri Rewinding to 2015 and 2010

Sayee Rakshith made his debut at the Sunday Kutcheri in July 2010 as a 11 year old - He is now a Sabha regular and made a musical trip to the US with Trissur Brothers
Harini, who presented this day in July 2015 as a 13 year old, has begun to take music classes
Nageswara Rao Park in Mylapore should have been abuzz on Sunday morning (July 5, 2020) with the mikeless kutcheri organised by Sundaram Finance. However, the extended lock down has meant the cancellation of the Sunday Kutcheri in the Park for a fourth successive month.

In February 2007, when the Sunday Kutcheri was launched, TT Srinivasaraghavan, MD, Sundaram Finance Ltd., had said that the objective was to provide young musical talent aged below 15 years a platform to perform in front on an informal park audience and to help them shed their inhibitions and move up to next level. Two artistes who first presented a Kutcheri at the Nageswara Rao Park in July of 2010 and 2015 have climbed up the musical ladder since their debut performance at the Sunday Kutcheri.
July 2010- A Solo Violin Performance then, Now in the Sabhas
Ten years ago, on the first Sunday of July 2010, an interesting artiste presented the Sunday Kutcheri in the Park. While most often, it is vocal performance at the Sunday Kutcheri, Sundaram Finance chose an eleven year old Violinist to present a solo performance. A decade later, S. Sayee Rakshith, now a qualified ACCA, is a regular as an accompanist at the Sabhas during the Margazhi season. Last year, he went on a musical tour to the US along with Trissur Brothers. Looking back at the 2010 Kutcheri, he remembers being nervous “The Sunday Kutcheri was much talked about at that time, was well covered in the media and I remember being nervous that morning ahead of the Kutcheri.”

His Guru for the last few years Padmashree awardee A Kanyakumari, who has never charged a fee from her students, is all praise for providing the solo opportunity to a Violinist “Most often, Violinists are seen only as accompanists and are not given their due. It is heartening that Sundaram Finance presented that solo opportunity to him very early on in his career that served as a launch pad for him. In the years that I have seen him, he has shown exemplary attitude to learning, has displayed true Guru Bhakti, has rarely been distracted and has focused on improving his violin skills.”

Testimony to his musical growth can be seen from the fact that Sayee Rakshith has been her accompanist in her kutcheris in the Sabhas. Quite a creditable achievement!!

July 2015 artistes now teaches young students
5 years ago this day, Sunday the 5th of July 2015, R Harini, a student of Shubha Ganesan, presented her first ever Kutcheri as a 13 year old at the Chess Square of the Nageswara Rao Park as part of the monthly Sunday Kutcheri. 


Teaches Music to young students
Hairni has just completed her Class XII exams and joined an online CA Foundation course. With the lock down hitting everyone hard and restricting external movement, Harini has begun taking music classes online as directed by her Guru. Harini has fond memories of her first Kutcheri “When I was chosen for the Mikeless Kutcheri by Sundaram Finance, I was quite nervous to present in front of the park audience as it was my first public performance. But singing without mike and speakers helped me sing naturally and the feedback was generally good which gave me a lot of confidence.”

In April this year, just after the lockdown began, Harini received a big boost when her Guru asked her to take classes for students “I saw it as a big endorsement from my Guru on the progress I had made in the last five years. I have now been taking classes for three students including one from the USA thrice a week over the last three months. And it has been a good experience. It has also opened my thoughts to exploring the possibility of becoming a music teacher in the future.” 

Commending the musical commitment of Harini, Shubha Ganesan said that she was a regular even a few days prior to the Class XII exams and that she has evolved in music over the last few years ‘I showcase her commitment as a role model to all those newcomers taking to music.’

Interestingly, over the last quarter, Harini has also donned the role of Music Guru for her younger sister who now looks up to her for everything in music.

For these two, Sunday Kutcheri in the Park has served as a launch pad in their musical career.

Monday, April 6, 2020

Lockdown Sunday Kutcheri Cancelled

The 'First Sunday' without the Kutcheri
The rain in 2009 could not stop the Sunday Kutcheri but the Virus has in April 2020
Shwetha posts a video message and a song
It is just past 7am on Sunday (April 5), the morning of the first Sunday of the month when the chess square at the Nageswara Rao Park has for the last 13 years been bustling with musical activity. Sipping a hot coffee, Kutcheri buffs and music connoisseurs are seen encouraging the ‘Star of the Day’.

A Platform for Budding Artistes
Since February 2007, Sundaram Finance has been organizing a mikeless kutcheri for children aged below 15years on the first Sunday of every month. Over 200 such mikeless kutcheris have been held at the park. 11 years ago, even the rain on one of the Kutcheri mornings could not play spoilsport, for the personnel from the company held umbrellas atop the artistes so she could present the one hour Kutcheri. 
Arul Priya from Dubai presenting the Kutcheri in the rain

This morning turned out to be one of the very few occasions when the Kutcheri has had to be cancelled.

Promise Fulfilled
13 year old S Shwetha, the great grand daughter of Mridangam Vidwan Palghat Mani Iyer, was all excited when she was informed about her selection and the opportunity to perform at the April edition of the monthly mikeless kutcheri. In September 2015, her elder sister, Sowmya had performed on the same stage, a kutcheri that Shwetha watched
(https://sundaykutcheri.blogspot.com/2015/09/palghat-mani-iyers-great-grand-daughter.html). She enjoyed it so much that she promised to herself that she too would perform one day at this prestigious platform for budding artistes. Her sister, who first performed at the Sunday Kutcheri in the Park, has now moved on and become a graded artiste at the AIR.

Early morning practice
Since this was to be a kutcheri sans mikes and speakers, her Guru Palghat Shri TR Rajaram directed her to practice early in the morning so the voice comes out better. And leading up to the kutcheri, she had been practicing each day for 2 hours in the wee hours of the morning.

And then came the call from the organisers that the Kutcheri was being cancelled given the extraordinary developments worldwide ‘I was initially a bit disappointed at the cancellation. But when I thought about it, I soon realized that this was understandable as the decision was being made as a precautionary measure.”
She is now looking forward to performing at the same stage sometime in the near future once things get back to normal. While external circumstances forced the cancellation of her first full fledged Mikeless Kutcheri, her mind was all on what might have been. And in a symbolic token gesture, Shwetha has put out a video with a few lines of a song that she would have presented between 7am and 8am at the Nageswara Rao Park this first Sunday of April.

Tuesday, March 3, 2020

Shreyas Sunday Kutcheri in the Park


Sundaram Finance organises Mikeless Kutcheri at  Nageswara Rao Park

As part of the monthly Sunday Kutcheri in the Park organised by Sundaram Finance on the first Sunday of every month, 14 year old Shreyas Murali, student of Guru G Ravikiran, presented a vocal Carnatic music Kutcheri this morning between 7am and 8am at the chess square of the Nageswara Rao Park in Mylapore.

Accompanied on the Violin by C. S. Chinmayi and on the Mirudangam by R. Vinoth, Shreyas presented compositions that included Sriman Narayana (Bowli – Adi), Teliya Leru Rama  (Dhenuka – Adi), Evvari Maata  (Kamboji – Adi) and  Maithreem Bhajata (Ragamalika – Adi).

P Viswanathan, Company Secretary, Sundaram Finance Ltd., presented certificates and mementos to the artistes. 

The Mikeless Kutcheri at the Nageswara Rao Park was launched in February 2006. Around 1400 children have been part of the Kutcheri over the last 14 years. The idea of the Sunday Kutcheri in the Park is to provide opportunities to young budding talent aged below 15 years to present in front of an informal park audience amidst chirping birds and falling leaves. Mikes and speakers are not used at the Kutcheri in the Park.

Sundaram Finance conducts audition to select the artistes to present the Mikeless Kutcheri. For details, email: sundaykutcheri@sundaramfinance.in

Tuesday, February 4, 2020

Sunday Kutcheri enters 15th year


Mahathi presents Mikeless Kutcheri at Nageswara Rao Park

As part of the monthly Sunday Kutcheri in the Park organised by Sundaram Finance on the first Sunday of every month, 14 year old Mahathi Baskar, student of Smt. Shubha Ganesan, presented a lively Mikeless Kutcheri this morning between 7am and 8am at the chess square of the Nageswara Rao Park in Mylapore. The Kutcheri marked the beginning of the 15th year of the Sunday Kutcheri in the Park that was launched in February 2006. Around 1400 children have been part of the Mikeless Kutcheri at the Nageswara Rao Park.

Accompanied on the Violin by G. Vagadeeshwar and on the Mirudangam by S Aniruddh, Mahathi presented compositions that included Sakthi Ganapathim (Nattai / Rupakam), Kanchadalayadakshi (Kamalmanohari / Adhi), Sri Venu Gopala (Darbar / Kanda Chapu), Sarasaksha (Pantuvarali/ Adhi ) and Madharpirakkanniyanai (Kurinjippan). 

N Srirmanan, Senior GM, Sundaram Finance, presented certificates and mementos to the artistes.

Friday, January 17, 2020

Madura Ganalaya presents Group Sunday Kutcheri

Sundaram Finance Sunday Kutcheri in the Park completes 14 years
Around 1400 children have presented the Mikeless Kutcheri  at Nageswara Rao Park since February 2006
15 students from Madura Ganalaya present a lively Kutcheri in the Park on Sunday Morning
Launched on the first Sunday of February 2006, the monthly Sunday Kutcheri in the Park organised by Sundaram Finance has completed 14 years on Sunday ( Jan 12). Around 1400 children have been part of the Mikeless Kutcheri at the Nageswara Rao Park during this period. To mark the occasion and on the final morning of the Sundaram Finance Mylapore Festival 2020, 15 students from Madura Ganalaya presented a lively one hour Kutcheri in the Park, without mikes and speakers, at the Nageswara Rao Park in front of a big Sunday morning audience that had gathered around the chess square. 
The students presented songs that included Karimuga, Mayilmeethu, Raghuvamsa, Pandurithiko and Venkatachala

TT Srinivasaraghavan, MD, Sundaram Finance said ‘When we launched the Kutcheri in the Park 14 years ago, our idea was to make this a stepping stone for budding musical talent and to help young ‘unsung’ children aged below 15 years shed the initial inhibition that we normally associate with stage performances by giving them a platform to showcase their talent in an informal environment. Many have gone on to the next level in their musical career. That for us is very heartening.’ 
On the Mikeless Kutcheri concept, Srinivasaraghavan said, ‘We have resisted the temptation to use Mikes and stuck on to the ‘Mikeless Concept’ for we believed that an open-air kutcheri, amidst falling leaves and curious birds chirping around the park, would bring out the best in the children if they performed without the help of mikes and speakers.’

S Dhandayuthapani, GM, Sundaram Finance presented certificates to the artistes and a memento to the Guru.
Talented children from the US, Australia, Saudi Arabia, Dubai, Pune and Bangalore have also presented mikeless kutcheri at the Nageswara Rao Park over the last 14 years.The monthly Kutcheri in the Park is restricted to children aged below 15 years. A committee from Sundaram Finance conducts audition to select the artistes. The Kutcheri in the Park has also featured in the Limca Book of Records as the longest open air Mikeless Kutcheri for children.

Sunday, January 12, 2020

Paavani Cotai Mikeless Kutcheri

Paavani Cotai, a disciple of TR Vasudevan presented a one
hour mikeless kutcheri at the Nageswara Rao Park this Friday morning on day 3 of the Sundaram Finance Mylapore Festival 2020. She was accompanied by Purva Dhanashree on the Violin
and by VG Visswesh on the Mridangam.

N Sriraman presented certificates to the artistes.

Saturday, January 11, 2020

Shakthi mikeless kutcheri

Shakthi Muralidharan presents one hour Mikeless Kutcheri 
Shakthi Muralidharan, disciple of Guru Smt Amritha Murali and Guru Smt Sattur Lalitha Santhanam , 
presented a Mikeless Kutcheri this morning between 7am and 8am at the Nageswara Rao Park.

She was accompanied on the Violin by Haritha Narayanan and on the Mirudangam by Sannath Parameswaran.

C Muralidharan, Sundaram Finance presented certificates to the artistes and a memento to the Guru.