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Special to The Battalion

Published: Monday, October 8, 2012

Updated: Monday, October 8, 2012 01:10



The Zachry Auditorium was witness to a pool of talent showcasing the classical arts of India, as the Society for Promotion of Indian Classical Music and Culture Amongst Youth organized a concert in which Texas A&M students exhibited their artistic prowess.

The event, held Saturday night, commenced with the resonant voice of 11-year-old Srinidhi Narayanan, whose father, Krishna Narayanan, is a professor in the department of electrical engineering. Srinidhi sang a piece of classical Carnatic melody. Indian classical music is distinguished into two main streams, Hindustani and Carnatic music. The Society for Promotion of Indian Classical Music and Culture Amongst Youth encourages all kinds of traditional Indian performance arts such as classical singing and dance.

Srinidhi's performance was followed by Shakthi, who came from Austin to participate in the event. Other singers who shone bright were Ambika Venkat, sophomore computer engineering major, and Soundarya Ramakrishnan, management information systems graduate student. Bharathi Kalluri, computer science graduate student, sang Indian classical songs in three different languages: Telugu, Marathi and Hindi, representing the southern, central and northern regions of India.

Leaving the audience spellbound was the Bharatanatyam, an Indian classical dance performance by Malavika Yuvaraj. Apart from song and dance, Rahul Nair, management information systems graduate student and writer for The Battalion, performed an awe-inspiring Tabla — Indian Drums — solo. What made his exhibit stand out was that he explained all the nuances to the audience, helping them learn and connect to the music.

"Rahul is not just a good player but a great performer because he presented his work to the audience in an enlightening manner," said Srividya Ramasubramanian, associate professor in the department of communication.

The event had a diverse audience from undergraduates to professors, their love for the arts uniting them under one roof.

"The experience just blew me off my feet, “said Vijay Chaitanya, management information systems graduate student. “These artists have musical talent wired to their soul.”

Sivakumar, an associate professor in the Department of Mathematics said the Society for Promotion of Indian Classical Music and Culture Amongst Youth highlights an array of Indian music and dancing, both nationally and locally. .

"[The Society for Promotion of Indian Classical Music and Culture Amongst Youth] have made it a point to hold frequent concerts, which are intended to feature a number of talented artists from the local University community as well as other Texan cities,” Sivakumar said. “These events have always been successful, the most recent one being no exception."

At the end of the show, Ramasubramanian distributed certificates of appreciation to all the participants and thanked the society for organizing the show.

"The future of Indian classical music and culture seems to be in really good hands," Ramasubramanian said.

The Society for Promotion of Indian Classical Music and Culture Amongst Youth was founded by Kiran Seth, a professor of mechanical engineering at the Indian Institute of Technology Delhi in 1977 with the intention of raising awareness of Indian classical music in the youth of India. The Texas A&M chapter of the society began in 1989. It organizes all of its concerts, or Baithaks, with the help of donations from various organizations and individuals and does not charge any entry fee to perform or attend.

"Baithak is one of the most important events which happens in our campus to encourage our local talents interested in Indian classical arts and probably the fall 2012 Baithak was the best Baithak ever," said Shankar Bhattacharya, professor in the department of electrical engineering and primary advisor to the society.

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