Sustaining Sampradaya 2016 — Announcement
The Cleveland Thyagaraja Festival is the largest Indian classical music festival outside of India. It was first celebrated in 1978 and has now grown to be a 12-day festival with more than 8,000 attendees with 2,000 appearing for the opening weekend.
The 39th year Cleveland Thyagaraja Festival is scheduled to start on Wednesday March 23, 2016. We have put together two programs for Sustaining Sampradaya that include some of the greatest compositions of Carnatic music in some of the most enchanting ragas.
New for this year, we are also adding a third program — Nama sankeerthanam, or traditional bhajans, which will be spearheaded by two great bhagavatars, Kadayanallur Tukaram Ganapathi Maharaj, and Udayaloor Sri K. Kalyanaraman Bhagavathar.
The first program is a tribute to Bharat Rathna Dr M.S. Subbulakshmi whose centenary year we are celebrating this year. The second program will be a tribute to Ariyakudi Sri Ramanuja Iyengar, 2015 being his 125th birth anniversary.
Sustaining Sampradaya — Nama Sankeerthanam
Saturday April 2, 2016; 9:15am–12:00pm
This program is open to all and there is no age limit. The traditional bhajans will include Thodaya Mangalam, Namavalis, Guru Keerthanas, Ashtapadis, Bhadrachala Ramadasu Keerthanas, Abhangs and other traditional items.
For the first time, both Thukaram Ganapathi Maharaj and Udayaloor Sri Kalyanarama Bhagavathar will share and lead the Bhajan with the Sustaining Sampradaya participants.
Smt. Suguna Varadachari will have the overall responsibility for supervising the participants’ musical progress in both streams. She will be in the US about 4 weeks before the Festival to monitor each and every one’s progress. In this, she will be assisted by a team of other musicians.
Please note that the two concerts will lay a lot of emphasis on raga elaboration, kalpana swaram and other aspects of manodharmam. We plan to give fairly rigorous training on these besides giving the participants a very authentic and traditional version of the krithis.
The bhajam program will address a wide variety of traditional items in different languages.
Expression of interest should be received by the Aradhana Committee no later than October 10, 2015. The above panel will select the performers out of the pool of applicants, and these will be notified by October 24th.
Early Admission: If you apply before September 16, we will fast-track your application process (including the interview process if you are a first-timer) and let you know the decision by September 30. This gives you a better chance of being part of the Sustaining Sampradaya program.
Training by India-based vidwans will begin on November 7, 2015. There will be a minimum of 2 classes per week. We will be using video conferencing or other Internet-based tools for imparting training.
Additionally, individual coaching will be given once a week by a musician from India, covering the weekend classes. This coaching will be during weekdays at a mutually convenient time. This allows the vidwan/vidushi to personally assess the progress made and the potential.
If you are interested, please note that you should be ready to invest your time both for the classes as well as for practice. This commitment has to begin in early November and has to continue up till the festival. The final rehearsal will be in Cleveland on Thursday March 24, 2016.
How to Apply
If you would like to be considered for participation in one or both of these concerts, there is a two-step process to follow:
Step 1: Application Information
Please email Gopi Sundaram (email@example.com) the following:
- Completed application form. Please download the form, and fill out all fields. Incomplete applications will not be accepted.
- An audition recording in MP3 format, consisting of an introduction and your performance. The introduction (maximum 2 minutes) should give your name, city, state, and what you are trying to highlight in the performance. This should be followed by a performance not exceeding 10 minutes. Both should be in the same file, in MP3 format (maximum 12 minutes).
The audition recording is not necessary if you have participated in an earlier Sustaining Sampradaya program.
Please email both the completed application form and the audition recording (if necessary) to Gopi Sundaram (firstname.lastname@example.org).
Step 2: Application Fee
There is a non-refundable application fee of US $100 per concert. The check should be madepayable to the Aradhana Committee, and mailed to the following address:810 Newcastle Street
Saline, MI 48176-8869
Please write your name and the words “MSS”, “Ariyakudi”, and/or “Bhajan” on the face of the check at an appropriate place.
How the Selection Works
The selection process will be handled entirely by the India-based senior vidwans and vidushis, and their decision will be final. No member of the Aradhana Committee will be a part of the decision-making process.
If you are accepted by the panel to participate in any of the performances, we will immediately inform you about all the modalities of the training process. These include class schedules, concert items with ragas and talams, assignment of Vidwans for training, online availability of the teaching material, et cetera.
Please note that the vidwans who will impart the training are musicians of great eminence and repute, and we expect that the participants be sensitive to this great honor.
If you are selected and if you accept our offer, there will be a training fee which is:
- Tribute to M.S. Subbulakshmi mdash; US $1,600 per person
- Tribute to Ariyakudi Ramanuja Iyengar mdash; US $1,600 per person
- Nama Sankeerthanam mdash; US $1,600 per person
The fees are payable on or before November 1, 2015.
We recognize that the training process is going to be intense and rigorous, but we also know that it is a very unique way to attain musical proficiency of high caliber in a very short time. Based on our experience with the previous years’ concerts, we are confident that the 2016 concerts will also prove to be memorable.
We had an overwhelming response for this initiative in the past, and I hope that you will choose to respond to this year’s initiative also in a similarly positive way.