Sangeet Mela 2015 – A glorious celebration of Indian Classical Culture

Article published in Brisbane Indian Times October 2015 edition, though with a smaller selection of photos:

September 19 saw Queensland Multicultural Centre hosting Sangeet Mela 2015, Australia’s premiere festival dedicated to both Hindustani and Carnatic classical music and dance. The event was a big success, with the packed venue rejoicing in the resonant tones of sitar, violin, tabla, mridingam, vocals and much more from early afternoon until late in the night. The calibre of the performances was such that each new item was eagerly awaited.

Altar thanks to Usha and Sush Chivukula and various friends

The opening session highlighted the Sangeet Premi Rising Star Award winners – 5 young artists who were selected for their dedication to excellence in Indian classical arts. Congratulations to Mathuja Bavanendrakumar (Bharat Natyam), Sanjey Sivaananthan (tabla solo), Manbir Singh (Hindustani vocal), Roshini Sriram (Carnatic vocal) and Arthavan Selvanathan (mridangam) for their admirable efforts in reaching such high standards despite primarily growing up outside Mother India. The growing national reputation of Sangeet Mela and the Rising Star Awards was evidenced by the presence of Manbir Singh who flew up from Sydney at his own expense to receive the award.

Ku Mathuja Bavanendrakumar (Rising Star Award winner: Bharat Natyam)

Sri Sanjey Sivaananthan (Rising Star Award winner: Tabla), accompanied by Sri Adarshbir Singh (dilruba)

Sri Manbir Singh (Rising Star Award winner: Hindustani vocal – Sydney)

 

Ku Roshini Sriram (Rising Star Award winner: Carnatic vocal), accompanied by Sri Arthavan Selvanathan (Rising Star Award winner: miruthangam) and Sri Kranthi Kiran Mudigonda (violin – Sydney)

Roshini receiving Sangeet Premi Rising Star Award from Yousuf Alikhan 

Dr Indranil Chatterjee (sitar) with Sri Shen Flindell (tabla), enjoying completion of Raga Bhimpalassi in matta taal and teentaal.

We were graced with the presence of several international artists, starting with beautiful Bharat Natyam dance by Janani Ganapathi (Switzerland), immediately followed by one of the day’s most popular items, a tabla solo by Pt Pooran Maharaj (Varanasi) who presented compositions in the traditional Benares Gharana style made famous by his father Pt Kishan Maharaj. Along the way local artists Dr Indranil Chatterjee (sitar) and Dr Mansey Kinarivala (vocal) matched the high standards of the visiting artists. Credit too must go to all
the local and interstate accompanists including Joseph Abhay Nand (harmonium), Adarshbir Singh (dilruba) and Maharshi Raval (tabla – Sydney) who gave able support throughout the day.

Bharat Natyam dance by Ku Janani Ganapathi

Tabla solo by Pt Pooran Maharaj (Varanasi) – accompaniment by Sri Joseph Nand (harmonium, off-photo) and Sri Adarshbir Singh (dilruba), taali support by Sri Maharshi Raval and Sri Shen Flindell.

Carnatic flute recital by Sri Sridhar Chari (Melbourne)

Hindustani vocal recital by Dr Mansey Kinarivala.

Stalwart harmonium accompanist Sri Joseph Abhay Nand

The evening session opened with local Kathak dance star Dr Helena Joshi who dazzled the audience with dynamic spins and footwork, accompanied by a live ensemble of top local musicians led by tabla player Shen Flindell. Then followed sublime Hindustani vocals by Kumar Gaurav Kohli (Jalandhar) whose performance included an amazing Raga Mala effortlessly traversing 18 ragas in the space of a few minutes, and the festival closed with renowned Carnatic vocalist Smt Manda Sudharani (Vizag), with fantastic accompaniment by interstate artists Sridhar Chari (mridangam) and Kranthi Kiran Mudigonda (violin). We were really blessed to have such high level performers visiting us in Brisbane and it was only possible thanks to the growing reputation of Sangeet Mela as such a prestigious event.

Kathak dance by Dr Helena Joshi and live ensemble: Sri Shen Flindell (tabla), Smt Usha Chivukula (vocal), Sri Joseph Nand (harmonium), Sri Adarshbir Singh (dilruba), Sri Murali Ramakrishnan (bansuri).

Dr Helena Joshi (Kathak dance)

Kumar Gaurav Kohli (Hindustani vocal) gave a memorable performance.

Smt Manda Sudharani (Carnatic vocal)

Organisers EthnoSuperLounge and Sangeet Premi Club are grateful to all of our sponsors, volunteers, performers and of course the audience for supporting Indian classical music and its development in our region. We are optimistic that Sangeet Mela will continue to grow
year by year and make Brisbane a focal point for Indian classical arts nationally.

Cast photo of those performers who could be there at the end!

2015 Sangeet Premi Rising Star Award Winners announced

We are proud to announce the winners of the Sangeet Premi Rising Star Awards for Sangeet Mela 2015:
: VOCAL (Hindustani) – Sri Manbir Singh (Sydney)
: VOCAL (Carnatic) – Ku Roshini Sriram
: BHARAT NATYAM DANCE – Ku Mathuja Bavan
: MRIDANGAM – Sri Arthavan Selvanathan
: TABLA – Sri Sanjey Sivaananthan

They will be performing at Sangeet Mela 2015 from 2pm, followed by top local, interstate and international artists. Experience the cream of Indian culture at Sangeet Mela 2015 on 19th September at QLD Multicultural Centre. Ticket bookings: http://tinyurl.com/SangeetMela2015

Sangeet-Mela-2015-Rising-Stars

Book your earlybird tickets for Sangeet Mela 2015 now!

Sangeet Mela 2015, Brisbane’s premiere Indian Classical event, will be held 2pm-10pm Saturday 19th September at QLD Multicultural Centre, 102 Main St, Kangaroo Point. Please book now to avoid disappointment. Earlybird tickets at the concession price are available only until 31st July, and Gold and Silver reserved tickets are selling fast too.

The evening programme alone is well worth the ticket price and will feature:

Manda SudharaniSmt Manda Sudharani, an “A-Top” grade Carnatic Vocalist from Visakhapatnam, Andhra Pradesh. Her “Ragam Thanam Pallavi” are known for both technical excellence  &  aesthetic  appeal. She will be accompanied by Sri Kranthi Kiran Mudigonda (violin – Sydney) and Sri Sridhar Chari (mridangam – Melbourne).

IMG_2655Kumar Gaurav Kohli (Hindustani vocal) started receiving training at the age of seven from his grandfather Sangeet Acharya Sh. Jagdish Raj Kohli, who belonged to Gwalior Tradition of Khayal Gayaki. A highly regarded amateur artist in Punjab, his rich voice is reminiscent of Pandit Jasraj.

Pt Pooran MaharajPt Pooran Maharaj, born in 1952 in one of India’s most respected and well-known families of great musicians of the Benaras heritage, is the son of late Padma Vibhushan Pt Kishan Maharaj. As well as accompanying visiting vocalist Kumar Gaurav Kohli in the evening, he will present a tabla solo in the distinctive Benares Gharana style in the afternoon session.

Helena Joshi (Kathak dance)Dr Helena Joshi (Kathak dance) received the Sangeet Premi Rising Star Award at Sangeet Mela 2014 and her performance with live ensemble was one of the more popular items. She will be accompanied by fine Brisbane musicians led by tabla player Sri Shen Flindell.

Also performing: Sri Sridhar Chari (bansuri, mridingam – Melbourne), Sri Kranthi Kiran Mudigonda (violin – Sydney), Sri Maharshi Raval (tabla – Sydney), Dr Mansey Kinarivala (Hindustani vocal), Dr Indranil Chatterjee (sitar), Ku Janani Ganapathi (Bharat Natyam dance), Sri Rahim Zullah (harmonium), Sri Joseph Abhay Nand (harmonium), Sri Murali Ramakrishnan (bansuri), and Sri Adarshbir Singh (dilruba). Young artists have the opportunity to perform by applying for the Sangeet Premi Rising Star Awards by July 31 (info at sangeetmela.org/awards).

Sangeet Mela 2015 flyer

Sangeet Mela 2015 is organised by Sangeet Premi Club in association with EthnoSuperLounge, with support from Platinum sponsor Dr Sanjay Joshi of Bayside Orthopaedics, Gold sponsors Target Travels & Tours and Sitar Restaurant, Silver sponsors Tamil Vazhai, Merv Smith Realty and Homeopathy for Health, supporting organisation SaReGaMa School of Music, exclusive media sponsors Brisbane Indian Times and Australian Indian Radio, and venue BEMAC. Please contact Shen Flindell on 0415106428 or shen@sangeetmela.org for all enquiries including how to support Sangeet Mela 2015 as a business or organisation.

Sangeet Mela 2015 Lineup Announced

Sangeet Premi Club are very proud to announce our headline acts for Sangeet Mela 2015, to be held on Saturday 19th September at QLD Multicultural Centre, 102 Main St, Kangaroo Point.

Smt Manda Sudharani (Visakhapatnam) is an “A-Top” grade Carnatic Vocalist renowned for popularizing the format of ‘Pallavi Singing’ since the early 1980s. Pt Pooran Maharaj (Varanasi) is the son of the renowned Tabla Samrat of Benares Gharana, Late Pt Kishan Maharaj, and a senior representative of his lineage. He will be presenting a tabla solo and also accompanying Hindustani vocalist Kumar Gaurav Kohli (Punjab), an accomplished younger artist whose voice is reminiscent of Pandit Jasraj. The evening session will open with Kathak dance by Dr Helena Joshi (Brisbane), accompanied on tabla by Sri Shen Flindell and other local artists.

Also performing: Sri Maharshi Raval (tabla – Sydney), Dr Indranil Chatterjee (Sitar), Dr Mansey Kinarivala (Hindustani vocal), Ku Janani Ganapathi (Bharat Natyam dance), and more yet to be confirmed. Young artists have the opportunity to perform by applying for the Sangeet Premi Rising Star Awards (info at sangeetmela.org/awards).

Sangeet Mela 2015 flyer

Sangeet Mela 2015 is organised by Sangeet Premi Club in association with EthnoSuperLounge, with support from Platinum sponsor Dr Sanjay Joshi of Bayside Orthopaedics, Gold sponsors Target Travels & Tours and Sitar Restaurant, Silver sponsors Tamil Vazhai, Merv Smith Realty and Homeopathy for Health, supporting organisation SaReGaMa School of Music, exclusive media sponsors Brisbane Indian Times and Australian Indian Radio, and venue BEMAC. Please contact Shen Flindell on 0415106428 or shen@sangeetmela.org for information on how to support Sangeet Mela 2015 as a business or organisation.

Support Sangeet Mela 2015

Sangeet Premi Club in conjunction with EthnoSuperLounge are presenting Sangeet Mela 2015, Indian Classical Music and Dance Festival on Saturday 19th September at QLD Multicultural Centre, Kangaroo Point, and seeking sponsors and supporting organisations to enable us to promote Indian classical culture in Brisbane through this magnificent event. Please keep Sep 19 free in your diaries and read on to learn about how you can help to support and cultivate Indian classical culture in Brisbane.

Last year’s Inaugural Sangeet Mela was truly wonderful, highlighting local Indian classical talent in collaboration with top artists from interstate and India. Please take 2 minutes to view our “Sangeet Mela 2014 Magic Moments” video which will quickly give you an all-round idea of the Sangeet Mela concept. If you have 9 minutes, we also have a Highlights video with short clips of each performance, and videos of the whole festival are also online.

AIMS OF SANGEET MELA:

  • Cultivate the development of Indian classical music and dance (ICM) in Brisbane on all levels – youth, local amateurs and professionals, in collaboration with interstate and overseas artists.
  • Recognition of young talent (under 25) through the Sangeet Premi Rising Star Awards
  • Create a high-profile marquee event putting Indian classical music in the spotlight in Brisbane, and putting Brisbane on the map within the Australian ICM community.


VALUES PROMOTED FOR SUPPORTING BUSINESSES/ORGANISATIONS:

  • respect and support for Indian traditional culture and values
  • pride in Indian classical culture
  • respectable, discerning, classy, refined


KEY POINTS FOR SANGEET MELA 2015:

  • Similar format to Sangeet Mela 2014, but also including South Indian classical music and dance
  • Total budget $10000 – We hope to raise $4500 through sponsorship and $5500 through general ticket sales
  • Gold seats (Front row) $150, Silver seats (2nd row) $100, General seats $45/$40 concession.
  • Full-colour souvenir programme booklet and on-stage banners featuring sponsors’ logos. (See 2014 programme booklet here.)
  • Poster print deadline June 15
  • Rising Star Awards entry deadline July 31; winners announced August 15
  • Already booked from India: Pt Pooran Maharaj (son of Pt Kishan Maharaj of Benares Gharana of tabla); Sri Gaurav Kohli (excellent rising classical vocalist).  Currently in negotiations with similar top level South Indian artist.
  • Booked locally: Ku Helena Joshi (Kathak dance with live accompaniment)


SPONSORSHIP PLANS:

  • Major sponsors: min $500 incl 3 gold seats – logo on poster, website, programme, banner on stage, name cited in press releases, visibility when awarding Rising Star Awards. Additional donations (above gold ticket price) will be most helpful.
  • Additional sponsors: min $300 incl 2 gold seats or 3 silver seats – smaller logo on website, programme, banner. Logo on poster if space permits.
  • Supporting organisations:
     : Pledge to keep Sep 19 free in your organisation’s calendar
    : Publicise Rising Star Awards and Sangeet Mela to membership
    : Logo/name on website and programme
    : “Major supporters” – Purchase of min $200 worth of gold/silver tickets or min $400 for 10 general tickets (concession price for your organisation’s members) – logo on poster and on-stage banner. Pre-purchased tickets could be in name of organisation but paid for privately by members.
  • Private sponsors: Min $300 eg 2 gold or 3 silver – name in programme and website (optional)
    : Gold/silver tickets also available individually for anonymous sponsors – book early if you would like to enjoy the concert in front row comfort, as these seats were sold out last year.

Please contact Shen Flindell on 0415106428 or email shen@sangeetmela.org with any enquiries.

Call for Young Indian Classical Artists for Sangeet Mela 2015

Sangeet Premi Club is calling for young Indian Classical artists under the age of 25 to apply for the Sangeet Premi Rising Star Awards, which will be presented at Sangeet Mela 2015 to be held on Saturday 19th September at Queensland Multicultural Centre (BEMAC) in Kangaroo Point.  Entries close on 31st July 2015 and winners will be announced on 15th August.

The awards will be granted in four categories of Sangeet: Vocal, Instrumental, Percussion and Dance, in each of the two broad genres of Carnatic and Hindustani Sangeet. The winners will be invited to perform at Sangeet Mela 2015, alongside high profile artists from Brisbane in collaboration with interstate and international artists.

The inaugural Sangeet Mela in 2014 was a highly successful event, promoting Indian classical music and dance in Brisbane and around Australia. Highlights videos as well as full-length performances are available on the Sangeet Mela website, www.sangeetmela.org.

Sangeet Mela 2015 will include both North and South Indian classical music and dance and the programme is already looking very exciting. Senior tabla master in the prestigious Benares Gharana, Pt Pooran Maharaj (son of late Pt Kishan Maharaj), and brilliant vocalist Sri Kumar Gaurav Kohli are already confirmed, as well as last year’s Rising Star Dance Award winner, Helena Joshi, performing Kathak dance with live accompaniment. The Carnatic music programme is yet to be finalised but is expected to be a highlight of the festival.

“We aim for Brisbane Sangeet Mela to be a prestigious annual Indian classical music and dance event recognised throughout the country for high quality of performances, fostering the development of Indian classical culture in Brisbane for years to come,” says Sangeet Premi Club acting president Yousuf Alikhan. “The Sangeet Premi Rising Star Awards will give young artists in our community recognition for their talent and hard work, and the opportunity to perform before senior artists and music aficionados.”

Further information on the awards can be found at www.sangeetmela.org/awards

Sangeet Mela 2015 is seeking business sponsors and cultural organisations to support the event. For more information please contact shen@sangeetmela.org.