Local talent glitter on golden show

While some of the most popular singers of the Hindi Cinema, including Mohammed Rafi, Kishore Kumar and Mukesh are not with us any more, there are many talented singers in our community to bring their voices alive on stage.

Mohammed Rafi Academy of Music will put together an array of gifted singers to present its fifth edition of ‘Old is Gold,’ at the Dorothy Winstone Centre of the Auckland Girls Grammar School on September 22, 2012.

Amit Sengupta, the man behind the show, is a relented pursuer of excellence and despite his unsettling health of late, his passion for music and more importantly, his penchant for showcasing established and upcoming singers deserves support and patronage.

If the reports coming in are any indication, ‘Old is Gold V,’ will be another brilliant chapter in the series of melodious evenings that our local artistes have provided over the years.

“We have brilliant and dedicated musicians in our community and each of them deserves opportunities to grow. Each of them is in pursuit of education or a career but the way they have given their time and effort would hopefully be reminiscent of the success of our earlier shows,” Mr Sengupta, Director of the Mohammed Rafi Academy of Music said.

We have pleasure in profiling, albeit in brief the singers.

Akhila Puthigae


We used to call this teenager ‘a baby of the Sengupta team’ and over the years, Akhila has proved her prowess in music with her melodious voice and the humility and eagerness to match.

A Year 13 student at Glendowie College, Auckland, she has been a singer and pianist since she was five years old. As well as playing ‘Bassoon,’ a woodwind instrument, Akhila is a precisionist, with high ambitions in the medical field.

Amit Sengupta


A man of many moods, voices and talent, Amit says age is catching up with him but no one believes. With his voice as brilliant as the masters being featured at the forthcoming show, Amit is one of the most exacting music teachers, producers and directors of show.

His precision in music as well as organising events is one of his hallmarks.

Ashish Joshi


An employee in a pharmacy, Ashish obviously believes that music is the best medicine for the mind and body.

“Music is my passion and playing the guitar is also helpful,” he said.

Although an experienced singer, the forthcoming show would be his first under the Mohammed Rafi Academy of Music banner.

Kanika Diesh


Kanika is a trained classical musician from the Gandharva Mahavidyalaya based in Delhi. She enjoys singing semi classical songs, film music, bhajans.

Another first for the Academy, Kanika’s interests include reading, sketching and painting.

Karamveer Singh


This youngster should prove his mettle as a qualified musician, with his graduate honours degree (BA) in music from the Kurkshetra University based in the North Indian state of Haryana.

Learning music under the tutelage of S Jagjeet Singh, Principal of the Pracheen Kala Kendra in Chandigarh, Karamveer’s voice was heard on Radio Tarana recently, winning the ‘Tarana Idol’ title this year.

Moneesh Mittal


Another student from the Delhi based Gandharva Mahavidyalaya, Moneesh says music is his passion. He is adept in Hindustani classical music, some of which would set the tune for songs at ‘Old is Gold V.’

Rachit Bhatia


This talented young singer has not only won the acclaim of thousands of people who have watched his shows but also readers of Indian Newslink over the years.

With more than 150 musical performances to his credit, Rachit is also a lyricist, dancer and actor.

A software engineer by profession, he is known for his versatility.

Rhea Maheshwari

Mr Sengupta says this young singer is talented with a bright future, if she pursues music as her profession. She may however become a professional in other areas of interest as she completes her graduate degree in commerce and arts at the University of Auckland. Her hobbies include painting and physical fitness.

Ritika Shah


One of the most popular singers of our times, Ritika has had thousands of hands in standing ovation at dozens of shows that we have watched over the years.

While her mother (popular music teacher Sandya Badekere) has imparted knowledge of music, her father and other members of the family have inspired her to be ambitious and humble, fostering goodwill with good music.

Siddharth Krishnamoorthy


Thousands of people would have seen him as ‘a king in mourning’ at the enormously successful Taj Mahal (Dance Drama) held in Auckland in March and August. To those who have listened to him sing, Siddharth is a musician on a par with some the finest singers in New Zealand.

A student of Carnatic Music, he has proved his mettle in Hindi film songs with a winning title (Under 18) at the Bollywood Melody Champs.

Vidya Teke

Being under the tutelage of many masters in Pune and the Gwalior Gharana, music had become a part of the life of Vidya, who has been on stage at several concerts in India and New Zealand.

‘Old is Gold V’ features an orchestra replete with talent. The instrumentalists include Amit Sengupta (Harmonium), Anthony Yempee (Lead Guitar), Diya Anthony (Rhythm Guitar), Govind Prabhu (Khol & Mridangam), Hemant Thaker (Key Board), Joscel Alexander (Acoustic Drums), Joseph Alexander (Electronic Drums), Peter Paul Ravela (Tabla & Dholak) and Shivam Padeyachi (Base Guitar).


What: Old is Gold (V)

Who: Mohammed Rafi Academy of Music

When: Saturday, September 22, 2012

Where: Dorothy Winstone Centre

Auckland Girls Grammar School

Howe Street, Auckland

Tickets: $20 at a number of Indian retail stores

Contact: Amit Sengupta on (09) 6295278 or 022-4249269

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