Music school plans celestial wedding

More than 40 singers, dancers and musicians will combine their talents to pay homage to Annamacharya, one of the greatest songwriters and saints of India at a programme due to be held on Saturday 25 May, 2013 from 530 pm at Dorothy Winstone Centre, Auckland Girls Grammar School.

‘Annamayya Padahela’ this year would follow the format of a celestial wedding, extolling the power, grace and virtues of Lord Venkateswara, in whose praise Saint Annamacharya spent much of his mortal life in the 15th century.

Sangeetha Bharathi School of Music is organising the programme featuring Annamacharya’s compositions corresponding to ‘Sankeerthana Kalyanothsavam’ of Lord Venkateswara by students of the school rendering vocal music accompanied by Dr Suresh Ramachandra, his students, Raman Eswaran (Mridangam), Dr Ashok Malur and Syamala Hariharan (Violin).

Ratna Venkat and students of Himabindu Sannidhanam school of Indian Dances will perform Indian classical dances to the songs of the Saint.

Sangeetha Bharathi Principal Padma Govardhan said that although not for profit, the programme, which also marks tenth anniversary of the institution, has a modest entry fee of $10 for adults and $5 for seniors and children.

“We intend donating the surplus collection to Shri Shirdi Sai Sansthan of New Zealand Inc to finance its Temple project. Group chanting of Vishnu Sahasranamam will precede the programme at 5 pm,” she said.

Praising Lord

According to records, Thallapaka Annamacharya, popularly called Annamayya (1408-1503), was among the earliest South Indian composers of songs called ‘Sankirtanas’ in praise of Lord Venkateswara, the Deity of Seven Hills in Tirumala (Andhra Pradesh), where unbroken worship has been offered for more than 12 centuries.

Annamayya became Annamacharya when he was eight years old after sage Ghana Vishnu converted him into a Vaishnavaite at Tirumala.

Mrs Govardhan said that Annamacharya’s compositions are floral offerings to God.

“He praises Venkateswara, describes his love for Him, argues and quarrels with the Lord, confesses the devotee’s failures and apprehensions, and surrenders himself to the Lord. His songs are classified into Adhyaatama and Sringaara Sankirtanas,” she said.

What: Annamayya Padahela

By Who: Sangeetha Bharathi Music School

When: Saturday, May 25, 2013 at 530 pm

Where: Dorothy Winstone Centre,

Auckland Girls Grammar School

Newton, Auckland

Tickets: $10 per person Students under 14 Free

Contact: Padma Govardhan on (09) 6245922

Govardhan Mallela on 021-1455708

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