An evening of unique music
Keerthanai Peruvizha was an effort to remind churches of Tamil hymns, their original ragas and composers.
Different: One of the groups that performed at the music festival.
The rhythm of the tabla and the notes of the harmonium set the tone for a different musical evening. In a departure from familiarity, Keerthanai Peruvizha, organised by the All Souls Church, Race Course, saw the Parish hall awash with Carnatic music.
As churches now resort to singing choruses, hymns and other contemporary songs, Keerthanai singing in the original ragas is fading. So, this was a special musical festival.
For Rev. Jeyaseelan, presbyter of the church, it was a proud occasion, as an English congregation had taken this initiative.
Exposure for youth
As Christopher, secretary of the church, explains, “We hope to expose youngsters, who are so much in tune with rap and pop, to Carnatic music. Most of the participants had formally learnt the art.
For accompaniments, they brought along the tabla, harmonium and veena. The keyboard, violin and electric guitar added a contemporary flavour to the melodies.”
The veena performances by Viji Kennedy and Reuben Jeyaseelan (who played a few familiar numbers) set the tone for the evening.
A few Malayalam numbers were rendered by Abraham Vergheese of the Marthoma Church, Coimbatore, and Mrs. Subhanandharaj from Chennai ( ‘Yesu Naamam’ in Anandabhairavi).
The audience was visibly moved when veteran singer Gnanambigai Ammal was assisted on to the stage for her performance. ‘Undhan Suya Madhiyae’ was a melodious rendition by TELC from Coimbatore.
Bishop Appasamy College of Arts and Science performed ‘Thothiram Pughal’ keertanam in Anandabairavi. ‘Karunakara Deva’ was rendered in Khambodi by Rev. Anabalagan and Dorcus.
The Women’s Fellowship of All Souls Church, so used to singing English hymns, gave this genre a shot, singing ‘Seerthiri Yaegavasthae’ in Purvikalyani. Joyce Jeyaseelan rendered the solo, ‘Irangum Irangum’ in Manirangu.
The team from CSI Church, Varadarajapuram, the last on stage, sang ‘Senaigalin Kartharay’ in Bilahari.
Other numbers included those by Christ Church, Tiruchi Road, a solo performance by Immanuel Church, Exodus Music Ministries (Madurai) and Brough Memorial Choir (Erode).
Keerthanai Peruvizha was an effort to remind churches of the Tamil hymns, their original ragas and the composers, and the eager participants proved that this art form will be preserved.
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