The aim of Sumanasa Foundation is to identify potential and showcase it.

There is hope for young talent in the field of music. Sumanasa Foundation offers platform for aspirants, who otherwise find it tough to get a breakthrough. “Talent is aplenty. Only it has to be tapped,” says T.M. Krishna, who is at the helm of the foundation. Co-founder is S. Hariharan, an IT professional and ardent follower of Carnatic music, from Mumbai.

Talent, here, means also scouting beyond Chennai and Tamil Nadu. “Yes. The idea is to bring aspirants from Andhra, Karnataka and so on and make them perform here; worthy ones will get an opportunity during Season,” Krishna explains. The foundation has tied up with five sabhas – the Music Academy, Sri Krishna Gana Sabha, Narada Gana Sabha, Parthasarathy Swamy Sabha and Brahma Gana Sabha. “Representatives from these sabhas will attend the concerts and choose those who deserve to be given slots during the December festival. The talent could be vocal or instrument, including pakkavadyam,” he elaborates.

Krishna, however, emphasises that the concept is not Season-centric. “We notice young people during the Season. But they go missing after some time, for lack of opportunities. The foundation was formed to fill this gap. The idea is nothing recent. It has been in vogue for six years but it has got the fillip with the entry of the sabhas,” he explains.

“The sabhas get hundreds of applications from aspiring musicians. It is not possible for them to go through all of this and do justice. Sumanasa will spot the talent and the sabhas will take it from there,” he adds. Earlier efforts to nurture talent by sponsoring concerts were not effective. The candidates simply did not get a chance to perform. The link with sabhas changes all that, he believes.

More exciting is the idea of inviting young and talented persons to learn music from renowned masters in Chennai and showcase them. Krishna gratefully acknowledges the support given by veterans such as Vijay Siva, Shriramkumar and Vittal Ramamurthi, who were willing to teach. Incidentally, it was Shriramkumar, who chose the name Sumanasa for the organisation.

The expenses of living in a new place and the difficulties of pursuing education should not be deterrents, it was thought. The foundation decided to help in such cases by providing financial aid. At least six pupils are being groomed right now.

“The person who first helped us spot the first two students from Dharmasthala area was Vittal Ramamurthy (919444021850). They are Pramod and Prabhath, who are learning from Vijay Siva. We have Purna Prajna, student of Poorna Siva (919441267272) from Tirupati and Pannaga, who is learning from B. Ganapathiraman (919444253979). They will take the bow when the gurus feel they are ready,” Krishna informs.

The Foundation will conduct ‘utsAha,’ a series of concerts by its protégés, every four months. The first goes on stream at Raga Sudha Hall, May 14-17, 6.30-8.45 p.m. The performers are Vandana (vocal), J.A. Jayanth (flute), C.S. Sajeev (vocal) and Vinay Sharva (vocal).

“We are optimistic that at the end of the year, 40-50 young musicians will emerge. At least we’ll have the satisfaction of creating a level playfield,” concludes an enthusiastic Krishna.

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