Magadhi orchestra provides children from smaller towns an opportunity to perform in public

From a lilting ‘Chittukuruvi’ to an upbeat ‘Pothuvaga En Manasu’ a la Rajinkanth style and the latest ‘Soi Soi’ with rustic overtones, the orchestra performing at SBI bank, Cantonment, entertained the audience for three hours straight on Sunday evening – only the singers were all between six and 16.

While in recent years reality shows have been propelling children with singing talent to the limelight much earlier than their yesteryear counterparts, the Magadhi children’s orchestra in Karur has been providing children from smaller towns an opportunity to perform in public for the last six years.

The troupe has 15 to 20 members who are trained in singing and are each capable of playing at least three instruments, says P.S.Loganathan, director and conductor of the troupe. Except for Loganathan and a friend who conducts the music, all other members are children. The troupe is handpicked from the students who learn music at Loganathan’s Sashruthi Music Academy. “If you notice, children change places after every song. They can all sing, play the keyboard, bass guitar and drums,” says Mr.Loganathan.

The youngest members of the troupe are Jitendra Prasad and Divyadarshan, both six years old. The duo performed the mellow ‘Maasila Unmai Kathale’ from the MGR starrer, ‘Alibababuv Narpathu Thirudargalum’ to lusty applause. The two children, like their team mates, have entered the India Book of Records, says their instructor. “The songs usually encompass three or four generations. So they perform numbers from movies that neither they nor their parents have seen.”

The children have performed as a troupe in cities like Tiruchi, Coimbatore and Salem, says Loganathan. “We assure that the event or the songs do not belittle the children’s dignity in any way,” he says.

Around 60 performers have passed out of the troupe and have set national records, contested reality shows, sung on television performed live in concerts. One of the troupe members, T.S.D.Sibi lent his voice for two numbers in films. The children’s orchestra has also had P.Susheela, Anuradha Sriram and Deepan Chakravarthy sing along on different occasions.