CCA mesmerises audience with its mellifluous renditions

“If music can create a transformation in you, if it can turn your life, then cling on, it will give you bliss,” says Dr. T. Samuel Joseph, founder of Christian Cultural Academy (CCA). Popularly known as Shyaam, he is responsible for the growth of many physically challenged and under privileged youth in the field of music.

About 30 such youngsters rendered songs at a concert conducted by Shyaam recently at the Don Bosco auditorium. It was the 26 Christmas celebration function of CCA. Called ‘Songs of the Season,’ the concert was attended by Rt. Rev Bishop Dr. Esra Sargunam of ECI Churches of India. Stalwarts such as K.J. Yesudas, Chitra, O.S. Arun and others also regaled the audience with Christmas compositions. Jazz legend Frank Dubeir and his brass ensemble played Christmas medley. Drummer Anandan Sivamani and his team from Kerala, along with classical singer O.S. Arun, presented a 30-minute long fusion.

Every year during Christmas and the Lent season, the choir presents concerts in churches and other prominent venues. In order to help the younger generation learn music, Shyaam has compiled a music book, Yesu Pugazh Paaduvom, with both Indian and Western notations.

New trust

Apart from performing at various places, the CCA has also embarked on a new task. A trust — Christian Cultural Academy Charitable Trust — was started a year ago to help the under-privileged. According to Shyaam, the members of CCA brought happiness to the society through music, but they wanted to do something more than. Leaving the job of rehabilitating the physically challenged through music to youngsters, some members of CCA began to involve themselves in conducting medical camps and distributing aids to the needy.

The trust also conducts a number of medical camps in suburban areas and villages near the city. Members of the music troupe teach music to children of leprosy-affected parents in a colony in Villivakkam. The trust has donated tri-cycles, wheel chairs, sewing machines, musical instruments and clothes to physically challenged persons with help from philanthropists.

Musical journey

T. Samuel Joseph began his music career quite young. He has been trained in classical Carnatic (tutelage under Lalgudi Jayaraman for five to six years) and western music.

He has directed, composed and conducted music for over 350 films in various Indian languages — Malayalam, Tamil, Hindi and Bengali. Shyaam, touched by the sufferings of the physically challenged, wanted to not only reach out to them but also make them aware of their latent talents. So he founded the academy in 1986 along with a number of like-minded personalities.

“There is no age for music. Vocalists are a blessed lot as they attract the audience with their mellifluous gift. One can learn and perform as long as they have a sound knowledge of sruthi and laya,” says Shyaam. He is also of the view that performers those days didn’t have the help of technology and had to work hard to bring out their talent.

He has also played the violin for many Hindi and South Indian music composers.

Mellapo Mellapo and Anbullae Maan Vizhiyae are some of the popular Tamil hits he has worked for. He has also had the opportunity to work with legends such as Salil Chowdhury and MSV. For him, it is music which heals the heart, mind and soul.

People interested in sparing time for music can contact the CCA and use their talents for encouraging talented children. Physically challenged children with talents or aptitude for music can be brought to CCA. Companies and persons interested in supporting the cause of CCA can contact Dr. Shyaam at AO Dwaraka Apartments, 19, Puliyoor II Main Road, Trustpuram, Kodambakkam. Ph: 4213 4899 / 94440 05370.

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