Hyderabad’s Swarnam School of Music (SSM) to present Samastha, a Carnatic music concert with a touch of choir

Retaining elements unique to each style, the concert seeks to provide a holistic festival experience

May 19, 2023 06:46 pm | Updated 06:46 pm IST

During rehearsals

During rehearsals | Photo Credit: Special arrangement

This concert blends Carnatic and Western music styles in one performance. Eighty musicians, between the ages of four and 60-plus, students of city-based Swarnam School of Music (SSM). will present a Carnatic choir concert, Samastha, at the Centre for Cultural Resources and Training (CCRT) in Hyderabad.

It will be a lively presentation by the singers, all dressed alike, promises SSM founder Preethi Gopalan Deshmukh. She asserts it is not a fusion of styles. “We retain all that makes Carnatic music unique while borrowing a few elements of Western music,” she says. Even as she maintains that the lineup is a surprise, she says that the concert seeks to provide a holistic festive experience as the pieces are regional and local to festivals of the southern states.

Preethi Gopalan Deshmukh

Preethi Gopalan Deshmukh | Photo Credit: Special arrangement

“The songs are a tribute to the rich cultural roots of Carnatic music. The pieces in Sanskrit, Telugu, Tamil, Kannada, Marathi, Malayalam and English portray diversity within classical music; We also hope to pay a tribute to composers such as Yedla Ramadasu, Muthaiyya Bhagavatar and Subbarayya Sastri,” she says.

The accompanying artists include Aparna (violin), Siddhesh (flute), Sandeep Kumar (ghatam), Aravind (morsing), D Jayakumar Acharya (tabla) and K Veeraswamy (mridangam), Sreeram Aditya (lead vocalist of Hyderabad-based independent band Kalakaarii) has done the music arrangement.

Students during rehearsals

Students during rehearsals | Photo Credit: Special arrangement

“The singers who have been practising for four months now attempt techniques such as blending, harmonisation and a capella, not usually heard in Carnatic music. “We are trying to bring two genres of music together on stage while retaining elements that are unique to each style.”

The choir also has 20 school students from Zilla Parishad schools in Gachibowli and Film Nagar participating. The three-hour event will include the launch of two books Abhyasa and Sadhana. Written by Preethi and illustrated by 14-year-old SSM student Smrithi Sriram Phaneswar, the books, which will be available in stores and online, focus on old traditional learning concepts and music theory in a format that is easy to follow .

Samastha will be presented at CCRT on May 20, 5pm. Ticket: 400 on insider.in

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