Neighbourhood sabha organisers aim at conducting in-person fest

They are not ruling out the possibility of going online

December 04, 2021 11:03 pm | Updated December 05, 2021 04:40 pm IST

File photo of the Marghazhi fest conducted by Valayyapatti Naadhalaya Kaashyap Trust in Nanganallur 

File photo of the Marghazhi fest conducted by Valayyapatti Naadhalaya Kaashyap Trust in Nanganallur 

If there are no severe restrictions in Chennai on account of the pandemic in the immediate future, a few sabha organisers are planning to host kutcheris in the suburbs this season. Neighbourhood sabhas have had some success in racking up a following during December Music Season. Marriage halls to ashram premises have served as venues for Carnatic music performances. A majority of them did not collect a fee from audience.

Nada Sudha, which hosts its music season at Ganapathi Sachidananda Ashram in Velachery, is planning a 10-day fest starting from December 25.

“We have rasikas from Pallikarnai, Velachery and Shollinganallur who attend our events but with the pandemic, there is hesitation over attending in-person shows,” says S Chandrasekaran, treasurer, Nada Sudha.

He points out that the sabha has been functioning for more than 10 years and its main aim is to promote young musicians.

“A hall at Guru Nanak College hall was our venue for some years before we moved to a space that has an air -conditioned hall that can accommodate 700 people,” says Chandrasekaran.

Last year, the sabha did not conduct any event as part of Marghazhi. “We do not want to have one more break in our calendar, so we are keen on conducting the music fest but if the situation warrants it, we will opt for a digital fest,” he says. Chandrsekaran says a studio has been rented for artistes to have shows recorded for the digital platform.

Valayyapatti Naadhalaya Kaashyap Trust is planning a three-day offline Marghazhi fest from December 23 at its favourite venue — Ranjini Hall in Nanganallur.

This is the Trust’s 27th year and it does not want to discontinue the tradition. In 2019, our programmes ran for seven days. “Last year, we had a digital festival where artistes recorded in a studio and we put it together,” says Magitha Malarvannan, whose husband Valayyapatti S Malarvannan is Trust’s secretary.

Honouring upcoming thavil and nadaswaram artistes with awards has been a practice with the trust.

“This year, we plan to have three shows a day featuring a young artiste, a professional and a popular musician at three time slots — 3 p.m., 4.30 p.m. and 6 p.m. respectively,” says Magitha.

She says Nanganallur does not need any branding for the Carnatic events as they have always had good turnouts. “This year we will have an audience; just that we need to ensure COVID protocols like social distancing and mask-wearing are strictly followed.”

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