CARVA (C.A.Rajasekar's Violin Academy), in an effort to foster carnatic music and to instill a greater appreciation and inspiration conducts the CARVA festival on the 1st Saturday of September every year. This event is now a tradition of CARVA as much as their yearly trip to thiruvaiyAru.
As part of the festival, every student of CARVA perform in groups (based on their level of learning) in front of a huge audience. The incentive of stage ascension adds to the enthusiasm and gives a greater sense of accomplishment towards learning. The program is sectioned for pupils of different levels of learning - from geethams to krithis, are orchestrated and practiced over ≈30 sessions.
As a grand culmination for the event, students of almost all levels perform together for a Grand Ensemble in unison. Rendering bhajans, patriotic songs and other popular flicks the houseful crowd sands testimonial to the quality of performance.
The reverence for the teacher as emphasized in the Indian Scriptures is hardly evident in society but for in fine arts. What was quoted as - "mAthA pithA guru deivam" (Mother-Father-Teacher-God) as the prescribed order of reverence by a person is comming to become "mAtha pithA gOOgle deivam" (Google replacing the role of a teacher) . Fine arts seem to be the last stand with the remnants of Gurukulam . And CARVA provided me with a taste of it by giving me an opportunity to be of help to my guru in organizing and conducting the events.
Eight months since my joining for the fine art was my first opportunity of stage ascension. The sense of confidence to perform on stage is probably the best visible result above all. From little kids to people who have been learning for 6/7 years, the fear factor is hardly noticeable after the 1st participation.
Needless to say the presence of the mass of students during the practice sessions, reherseal and the program is the most electrifying part of the experience. Although the students might not be perfects in comparison with professionals and experienced violinists, it is the spirit with which the students strive to play which remains important. Given to the response of the audience the program is being conducted every year despite the undue time & effort that is required for it.
The highlight of our performance in 2005 is given to a special piece played during the Grand Ensemble. Traditionally the violin is played using the bow be it in Indian or Western Classical. For the 1st time in India CARVA has orchestrated over 100+ amateur students in playing a piece by plucking the instrument. With our guru playing the melody and pupils playing the chords it was a very unique experience for all. The theme of the piece set in western was a an enchanting experience for one and all.
To feel the magic of the CARVA festival, listen to select tracks on the sidebar to the right. I have selected the senior most two groups since the songs are long enough to potray their deftness. The songs of the grand ensemble should give you an idea of how difficult it is to achieve with 100+ amateure artists.