Carnatic music for childhood cancer awareness – Star Local Media

For more than 10 years, six high school students have studied Carnatic music, five of whom have studied under the instruction of Subha Ramanan in Plano. Over the weekend these students put their years of training and passion toward a good cause. 

“I’m fortunate to be living the life that I do, going to school, hanging out with friends and family, but when I think about children with cancer – some as young as 5 or 6 years old – I find it really unfortunate that their lives aren’t as easy as ours,” said Kavya Narayanan.

The six students, Narayanan, Krithi Bharadwaj, Aahir Srinath, Sharanya Vunnava, Shreyas Subramanian and Vishal Narla organized “Naada Daanam: Carnatic For A Cure,” a benefit concert to raise funds for St. Jude Children’s Research Hospital Saturday evening at the Mesquite Arts Center.

“We chose this name for our fundraiser because not only do we have the desire to help these wonderful children, but we have the desire to do so through out shared love for music,” Vunnava said.

The combined motto of the students is “Use the power of music for noble causes.”

Carnatic Music is a popular, traditional form of classical music from southern India with emphasis on  rāga (the melodic identity), śruti (the relative musical pitch) and  tāla (the rhytmic cycle). It is presented through rich compositions that have been passed down over hundreds of years and through several varieties of improvisation. It is believed that Carnatic music has therapeutic and healing effects.

“I think it’s admirable that St. Jude has had such a profound impact on the lives of children all over the world,” said Srinath.

“In 1962, the survival rate for acutelymphoblastic leukemia was a mere 4 percent,” said Subramanian. “Over the past 65 years that rate has grown to a staggering 94 percent, the highest in the nation, due to treatments invented at St. Jude Children Research Hospital.”

The concert was a sold-out event that featured over 65 young classical musicians who came together to present rich compositions in Carnatic music. This event raised over $8,500 for St. Jude Children’s Research Hospital to provide free treatment for children in cancer treatment.

“St. Jude’s daily operating cost is about $2 million that primarily comes from public contribution,” Narla said. “With many nonprofit organizations throughout the country that run campaigns and raise millions of dollars, this ensures that families do not have to pay for food, travel, treatment or housing.”

“Thanks to St. Jude Research Hospital, more than 80 percent of cancer patients have fought cancer,” Bharadwaj added.

The nonprofit organization, Indian Cultural Heritage Foundation (ICHF), facilitated the event, and the students released the check in the presence of Mayor Stan Pickett.

Internationally acclaimed violin artist Lalgudi Vijayalakshmi presided as the chief guest of the event. She gave a speech commending the cause and the quality of music presented at the event.


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