Wednesday, August 13, 2008

Inaugural Ashu Babu Memorial Tabla School Concert

At last the long awaited day came: on Saturday myself and 12 of my students played tabla in Sunnybank Community Hall in the first student concert of my new tabla school in Brisbane, the Ashu Babu Memorial Tabla School.

It was a wonderful evening, the atmosphere thick with love and devotion. All the kids did their level best and I'm so proud of them all. And all the parents were so happy.

My old student and fellow disciple of Guru-ji, Liz Campbell, gave an inspiring speech telling of her experiences learning tabla in India, the importance of practice and enjoying practice.

Many many thanks to all who helped, most especially Joseph Nand who not only accompanied every tabla solo on harmonium and gave a lot of time for practice, but also provided the sound system and arranged for a friend to manage it - and the sound was great all night.

Also thanks to Brent James for these beautiful photos:

The altar - a large black and white photo of Guru-ji at his peak in the 1950s. Thanks to Megan for the flowers and Brent for the printing.

Dan Prasad, one of my first students, brought singers from the Sri Saileshwara Temple to open the proceedings with bhajans in honour of the guru.

Navdha Kumar (6)

Thejan Elankayer (8)

Kanhaiya Kumar (8)

Shayne Prakash (12)

Krishanu Debroy (12)

Jesinthan Ketheeswaran (14)

Sanjeyan Sivaananthan (12)

Indveer Singh (10)

Sam Mead (18)

Arka Basu (12)

Neal Krishan Singh (17)

The whole class, plus myself, Liz and Dan just after presentation of the certificates. Down the left-hand side of the certificates, I placed pictures of the 7 generations of guru-student tradition (guru-shishya parampara) from the progenitor of the Benares Gharana, Pt Ram Sahai (1780-1824) down to myself. (Thanks to Shawn Mativetsky for the great photos and info on his website about our great Varanasi tabla tradition.)

After the break I played a 40 minute tabla solo, and really felt a great mood.

Guru-ji was with us that night.


Shawn said...

Dear Shen,

Looks like it was a great event. Congratulations on this first edition, and best wishes for all the future years. Likewise, I hope to be able to attend one of your events someday.

Take care,

Yuki  said...

Beautiful nightだね:)

vamp said...

wow shen - you must be so proud of your students .. those photos alone speak a thousand words!

ps. yep, it's V - finally a blogger on here :)

Anonymous said...

Dear Shen,
Lots of greetings and congratulations for this great achievement ! I have been following your blog for the past years and I am very happy about your success. Guruji is certainly very happy as well.
All the Best , hope to meet you again someday somewhere!
Roland, your gurubhai from Germany