Indian Music Returns to A Little Lunch Music

Members of the 2018 Auburn Indian Music Ensemble pose as a group.

Jule Collins Smith Museum of Fine Art presents A Little Lunch Music with The Auburn Indian Music Ensemble on Thursday, Oct. 18 at from Noon to 1 p.m. in the Grand Gallery. The program will feature Indian classical, semi-classical, and folk music using traditional and modern instruments. The free concert is supported in party by a gift by friends of the series. The café menu is available online.

The AUBURN INDIAN MUSIC ENSEMBLE led by Chaitra Gururaja comprises Auburn University students, faculty, and community members in a semester-long class where they learn fundamentals of Indian classical and semi-classical music. The students in the group come from varied musical, educational and cultural backgrounds, bringing a rich diversity of experiences with them.

This music is based on the system of ragas (melodies) and talas (rhythms). Indian music is both elaborate and expressive with emphasis on improvisation. The vocal performances of the group feature a variety of traditional instruments such as harmonium (organ), tabla (drums) and tanpura (drone). Bansuri (bamboo flute), sitar (six-stringed lute) and veena (South Indian lute) are instruments that are sometimes featured in the group’s compositions.

Members of the fall 2018 class are Miles Horne on Sitar; Samuel Price and Ameya Kolarkar on percussion; Chelsea Cowan and Lakshmi Krishnaprasad on flute; Rasika Ramesh on Veena; Gauri Desai performing Kathak dance; and Edward Denton, William Skinner, Natalie Wire, Pavani Ankireddy, Savannah Blow, and Elizabeth Pittman on vocals.

Members of the 2018 Auburn Indian Music Ensemble pose as a group.

Sitting Left to Right: Ameya kolarkar, Sam Price, iishir Kolarkar, Rasika Ramesh, Miles Horne, Pavani Ankireddy Standing left to Right: Lakshmi Krishnaprasad, Savannah Blow, Natalie Wire, Chaitra Gururaja, Edward Denton, William Skinner, Gauri Desai, Chelsea Cowan.

Chaitra Gururaja is the instructor and leader of the Auburn Indian Music Ensemble.

Trained in classical and semi-classical traditions of South India, CHAITRA GURURAJA has been the director of the Auburn Indian Music Ensemble since fall 2018. She has been an empaneled artist for South Indian music on All India Radio in Bengaluru and an artist affiliate and director of the South Indian Music Ensemble at Emory University in Atlanta.

Through her cultural entrepreneurial initiative, Sunada Acadamy of Music and Yoga, she is striving to bring the music of the East to the West to further cross-cultural understanding. Since 2008, she has been training students in America in South Indian classical music, or Carnatic music, since 2008, and has students learning online from different parts of the country.

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