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Birmingham Thyagaraja Festival 2017

Birmingham Thyagaraja Festival (BTF) is an annual nation wide music and dance festival hosted by ShruthiUK in the West Midlands.

The prestigious festival is to pay humble musical tribute to the great Singing Saint and composer, Thyagaraja, one of the trinities of South Indian Classical music (Carnatic music).
The event features music and dance by children and adults, alongside professional musicians from all across the country. Children and young adults and older people from various communities are encouraged to participate in this event, come together through arts and provide a cultural diaspora to the community in the West Midlands and elsewhere.
The event took place on the 2nd of April, at the Dove House Theatre in Solihull from 4.30 pm- 8.30 pm and is attended by distinguished dignitaries from all across the country.
The Chief guest for the evening was His Excellency Dr. Aman Puri, Consul General of India, Birmingham and the Mayor and Mayoress of Solihull Cllr Mike Robinson and Mayoress Mrs.Jenny Robinson.
The event was presided by our Guru Vid Shri Neyveli Santhanagopalan who is also a Patron of the British Carnatic Choir and HM’s Former Lord Lt od WM, Mr.Paul Sabapathy CBE.
We were extremely fortunate to be performing before Guru Neyveli Ji and very grateful to him for taking his valuable time to be here amidst a very hectic schedule.

The performances by young children and adults was greatly appreciated. Professional and upcoming musicians also had a great opportunity to showcase their talents before the august audience.
It was a packed audience of around 165 people who witnessed this humble contribution to the great singing saint and composer Shri.Thyagaraja.

Honours and Felicitations

ShruthiUK honoured two outstanding women during this year’s festival for their outstanding contribution in the fields of Engineering and performing arts.

Dr.Nazira Karodia – Dean of Faculty of Engineering, University of Wolverhampton for her immense contribution in the field of Life sciences and Education.

Mrs.Subatra Raguraman for her contribution in the field of Arts. Besides, it was a great moment to see all the leading Carnatic Gurus in the U.K. being honoured on the same stage for their dedication and commitment to train young children and adults in Carnatic music vocal, percussion and strings.

The names for the awardees were specially chosen by Guru Vid Neyveli Ji and the following Gurus were honoured:

Thanthri Vaadhya Shruthi Shiromani- Shri Balu Raguraman

Gaayaka Shruthi Shiromani- Shri Vamshikrishna Vishnudas

Veena Vaadhana Shruthi Shiromani – Smt Subhatra Raguraman

Thanthri Vaadhya Shruthi Shiromani- Shri Ayyakannu Gnanasundaram Desigar

Nandi Vaadhya Shuthilaya Shiromani – Shri Somasundaram Desigar

The event concluded with a brief lec dem by Guru Vid. Shri Neyveli Santhanagopalan ji on Thyagaraja, his message to the humanity, the essence of his teachings, followed by the Pancharatna Krithi ‘Endaro Mahanubhavulu’ Both the audience and the performers felt a blissful musical experience when Guru Neyveli Ji sang the Pancha rathna krithi and we were transported to a different realm through Carnatic Music.

The feedback from the audience has been very positive and encouraging. It was a great evening with good music and dance and a great feeling of getting the blessings of Saint Thyagaraja.

It is our endeavour to celebrate this music and dance festival in a much grander manner next year. We look forward to receiving more artists from within the country and abroad to participate in this festival.

For more information, please visit www.shruthiuk.com

Audience Comment:

Attending the Birmingham Thyagaraja festival 2017 hosted by Chithra Ramakrishnan in Solihull on a perfect sunny Sunday afternoon took me back to my sweet childhood days in India. The venue was reverberated with some fine Carnatic music as budding artistes & seasoned singers performed & paid homage to the legendary composer- Saint Thyagaraja. The program schedule was tightly packed with abundant performances, which not only demonstrated the great organizational skills of Chithra & her team in putting together such a great event, but also her passion to promote South Indian Classical music in a place far away from India. The group rendition of the Pancharatna Krithi, led by Vid. Neyveli Santhanagopalan, filled with devotion & offering to Saint Thyagaraja was the icing on the cake, a perfect finale to a great evening. Mrs.G

BTF2017 – Small

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Message from Guru Vid Shri.Neyveli Santhanagopalan


Congratulatory message from the inspiring Guru, musicologist, legendary musician and recipient of the Sangeetha Natak Academy Award,  Shri.Neyveli R. Santhanagopalan

‘Thyagaraja was truly the Beethoven of Carnatic Music and his music and philosophy truly belongs to the entire world. It is so heartening to know that ShruthiUK and its founder Dr.Chithra Ramakrishnan  is propagating our rich legacy throughout the UK, keeping the values embedded in it in tact. I would like to pray and bless her laudable efforts on this great occasion.’





Dr S V Sharma MBE, DL

My wife and I were pleased to attend Thyagaraja festival celebrations recently at Solihull organised by ShruthiUK on 12th March.

Dr Chithra Ramakrishnan FRSA is a very talented person, good teacher, good organiser and good person. She arranged the function very well with participation by children, performers from London and elsewhere. The function was to Honour Women on International Women’s Day – for their contribution to women empowerment and help the other women to pursue their passion.
Music and dance cross the boundaries of language and culture, easily understood, spreading the message of love and peace.
Chithra deserves congratulations and we look forward to many such occasions in the future where the fragrance of love and respect spreads through her dance and music enriching the culture of West Midlands and UK.

Dr S V Sharma MBE, DL.

Deputy Lieutenant, West Midlands
Patron, Interfaith Wolverhampton
President, Black Country division, BMA.
Chair, Promoting Organ Donation (POD),UK
Chair, India UK (INUK) Forum
Chair, SSMF Charitable Trust


Chris Reed is Head of Care Services at Acorns in Birmingham. He has a long history with the Hospice joining Acorns in 1991 as a staff nurse at Selly Oak later moving to the Black Country hospice as Deputy Head Nurse when it opened in 1999. He left the organisation in 2003 to work with neuromuscular charities returning in 2008 in his present senior role leading the Hospice in Selly Oak.

Acorns currently care for over 800 children and their families, including those who are bereaved. However, we know there are many more children and families who need our help. Over the last 10 years Acorns has developed a wide-ranging growth strategy for delivering palliative care to 1000 children and their families wherever it is needed each year by the end of the decade. It is Chris’ job to deliver Acorns services across Birmingham, Coventry and Warwickshire to our diverse population.

‘The work done by ShruthiUK with children’s charities such as Acorns Children’s Hospice, whom I represent is amazing. Music and dance transcends any culture, language or disability. Children with significant disabilities or sensory problems can enjoy what the artist can provide and in many cases join in; even if this is only in some small way. And that’s where the magic is; participation and involvement. Keep up all your good work!

I attended the festival with my wife and 7 year old daughter and arrived as children were singing on the stage. There is a certain soothing reassurance of hearing children singing which tells you everything is good. The South Indian rhythms, beats and harmonies performed by the artists were very beautiful and skilfully crafted, worthy of recording, producing and listening to again and again. They certainly got our feet tapping. The traditional dancing was colourful, intricate and delicate. The costumes and make up amazing. With the aromas coming from the kitchen as lunch was prepared and the Carnatic melodies and dance being performed before you it could almost be imagined you were in India. We all thoroughly enjoyed the experience and look forward to future opportunities of experiencing this again. Thanks for inviting us.’

Prof.Deirdre Kelly

I was born and brought up in India and am familiar with the many colourful religious and cultural festivals of India. However, I was not expecting to find such an oasis of Indian culture, talent and friendship as I found at the recent Birmingham Thyagaraja Festival 2016.

My husband and I were delighted to have been invited to be part of the Festival and thoroughly enjoyed the magical dancing, music and delicious food.

It was particularly special for me as I was being honoured as part of International Women’s Day for my work caring for children and young people with liver disease at Birmingham Children’s’ Hospital Liver Unit.

It was a day to remember.

Role model women

Role model’ women honoured at Carnatic Culture music festival
for details view this link:

Birmingham Thyagaraja Festival

Schedule of Events

Arrivals, registrations: 10.50 am
Entry fee: £ 10 adults, £ 6 children (includes lunch)

Welcome and introductions: 11.00 am

Programme presentation- 11.10 am

Lunch: 1.00 pm – 2.00 pm

Programmes will continue during lunch break

Honouring women for the International Women’s Day 2.00 pm
To celebrate women’s achievements locally, nationally and internationally

Presentation of awards, honours and certificates


Vote of thanks

Pancharatna Krithis – 3.30. pm – 4. 00 pm

Timings are approximate and may be subject to change

Awards and Honours

Honouring women for the International Women’s Day celebrations

Councillor Ann Evelyn Lucas OBE
Leader of Coventry City Council

Councillor Ann Lucas OBE was born in Coventry in July 1949 and has lived in Coventry all her life. She has been married for 44 years to Ray, has two children – Claire, a teacher at a local school, and Ray Junior, a salesman – and six grandchildren.
She joined the Labour party in 1978 and was the union rep at Whitley Council between 1967-72. She was the GMB (hotel and catering) shop steward between 1978 and 1988. She is Chair of the Bablake Ward Labour Party, and the vice-chair of Coventry North West Labour Party. Ann is also a member of the National Policy Forum, which gives grass root political input to shadow ministers at Westminster. She is a member of Labour Party’s ruling National Executive Committee and is National Champion for domestic violence issues.
Ann was a Coventry City Council Ward Councillor for Bablake Ward between 1995-99 and was re-elected in the Holbrook Ward in 2000.
At Coventry City Council, Ann has held Cabinet positions in Social Services and Culture and Leisure, and was Cabinet member for Health and Community Services before becoming Leader of the Council in May 2013. She is the first female leader of Coventry City Council.
Ann has been a Board Director for Coventry and Warwickshire Local Enterprise Partnership since May 2013 and she chairs the management committee of a local advice and counselling service and is a governor for two school in Coventry.
Ann was awarded an OBE in the Queen’s New Year Honours List this year.
Ann lists her interests as reading, politics, dancing, socialising, and eating out. She is a Coventry City Football Club fan, is a season ticket holder and has been going to Highfield Road (and now the Ricoh!) since 1962. She has had a flying lesson, joined a white water rafting team to raise funds for cystic fibrosis and has done a parachute jump to raise funds for Baby Lifeline.

Prof. Dierdre Kelly CBE DL, Birmingham Children’s Hospital

Deirdre Kelly was born in Calcutta, India and educated in Ireland. She is a graduate of Trinity College, Dublin. She trained in adult gastroenterology and hepatology and paediatric hepatology in Ireland, the U K and the USA. She set up the Liver Unit at Birmingham Children’s Hospital in 1989 and developed it into an international unit. Her special clinical interests are caring for children with all forms of liver disease, but especially viral hepatitis. Deirdre runs an active research programme focusing on viral hepatitis in children, molecular genetics of inherited liver disease, quality and outcome of life following liver and/or intestinal transplantation. – See more at:http://www.health.org.uk/our-people/board-governors/professor-deirdre-kelly-cbe#sthash.1CheSaSt.dpuf
Her research interests include development of stem cell therapy, molecular genetics of inherited liver disease; treatment of viral hepatitis; immunosuppression and quality and outcome life following transplantation.

She is on the Council of the General Medical Council (2013-) and is an Associate Non Executive Director at Royal Wolverhampton NHS Trust (2013-). She is also Chair of the New Congenital Heart Disease Review: Clinicians Group (2013-) and is a member of the Advisory Group on Hepatitis (2010-). She was a Commissioner on the Care Quality Commission (2008-2013) and Healthcare Commission (2007- 2009). She was Medical Director of the Children’s Hospital (2000-2007).

Deirdre has been a Member of the Advisory Committee on the Committee on the Safety of Blood, Tissues and Organs (SABTO) (2008-2013). She established and was Chair of the Birmingham Children’s Hospital Ethics Advisory Group (2003-2010). She has been President of the European Society of Paediatric Gastroenterology, Hepatology and Nutrition (ESPGHAN) (2006-2010) and President of the British Society for Paediatric Gastroenterology, Hepatology and Nutrition (BSPGHAN) (2004-2007) and the International Paediatric Transplant Association (IPTA) (2002-2005). She was also Chairman of the Lunar Society (2007-2009). –

Councillor Narinder Kaur Kooner

Vice Chair, Corporate Resources Overview & Scrutiny Committee
Chair, Jobs & Skills Board, Perry Barr District
Councillor, Handsworth Wood Ward

Narinder is a British born Sikh woman living with her husband and four children in Birmingham.
She has a strong work ethic and has served as a Birmingham City Councillor in the Handsworth Wood ward since May 2006. During this time she has held a number of key leadership roles including Shadow Cabinet Member for Leisure, Sport and Culture; Chair of Trusts and Charities Committee; Chair of Partnerships, Contract Performance and Third Sector Overview & Scrutiny Committee; Vice Chair Corporate Resources Overview & Scrutiny Committee and Chair of Jobs & Skills Board. She has been instrumental in influencing policy making and driving efficiencies in local government service delivery. This includes scrutinising the £150m Service Birmingham Contract and also progressing the Highbury Hall Options Appraisal within two months of taking up the position.
Narinder has worked with, supported and empowered a number of community groups in the government’s Localism agenda and assisted them to become self sustainable. She has strong links with businesses, voluntary, third sector and community organisations within the city. She also has a passion to create opportunities whenever possible and to tackle the unemployment issue in Birmingham which has led to organising five jobs fairs for local residents, resulting in the creation of employment, apprenticeship and training opportunities.
Narinder is a strong advocate and has worked on a variety of human rights and community issues on a local, national and international arena. In 2014 she led an international campaign to assist a family who had lost their child as a result of neglect by doctors during a visit to India. Narinder led a strong campaign, which resulted with dealing directly with the Indian government and in this landmark case, she managed to repatriate the organs within six months.
She is one of the Directors of S.W.A.N. (Sikh Women’s Action Network), an organisation which is looking to work with in partnership with statutory organisations to feed into policy, influence service delivery, raise awareness and address issues that exist within communities that are not openly addressed. She has utilised her contacts in the community, media and the business sector, as well as hosting community engagement activities to achieve the objectives of SWAN

Introducing ‘Bhakthi Sangeett’

Registrations open: Calling out all artists, musicians, percussionists and music lovers. If you would like to perform at the Birmingham Thyagaraja Festival, please mail your details to thyagarajafestival@shruthiuk.com

Date: Saturday 12th March 2016

Birmingham Thyagaraja Festival 2016

Preserving the South ‘Indian Classical arts in the UK

The popular annual festival which celebrates the life of Thyagaraja, the famous South Indian singing Saint & composer, through a showcase of Classical music and dance. This year’s event will feature, again, talented children & adults and a brilliant diaspora of professional artists from all across the UK

Come and experience the vibrant colors & sounds of the rich South Indian Classical arts brought to you by ShruthiUK, a leader in promoting and preserving the rich Indian culture and heritage through South Indian Classical arts.

Date: Saturday 12th March 2016

Venue: Dorridge Village Hall, Grange Road, Solihull B93 8QA

Time: 11.00AM to 4.00PM

for more info please Email. thyagarajafestival@shruthiuk.com or contact Dr. Ramakrishnan@ 07875472307

alternatively to find out more about the event, also about ShruthiUK and its many other achievements and activities so far please visit our site www.shruthiuk.com

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