Tuesday, April 28, 2009

Kodai Music Festival

The picturesque mountain town of Kodaikanal in South India hosted this new venture in aid of Corsock’s Mercy Home [a residential facility for the destitute elderly] to commemorate the twentieth anniversary of the first Kodai Music festival held in 1989. The 4 day program conducted under the auspices of the SoEx department at KIS included daytime master classes and workshops followed by evening concerts featuring world renowned artists.

The following musicians performed:
On Friday Kodai’s own Oliver Rajamani, a KIS alumnus currently based in Austin, Texas who is famed for his groundbreaking multi-instrumental performances that trace the 1000 year old migration of the gypsies from India to Europe; the virtuoso guitar and violin duo of Louise Southwood and David France from Bermuda School of Music; Ashaman Gray performed a classical piece on Thursday evening before Louise and David; Saturday’s concert featured the Bangalore band Allegro Fudge, Billy Yesudian, Sid Vashi & the Burmese Army (current KIS students) and David Estes (Class of ’90) and friends. Thanks to Dheena Chandradas for engineering the sound and lighting provided by Johny DeMello of Chennai. Thanks also to all the people from the Kodai community who donated food that was sold on the Friday and Saturday evenings as well as donors and well wishers who all helped put the event together.

Evening concerts were held on the Kodaikanal International school campus. The Kodaikanal boat club hall overlooking the Kodai lake provided an intimate indoor setting for master classes and workshops. As always when the stars appear, fireside after-parties and impromptu jam sessions got going in inimitable Kodai style. The Kodai Music festival was one of a kind, a rare and unique musical feast in one of India’s most beautiful hill resorts. All of the proceeds from the festival and all related donations and contributions went directly to benefit CORSOCK’s Mercy Home through the Social Experience department of KIS. Accounts are still being finalized but it looks at a conservative estimate as if at least Rs100,000 was raised.