My name is Arjun Chandra, and I am a 14 year old teenager entering my sophomore year of high school, at Dougherty Valley High school in  San Ramon. I will be performing my debut South Indian classical violin concert on August 4th 2019 at the Lakireddy auditorium, Shiva Vishnu Temple, Livermore. I will perform a variety of Carnatic music songs on the violin that I learned from my Guru Vidushi Smt. G. Bharathi, daughter of Sangita Kalanidhi Dr. M. Chandrasekaran. I will be accompanied on Mridangam by Laya Kala Rathna Sri. Ramesh Srinivasan, leading disciple of mridangam maestro Sangita Kalanidhi Vellore G. Ramabhadran, and on ghatam by renowned Ghatam Vidwan Sri. S.V. Ramani.

I did not think that I would be playing my violin debut concert this summer. My parents were primarily planning for my twin brother’s mridangam arangetram. Around the end of April, my Guru suggested that I was ready to have my debut violin concert as well! I was a bit hesitant as I felt that I was not ready. However, I was told that, when senior artists of such caliber express confidence, then, it is important to take such advice seriously. And pretty soon the debut concert started to become a reality, thanks to my Guru and the support from my family.

This concert will also serve a cause, where I will be raising awareness for “Sai Aashraya”, an organization that aims to provide high quality health, education and nutrition services free of cost to the needy across India. More than 1000 children are fed nutritious food every day. Free state-of-the-art medicare camps are conducted on a monthly basis in a South Indian village, and once every two months in the tribal areas of  Arunachal Pradesh. 

Sai Aashraya has been carrying out Gram Seva (Village Service) where the villages adopted are given holistic care with an aim to make them self sufficient. Five of these villages are in extremely remote areas near the Indo-China border In Arunachal Pradesh and one of them is in Dharmapuri in Tamil Nadu. Many other projects are conducted on a regular basis, as shared here: 

They have inspired many people, like me, to help people in need. Inspired by this organization, my friends and I have started making burritos every other week for homeless people on the streets of Oakland. Few families in the Tri-valley area take turns to serve simple breakfast everyday, to people on the streets, with the goal of connecting with them and understanding their needs. I truly believe in their cause. As their website says, “Sympathy for all mankind is a moral obligation and a duty“. 

Hope to see you at the concert to enjoy the music, and hope you get inspired by Sai Aashraya sharing. 

Event details: 

Date/time: August 4th, at 4 p.m.

Venue: Shiva Vishnu Temple, Lakireddy Auditorium, 1232 Arrowhead Avenue, Livermore, CA, 94551.

The concert typically goes for 2 hours, followed by dinner afterwards.