Hindustani-award-winning vocalist Harini Rao ready to rock the stage at Raageshree
DECCAN CHRONICLE | Rachel Dammala
Hyderabad: Acclaimed Hindustani vocalist Harini Rao is all excited on the eve of Raageshree Academy's 8th annual students’ concert. The singer-teacher, who received recognition from stalwarts in Hindustani classical music like Dr Prabha Atre, Pt Jasraj, Veena Sahasrabuddhe, Padma Talwalkar, Pt Phalguni Mitra and also Carnatic vocalists such as Malladi Suribabu, Sudharani Manda and Malladi Brothers, and performed across the globe, has butterflies in her stomach ahead of her students' performance, yet believes they are all set to light up the stage.
Rao, who has been teaching for eight years, has always been passionate about doing what she so dearly loves. "These 30 students of mine are a diverse group — of different ages, classes, talent ability and more. Some of them joined us just a few months ago and some have been learning for more than six years," she said.
"This annual programme that we organise every year is a great opportunity for them all to get a taste of performing on a stage — for their loved ones and an audience they've never known or met."
The show will have multiple performances by students of different styles and types — some group and some very interesting solos.
A recipient of the Pandit Jasraj award for promising talent and excellence in Hindustani classical music in 2009, Rao later won awards instituted by the Government College of Music (Hyderabad) and Kala Sangam Group. She has also a few film songs to her credit and has won the Big FM Best Singer Award (female) for ‘Oka Lalana’ from the film ‘Jyo Achutananda.
Despite having come from a family of teachers — her father is an academic and her mother an educationist —Rao was sceptical about trying her hand at it. But with her guru pushing her she gave it a try and there was no looking back.
"I began to enjoy the process of teaching, it brings me to do much joy. I’m glad it’s going well and the number of students grew, kids and adults," she says and owes it all to her gurus Swati Phadke, Sandhya Kathavate and Manjusha Patil.
One can come expecting it to be a little window into what Hindustani classical music is like. "Little, because these students are still learning and it's still good, so anyone with an interest can see how great it is to start somewhere," she shares, adding that with this presentation, she hopes to break the 'uptight' image that classical music generally tends to carry. "I want people to know that it's fun, relatable and acceptable, even if you're not an aficionado. Lay or expert, you'll enjoy it," she says.
The event that begins at 5pm on February 19, at the Phoenix Arena, Hitec City, will also have several food stalls and a tiny market to shop.