What started off as a college band in 1958, Stanley Orchestra, is still alive and kicking with numerous doctors with varied specialties, being part of it.
The band serves as an instrument to showcase their passion for music, a therapeutic activity to blow some steam off, and as a fun indulgence.
Dr. Dinakar Rajaratnam, the oldest member of the band, talks to DC about its initial formation and evolution.
Dinakar, fondly known as Dinky by his friends, reminisces all the old members of the troop and is conscious of not leaving anyone out — “Dr. S Thathuvasamy, Dr. Rana Thompson, Dr. Nandakumar, Dr. Gnanraj Samuel, Dr. S. David, Dr. N.S.Padma and Dr. Varadarajan were part of the band, when it was formed. We performed for All India Radio and won the Musical Knock Out at the Music Academy, Chennai.”
Later, the former Dean and DME Dr. Bennet, Dr. A.K. Kannan, Dr. David Arumainayagam, Dr. Bellaramine, Mr. Sathya- narayanan and a few others joined the band.
Dinakar adds, “There was a lull period in between — when nothing happened with the group due to personal and professional commitments of the members. Subsequently, the band got revamped in later years. This time, in Salem with few more doctors including Siddhurajan, Krishnakumar, Jamuna A.S, Ravichandran, Indra Priyadarshini, Nithyanand and Vijaianand — joined the troop.”
The band has, so far, performed in many IMA meets, college alumni meets and even for general audience in a concert in Tiruchy.
The dedication of the members to the band is commendable says Dinakar and shares, “One member in his late 70s used to travel by bike from Krishnagiri to Chennai for rehearsals.”
Talking about the future of the band, Dr. Ravi Chandran, one of the younger members and the bass guitarist, says, “Already the siblings (Karthik Rajaratnam, Andrew Thompson, Deepak and Brian) of the existing members have entered the band and it is going to be alive and kicking in the future as well. Though the members are spread across the state, we still find opportunities to meet and practice. We are that passionate!”
Dr. Krishnakumar, who is the lead singer, guitarist and keyboard player, says, “The one common thing that is driving all of us is our passion for music and the rejuvenation we get out of it. We’re busy doctors, but if an occasion arises, all of us take off and travel to Salem or Chennai to meet!”...