R Banumathy - Senior Teacher -Veena & Vocal Music
Mrs Banu hails from a family of rich
musical tradition of India.Her father & Guru, Sangita Kalanidhi Dr.
S.Ramanathan was one of the greatest musicians of our times. She is one
of the 6th generation representatives of the musical heritage of the
Trinity of Carnatic music.
[St.Thyagaraja - Mananbuchavadi Venkatasubbaier - Maha Vaidyanatha Iyer
- Sabesa Iyer - Dr S.Ramanathan - R.Banumathy
St.Thyagaraja - Veenai Kuppaier - Thiruvotriyur Thyagayyer - Thanjavur
Ponniah Pillai - Dr S.Ramanathan - R.Banumathy
Muthuswami Dikshitar - Ponniah Pillai/Sivanandam - Kannusamy Nattuvanar
- Thanjavur Ponniah Pillai - Dr S.Ramanathan - R.Banumathy
Syama Sastri - Subbaraya Sastri - Thachchur Singarachariar - Tiger
Varadachariar/Thanjavur Ponniah Pillai - Dr S.Ramanathan - R.Banumathy]
Mrs Banu has always been a topper in the
University music courses. She holds the first rank in Music (Veena)
diploma course from Madras University. She stood first in her M.A.(Music)
degree in Delhi University and was awarded Gold Medal by the President
of India Shri Shankar Dayal Sharma. She has undergone 2 years' training
under Prof T.N.Krishnan. She has also bagged the topper award from the
Gandharva Mahavidyalaya of Delhi in the Post Graduate Music course.
Mrs Banu has a teaching experience of
over 25 years in Veena and Vocal music. She is a senior teacher at
alapana arts, besides being its founder Director. She also teaches Veena
& Vocal music at the National University of Singapore, Centre for the
Her patience in teaching, dedication,
recognised style of Veena playing and an authentic ‘Paataanthram’ have
earned her a respectable place in the field of Carnatic music. Her book
entitled 'Sruti Manjari' has the blessings & foreword by Sri Semmangudi
R.Srinivasa Iyer. It has been published in 2 parts, both in English &
Tamil. The second edition of the book carries a special greetings
message by the then Senior Minister of State for Education and Information,
Communication and the Arts, RADM (NS) Lui Tuck Yew.
Mr V Raghuraman - Senior Teacher - Mridangam & Music Theory
Mr Raghu has learnt music traditionally from
Chidambaram Sri S.Srinivasa Iyengar, both vocal music and Mridangam. He
further honed his knowledge of Indian Music from an intensive coaching
by Sangita Kalanidhi Dr S.Ramanathan. His teaching career in Mridangam
spans over two decades. He has been recognized as an approved ‘guru’ for
training the Government of India Scholarship holders in Mridangam. Many
of his students have also received the prestigious CCRT scholarships
offered by the Department of Culture, Government of India.
He has produced many worthy Mridangam
students both in India and in Singapore, one of whom has won the second
prize for Mridangam (Open category) at the National Indian Music
competition in Singapore. He has authored a book entitled ‘Laya Manjari’
on Indian percussion lessons which has the Foreword from the Mridangam
Maestro, Sri Umayalpuram K.Sivaraman.
He has performed widely in India and in
Singapore. His performances at New Delhi have earned highly commendable
reviews by the famous music critic Subbudu. He has provided
mridangam accompaniment to a several senior Vidwans of the rank of 'Sangita
Mr Raghu has conducted many workshops
on Indian music for students in Junior Colleges & schools, including Raffles Institution, Dunman High School, La salle & SOTA. MEP students
have benefited enormously on account of such sessions. The music
workshops for the Music teachers at the MOE have earned him a
respectable place among the music teachers in Singapore. A workshop
entitled “Music of our Heritage” held thrice so far has also won
unanimous appreciation among music teachers of Singapore.
His presentation at an International music
seminar, ‘The Performer’s Voice’ held at Yong Siew Toh Conservatory of
Music, NUS, Singapore in Oct/Nov,2009 earned further reputation for his
scholarship and erudition from International music scholars.
He also teaches Indian Music at the Yong
Siew Toh (YST) Conservatory of Music, NUS, Singapore as a part-time
Smt Meera Sampathkumar - Vocal
Meera Sampath who hails from Thanjavur, the
Carnatic hub of Southern India is a Degree holder in Indian Music from
Madras University. She is also a Post Graduate in Hindi literature. She
has been trained under the Gurus Sri. Balasundaram, Sri. K.P.Kailasam in
Coimbatore and Sangitha Bhushanam Sri.K. Vasudevan (Disciple of Late
Tiger K.Varadachariar) in Trichy. She has performed Vocal concerts at
various prestigious organizations and have also given vocal support for
Bharatanatyam for several years. Being an academician with flair for
teaching, she has taught vocal music for hundreds of students for the
past 25 years.
Smt T V Lakshmi - Vocal
T V Lakshmi, who hails from Kerala has trained in music right from her childhood. She is a post graduate in vocal music and a gold medalist for her Bachelor's degree from the Bharathidasan University, Trichy. She started teaching in the year 1998. She has performed many stage concerts in Kerala, Karnataka and Tamilnadu, besides appearing in many TV programmes. She has several years of experience in providing vocal support for Bharatanatyam performances. She has a flexible voice, whereby she can adapt to a large range of Srutis. Patience in teaching is her added asset. She is currently leaning Veena from Smt R.Banumathy at alapana. T V Lakshmi is also a well-trained Mohiniyattom dancer.
Hononary Head of Faculty
Smt. Lavanya Raghuraman- Bharatanatyam
Lavanya Raghuraman is a
gifted individual with a multi-faceted personality. A disciple of the
Dhananjayans, she is an accomplished Bharatanatyam dancer, Carnatic
Music Singer, Violinist and Actress rolled in-one and brings tremendous
energy and dedication to promoting these arts.
Lavanya hails from a rich musical background. She is the granddaughter
of Sangita Kalanidhi Dr S Ramanathan. At present, Lavanya is an honorary
Bharatanatyam tutor at Alapana Arts, Singapore, where she has
choreographed significant works for her students. Through lecture
demonstrations, master classes, workshops and seminars, Lavanya shares
her thoughts on Bharatanatyam and its propagation Singapore with
traditional purity. Lavanya has been performing in Chennai at the
Festival of Music and Dance every year since 2000. Her dance production
called Nagareshu Kanchi (under the choreography of her Gurus, the
Dhananjayas) at the Krishna Gana Sabha received rave reviews.
In 2004, Lavanya won the 1st Prize in the National Indian Music
Competition for Carnatic Violin Open Category. The competition was held
by the National Arts Council (NAC), Singapore - the apex body for Music,
Dance and Drama in Singapore. Earlier, Lavanya had won the Competition
held by NAC in the year 1998 for Carnatic Violin -Intermediate category.
Lavanya has won the first prize at the National level competition
organized by the Radio Corporation of Singapore. Lavanya has mostly
returned home with a first prize in almost all the competitions that she
took part. Her Carnatic Vocal music concert exclusively for singing
Ragam-Tanam-Pallavi at the Singapore Art Museum and the Carnatic Violin
concert at the Music-Box held by the Esplanade, theatres on the bay are
two outstanding performances to mention.
Lavanya has been an eloquent compere both in Tamil and English. As an
Anchor person for a TV serial show, Kalai Yaththirai. Lavanya won
the appreciation of many Singaporean viewers and TV crew alike. She is a
regular Compere (MC) at many Bharatanatya Arangetrams and other cultural
Lavanya has taken active part as Sita in Wayang Ramayana, a play at the
Singapore Management University. She was the President of the Indian
Cultural Association at the Singapore Management University till she
completed he University Education. Lavanyas contribution to theatrical
work is wide and she has directed plays for her University.
Lavanya proudly recalls her first Sabha performance at Karthik Fine Arts
Chennai in the year 2000. Since then, Lavanya's performances at India's
prestigious cultural venues and festivals have received wide acclaim
both in Chennai and in Singapore.
In November 2007, her recent solo production, Alchemy of Opposites for
Singapore's landmark cultural theatre, the Esplanade, theatres on the bay
was a fully sold out roaring success. She had the good fortune of having
the Dhananjayans to come up on stage after this performance to praise
and bless her. Later in 2011, her ground-breaking performance at Neythal to a full-house at the Esplanade established class once again as a World-vlass Bharatanatyam dancer.
After obtaining a degree in Accounting & Law, from Singapore Management University, Lavanya did her Masters
Degree at Fuqua, Duke University, NC, USA and is currently working in Philedelphia, USA.
Lavanya is committed to
preserving the tradition, and attempting innovation within bounds.