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Tuning latent talents

During his stint of six years so far, Mr. Shaj has conducted 180 live programmes on stage and for the cable TV.



Musical musings

BELIEVE IT or not, if you have missed watching them on the telly. R. Harish, a College student, plays the flute and the mouth organ with his nose. Solomon plays the guitar holding it on his back. Soundarya's expertise is in singing folk and western numbers. Bharathi and Bhargavi display their best in classical music.

The local cable channels of `AMN' and `Karan' regularly and frequently beamed such feats of artists but that was till the network was alive in the city. The performers of the programmes were nucleus of `Music.Com', in the two channels.

Now, Music.Com, the brainchild of Shaj, a teacher of Mahatma Matriculation Higher Secondary School, is going live in 52 other places, where both these channels are telecast.

"It all started in my school campus during a cultural programme, where I saw a number of talented kids not able to hog the limelight for want of proper forum. Immediately, the idea of organising a competition for such skilled children flashed in my mind and I started this programme," says Shaj, who started with smaller children and called his endeavour `Little wonders'.

Little wonders

Almost all schools responded positively to his suggestion and the going for Shaj was pretty easy. So much so that on date, he is credited with encouraging over 3000 students for the programme.

Born from Little Wonder was the `Young Wonders', which threw open a platform for the college students. This time, Shaj found the response "mixed" when he first approached some colleges to promote his idea. But after a few weeks of successful conduct of his programmes, colleges turned more receptive and his idea more popular.

Not to deny such an opportunity to the elders with inherent talents, he started a separate wing, `Gold Wonders', which featured those above 40.

While marching victorious in his mission, he managed to win a slot in the local cable TVs for telecasting his programme. This widened the reach of his programme and today he is viewed in over 50 places and conducts the programme in several locations in the adjacent districts.

No entry fee

The `no entry fee' feature can also be cited as one of the crucial reasons for his programme to turn a hit among the targeted masses. Even in the All India Radio he hosts four or five programmes every year. "A good news is that the programme is going to be part of the schedule of the Star Vijay, likely from this September," he divulged.

During his stint of six years so far, Mr. Shaj has conducted 180 live programmes on stage and for the cable TV. The fact that he has been able to bring to light some latent talents gives him immense satisfaction and happiness.

To name a few, there is Preetha who has cut an album. Sharat and Sharan who have made their cast in a couple of Tamil films.

To his credit, Mr Shaj has worked for albums for some private organizations too. Vayalagam, a compilation of folk songs, was his first album, which he did for the Kalanjiyam group, an umbrella organisation of SHGs.

Next, he did a remix of nursery rhymes sung by teachers of TVS Lakshmi Matriculation School. `Marandhu Pona Vilayattukkal' is his third album on traditional games involving the students of the Mahatma Residential School, Alagarkoil. Besides, spotting and encouraging talents, Shaj also imparts training in vocal music and guitar and keyboard playing. He runs his Yam School of Music at Krishnapuram Colony, MG Nagar. "Most of them are short-term courses and anyone with a flair for music can join," says Shaj.

M.R.ARAVINDAN

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