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Tuesday, March 1, 2011

the soprano Saxophone and the launch of SYMA Cricket WC 2011 Contest

The  Cricket World Cup Fever is on.  The present edition is the 10th WC.  It is a 43 day long extravaganza of 49 matches (42 qualifiters; 4 QF; 2 Semis & 1 Finals) which will culminate at Wankhede Stadium on Apr 2, 2011.

The enthralling Cricket WC has a come a long ever since its inauguration way back in 1975 when it had 8 teams; total of 15 matches and WI emerged as Winner.  Srinivasa Venkatraghavan captained the Indian team in the inaugural cup where we lost to England and Newzealand and failed to qualify.  Our solitary win came against East Africa which was a representative team of Kenya, Tanzania and Uganda.  India fared worser losing to WI, Srilanka and Kiwis in 1979 and the euphoric performance in 1983 under Kapil Dev is history.   All these were 60 over matches.  There have been WC tournament in 1975, 79, 83, 87, 92, 96, 99, 2003 and  2007.  Aussies have won 4 times; WI twice, Asian countries – India, Pak & Lanka once a piece. From 1999 onwards it is ICC World Cup.  SYMA had felicitated Venkat in those years and in a grand function, the hero of 1983 final Krish Srikkanth was felicitated in Triplicane after the triumph.  In the present edition, 14 Nations are vying  for the coveted trophy in the tournament co-hosted by India, Bangladesh and Sri lanka.   

SYMA has been associated with cricket in many ways. Our members are cricket enthusiasts as most of the Triplicanites are…   SYMA with its commitment of service to the society,  considered it the apt occasion to join the bandwagon in celebrating the World Cup as also to enhance our list of blood donors.  With this aim we have launched “Goldwinner – SYMA Cricket WC Contest 2011”.  A function was held at Bharathiyar Illam, Triplicane, Chennai 600 005 at 0630 pm on 28th Feb 2011 to formally launch the contest. 

At the start of the programme, there was an instrumental fusion by team of CV Ramana (Flute), Mohan (Guitar), TGR Anandam (soprano sax), Muralidharan (Rhythm pad), Kaliamurthy (tabla) and Srivathsan on Mrudangam.  The music was so sweet to ears.  The program started with a Prayer by the musicians.  S. Sampathkumar welcomed the gathering and introduced the Chief Guests.  TA Sampathkumar, President of SYMA spoke of its activities and dwelt at length the concept of the Contest and on enlisting members for blood donation. 

Mr KA Shankar, is Cricket Operations Manager, Chennai Center, TNCA. .  TNCA is the governing body of cricket activities in TN State.   He is Executive Member of TNCA and Jt. Director of TNCA Academy.  Shankar has been associated with cricket for long and he is running Eagle CC which club plays in 2nd Division league in Chennai. 

Indian Railways, the state owned railways has more than 64015 km of track and more than 7000 stations.  The ticket reservations are computerized and one can book ticket through internet – probably one of the best systems available.  The longest journey is from Kanyakumari to Jammutawi traversing a distance of 3750 kms and the train Guwahati Trivandrum Express runs for 74 hrs 45 mins and still the second longest duration.  Southern Railway is one of its earliest zones created in 1951.

Shri S Anantharaman is currently Divisional Railway Manager of Southern Railway.  He is known for his impeccable integrity and administrative skills.  He is an avid writer and his proficiency in literature is laudable.  He is a cricketer and encourages all sports activities. 
TA Samp, Shankar, Anantharaman & Me

The contest form was released by S. Anantharaman and the first copy was received by KA Shankar.  Mr Shankar spoke briefly.  Mr S Anantharaman in his motivating speech urged on the youngsters the need for blood donation.  He informed the audience that one can donate blood for a future operation, and it will be kept for use within 15 days of the donation.  He said one can donate blood and walk for playing a game of cricket.  His words of advice were extremely motivating for the audience. 

There was a contest for the ‘early birds’ – those who were present at the venue and who submitted the filled up contest forms.  Our committee member Revathi proposed vote of thanks.

The music performance continued for a while and at 0830 – the early bird winners gleefully accepted the prizes.

With regards – S. Sampthkumar.

The musical instrumental fusion was a programme arranged in short notice and the instrument played by TGR Anandam caught everybody’s eyes. 

Shri Thanjavur Gopal Ramadoss Anandam is perhaps the only person who plays this instrument on stage.  Reportedly it is too tough to play this instrument and requires sustained energy.  Mr Anandam is the illustrious son of Thanjavur Ramadoss who was a renowned clarinet artist.

The saxophone is well known (to us after Kadri Gopalnath) who reportedly was enthused after seeing it in the Mysore palace band set.  It is a conical-bore transposing musical instrument of woodwind family.  They are made of brass and played with a single reed mouthpiece similar to clarinet.  It reportedly was invented in 1841 by Belgian Adolphe Sax and named after the inventor.  It was patented in 1846. 

The one that we saw on stage was different – it was soprano saxophone a variant. Some google search reveals that  It ranges in the smaller category of sax.  In Western world, it is compared to B♭clarinet.  It is louder and has more penetrating sound in extreme high notes.   It is stated that Soprano saxophones are usually straight, but sometimes have slightly or fully curved necks and bells. The soprano has all of the keys on other saxophone models.

It is widely used by Jazz and other western music artists and using it as a main instrument and playing Carnatic music should certainly be a challenge.

Thanjavur Anandham really enthralled us and delighted all those present at the venue with his mastery.  Long live such artists.

Regards – S. Sampthkumar.


  1. I missed the performance but got a feel of it reading your article..tks

    once i enjoyed hearing 6 vidwans playing clarinet at a function near walajapet, North arcot. swept away by the performance..

    sampath, if there was a prize for 'early caller' i could have staked claim.... -kannan

  2. Kannan, Thanks for your regular feedbacks. I should give you a prize for that. I am no Carnatic music buff and could not differentiate chaff from grain. It sounded pleasant to ears and Anandham's performance was standout more so for the effort involved in that instrument.