Sydney Music Circle started out in 1983 as an informal group of Carnatic music-lovers and was given a concrete shape due to the efforts of Dr. M. S. Ramanathan and Sri. P. S. Ramachandran.
The very first program, a “house concert” by Smt. Raji Ramachandran and Smt. Rajini Chandrasekhar was held at the house of Dr. M. S. Ramanathan on 22 July 1983 at Strathfield.
Dr. M. S. Ramanathan and Sri. Ramachandran later arranged from the sporadic house concerts to regular monthly events where local artistes would have greater scope, and thanks to all Sydney Music Lovers who were very happy to host the concerts in their houses.
The first Thyagaraja Aradhana of SMC was held at Canberra in 1984 with the gracious patronage of Dr. Narayanan Sampath and Smt. Santha Sampath.
In July 1984, the first Anniversary Thyagaraja Ramayanam was celebrated on a grand scale at the residence of Dr. and Mrs. Rabindranath, presented by local Artistes.
The second Anniversary was celebrated in the SVT temple as Syama Sasthri and Dikshidhar day.
As the attendees were increasing it was decided to move from House to Public venues. The venue initially selected was the Veterans Car Club hall in Five Dock. This move was facilitated by Smt. Pattammal Sivaramakrishnan.
SMC conducted its first Thyagaraja Aradhana in Sydney in 1988, with Sangitha Kalanidhi Vidwan Palakkad Sri. K V Narayanaswamy’s and Mrs. Padma Narayanaswamy’s participation, during their visit to Sydney.
SMC celebrated its 25th Anniversary on 26th April, 2009 with a unique musical Opera presentation themed on the “Sundara Kaandam” where there was only Musical dialogue uniting all the Students from different Musical Teachers under the Guidance of Dr. M. S. Ramanathan who produced and directed with the support of Local Artists. A lot of Volunteers came forward to help with stage decorations and screen projection, for which SMC is thankful.
Since its inception, SMC has been conducting its programs unfailingly on the last Saturday of each month. It is run purely on a volunteer basis and is managed by a informal committee of permanent members comprising prominent local musicians and professionals. The day-to-day affairs are overseen by an “Operating Team” comprising four locally respected members of the South Indian community, which typically has a tenure of 12 months from July to June. Concerts are free to all music lovers and artistes are not remunerated.
Over the past thirty years SMC has provided a forum for Carnatic music by facilitating numerous concerts and music festivals. Its mission is to “promote local Carnatic talent in Sydney.” The current venue (since 2004) is the Dundas Community Centre at Sturt Street, Telopea. SMC was formally incorporated as a non-profit association on 18 May 2006, and granted tax-deductible status by the Australian Taxation Office on 3 June 2009. This has greatly helped in seeking voluntary donations which can be claimed as tax-deductible expenses by the donors.
The highlight of SMC’s 30-year celebration was the “Yuva Kala Bharathi” which gave youngsters an opportunity to present short concerts in a “cutcheri” setting, being another forum to encourage them in their musical endeavours. There were 30 such youngsters who were given the chance to perform and show their talents in a short format.
The current Permanent Committee members are
- Dr. Ramanathan
- Raji Ramachandran
- Jagannadhan Balaji
- Lakshmi Nateshkumar
- Mythili Iyer
The current Organizing Team comprises
- Dr. Smitha Balu and Balu Chathanath
- Jyothi Giri
The Organizing Team members can be contacted by clicking here.