The third evening of the Annual Sports and Cultural Meet 2018, began with Bhagawan’s arrival at the Premamrutham auditorium. He was welcomed with Poorna Kumbham and Vedic chants to the background of melodious Bhajans. Once Swami was seated, the evening’s proceedings began with Vedic invocation by the students of Sri Sathya Sai Sathyaniketanam, Hassan campus, chanting the Durva Suktam and Neela Suktam.
The main programme for the evening was the much-awaited musical presentation by Sai’s angels, the brass band of Muddenahalli. They started off the performance with Boléro, a very famous and also one of the greatest ever orchestral piece composed in the history of music. It was written by the French composer Maurice Ravel and as one listened to the students playing this piece, it would be impossible to think that the students had mastered it in a flat seven days though it was one of the most difficult pieces they had ever learnt.
As the programme continued, different sections of the band were introduced and there were also short video presentations showing the genesis of the band and how the band continues to work hard today with the sole aim of pleasing their Lord. Popular pieces like the Final Countdown, the Radetzky March, the bhajan Allah ho Tum were rendered.
One unique thing about the performance this time was that Bhagawan had blessed a young musician, Ishaan Rao, son of Pt Shubhendra Rao and Smt Saskia De Haas Rao, to perform on the grand piano. Ishaan, a grade 8 student in Delhi, is the youngest musician to have received a performance diploma from the Royal School of Music, London. He was also the youngest finalist last year in Mumbai for the Young Musician of The Year award by Olga and Jules Craen Foundation for western classical music. The first piece he performed was a solo piece, the Brahms Rhapsody. After his brilliant performance, he also spoke a few words thanking Swami for giving him the courage to come out of his shell and be more confident. Ishaan who had been staying in Muddenahalli for the past few weeks, was mentored by Mr. Dimitris Lambrianos, the multi-instrumentalist band teacher and Ishaan also joined the band on the grand piano as they played other pieces like Godfather- the soundtrack from the famous movie Godfather and Conquest of Paradise. As the band played a jazz single- Take Five, both the mentor Mr. Dimitris and his student Ishaan played the piano together, much to the delight of everyone present. Two students from the band, Sai Shankar and Jeevan Sai who had just learnt to play a new instrument, the linnstrument, played it beautifully and offered it at the feet of their Lord.
Three more students from the band also gave short talks. Kabir Charaya who is pursuing his first-year pre-university and has been with band group since its inception, spoke in Hindi and expressed his gratitude to Bhagawan for the opportunity bestowed upon him. Two brothers, Rishi and Avi Gopinath spoke about their journey and how they left their home in Canada only to come to Swami’s institution here in Muddenahalli and find a new home in the Sai’s Angels brass band.
The band also rendered other numbers like Hawaii Five O which was a new piece that they had learnt in just seven days. This was followed by Bhagawan’s own composition- Love is my Form, a superb finale to the absolutely marvellous performance.
Swami was very happy with the programme and He went up the stage blessing every single member of the band with tokens of His love, photographs and like a proud parent, He also announced to the audience that these students were not only good at music but were also extremely good in studies with most of them being first or second in their respective classes.
Mangala Arati was then offered to Bhagawan and the evening came to a close with Prasadam distribution.