SEKHAR, SHOBHA, Musical Director 2, veena player
Shobha Sekhar is a distinguished Indian Classical performer, composer, teacher and journalist renowned for her creativity and deep passion for this Art form. She is the Resident Director of Kalakruthi School of Music and President of the flagship Organization– FIMDV (Federation of Dance and Music Schools of Victoria).
Shobha was unanimously elected to be the President of Flagship Organisation – FIMDV ( Federation of music and dance Schools of Victoria).
She made history pioneering and introducing Indian Classical music to Australian Universities.She is the lecturer at University of Melbourne, ranked amongst the top 10 in the world and at Melbourne Polytechnic. Her solo concerts across continents, lecture Demos and master classes at different Universities and International Forums have won her critical acclaim and recognition. Due to her popularity, The University of Melbourne has introduced Indian Music in their ‘Bachelor of Music’ curriculum & Honours program. She also spearheads the Large Ensemble at University of Melbourne ‘Mantra’ –where she composes, arranges and leads the Ensemble comprising western Musical Instruments such as Guitar, bass, Saxophone, Trombone, Piano and Drums.
Her contributions as a journalist to the columns of leading newspapers and magazines such as Straits Times (Singapore), Sruti (India) and Herald Sun in Melbourne are a rare treat to gain valuable insights into the Arts world.
She owes a deep sense of gratitude to her eminent Gurus Sangeetha Kalanidhis -Smt D K Pattammal, Late Sri DK Jayaraman and Sri KS Narayanswamy (veena) and by establishing the Music School ‘Kalakruthi’ she aspires to pass on this priceless treasure of rich Art traditions to the next generation in Australia.
The Music Academy of Chennai awarded affiliation to Kalakruthi School in 2011. It is an epoch making moment for Shobha and the Music School she founded, the FIRST EVER in the History of Indian Music.
Kalakruthi students have immensely elevated the standard of Carnatic music in Australia not only by their presentation skills but by also adhering to the discipline and values necessary to sustain this complex art form.
She is the recipient of several research grants from Commonwealth Government ‘Australia Arts council’, Monash Arts Council and Victoria Multicultural Commission. Recently she was honored to be the recipient of “Award of Excellence” by the Premier of Victoria for her exemplary contributions to the Multicultural Community of Australia.
Awards and Titles include *SUR MANI” during Sur Samsad Sammelan in Mumbai *Krishna Gana Sabha awarded her the “Best Concert and Krithi rendering” in 2001. *Nritya Choodamani Award for contribution to Dance Music in Melbourne *Aramuga Navalar Award for contribution to Tamil & Music in Australia. *Hamsadhwani- a Sabha honoured her during their 25th Anniversary for her invaluable contributions across the globe. *Nritya Choodamani Award for contribution to Dance Music. *Aramuga Navalar Award for contribution to Tamil & Music in Australia. *Hamsadhwani- a Sabha honoured her during their 25th Anniversary for her invaluable contributions across the globe and in particular, Australia.
Shobha has received rave reviews for her performances— “Soul Stirring” “mesmerizing” and has strived to enrich the Cultural, spiritual and social tapestry thru Music in the World. She has performed at prestigious Sabhas such as Chennai Music Academy ( at 12.30 and 2pm Slots), National Council for Performing Arts, Mumbai, Narada Gana Sabha, Mylapore Fine Arts, Indian Fine Arts, Krishna Gana Sabha , Singapore Fine Arts, Kuala Lumpur Academy and in New York and Toronto. She performed at the ‘Parliament of World Religions’ convened in Melbourne in December 2009.-( both at the opening ceremony and a solo concert). A very Distinguished Guest at the Congress was The Hon Dalai Lama. Thousands of Delegates from all around the World who attended were deeply moved by Shobha’s soulful music.
Shobha prides herself more for the Charity work that she has undertaken as a way to give something to the community and the the world at large. She has spearheaded many Charity and fundraising campaigns by presenting Concerts and Musical events. The most recent one was to raise funds for: Monash Children’s Hospital, Melbourne on 20 March 2016, Victorian Bushfire Appeal, Tsunami in Japan, African Famine, etc.
Shobha believes in the therapeutic effect of Music and has been mentoring ‘challenged’ children who have shown significant improvement in the behaviour and demeanour post musical training. She has adapted a new methodology of teaching Classical Music to Australian Children – even for children with Indian background–who have no knowledge of any Indian languages including their own mother tongue. She incorporates yoga techniques of breathing in her singing classes and University students have thankfully embraced the powerful effects of breathing and relaxation. She has also integrated Yoga breathing into voice training. Research has proven that music can significantly improve the kinetic skills and the therapeutic effects are acknowledged by many scientists and practising surgeons. Shobha is currently researching on this aspect of Indian Ragas. She is currently working to compile all the above into a book — Music, Yoga and food to energise – sathvik guna. On another note she worked as ‘Relationship Manager’ of a leading Australian Bank after completing MBA.
She is now a full time musician and her greatest vision and mission is to help create more harmony in this World with music education and carry this message to more Schools with young kids across the Globe, to campaign for more social causes and fundraising by organising musical events.