WALTHAM, MA—World-class music teacher and veteran vocalist and violinist Tara Anand, who has trained over 1,000 students and whose pupils have been winning numerous awards every year at the prestigious Cleveland Tyagaraja Aradhana music festival since the 1990s, will receive this year’s Lifetime Achievement Award.
The Lifetime Achievement Award is bestowed upon extraordinary individuals annually by INDIA New England News, one of the nation’s largest print, online and video magazines covering the Indian and South Asian community.
Ms. Anand will receive the 2019 Lifetime Achievement Award on May 17 at the 17th Annual Woman of the Year gala, where 20 outstanding women in the areas of science, technology, business, healthcare, arts and culture, and community and social services will also be honored. The event will be attended by about 500 business and community leaders, philanthropists and professionals.
Janani Swamy, who has known Ms. Anand for over 18 years and whose daughters have been learning from Ms. Anand for about 12 years, said there is no one more deserving of this year’s Lifetime Achievement honor than Ms. Anand.
“With tireless effort over the past 3 decades, Guru Tara has established the Anubhava School of Music as a beacon of Carnatic music in North America. Her students have achieved acclaim throughout the Carnatic music world, upholding the exacting standard of the Anubhava School,” said Ms. Swamy. “Even more notable perhaps is Guru Tara’s dedication to each child who crosses the Anubhava threshold. She teaches every student- from the beginner to the most advanced- with absolute focus, asking only for sincere effort on their part.”
Ms. Swamy said that for Ms. Anand, teaching is a labor of love and her offering to the Supreme.
“Perhaps the greatest tribute is the adoration with which her students speak of their revered Tara Aunty, taking the lessons she has taught them beyond music into all aspects for their life,” said Ms. Swamy.
Sridevi Thirumalai, artistic director of Natyamani School of Dance, who has know Ms. Anand for 27 years ago, said that Ms. Anand is singular in her pursuit of perfection from her students.
“It gives me great pleasure to know that Tara is receiving the Lifetime Achievement Award from INDIA New England,” said Ms. Thirumalai “I have known Tara ever since I came to Boston 27 years ago. She has always been an integral part of my dance school. More importantly, both my children have been fortunate and blessed to have her as their Guru. Her humility and dedication belies her extraordinary knowledge and expertise in a traditional field that is not given to many. She is singular in her pursuit of perfection from her students, and has constantly raised the bar.”
Indeed, added Ms. Thirumalaithe, New England community is grateful to have a teacher in a caliber that would be hard to find even in India.
“It is a privilege and honor to call Tara my very good friend and colleague. My heartiest congratulations to her,” said Ms. Thirumalai.
Ms. Anand founded Anubhava School of Music in 1987. She teaches Carnatic music, which is the Classical music of South India and has an immensely rich tradition dating back thousands of years, with an equally grand tradition of performers over the years.
“I am astoundingly humbled and honored by this award, I don’t think of myself as deserving of anything, this award is a treasure I lay at the feet of my parents, my Gurus, it is a treasure that is shared by my Anubhava family, students and parents alike for believing in my standards, and for standing by them through thick and thin, it is a trophy for the community itself, for its sincere support of the classical arts and culture,” Ms. Anand told INDIA New England News. “It is on their behalf that I accept this Award. To me, it signifies a weight that I now carry of continuing to deserve it, of working to maintain the highest standards of classicism and imparting what my Gurus have given me with utmost sincerity and devotion. My part in this is miniscule.”
Ms. Anand thanked the community at large, and all the Anubhava parents and students for this honor, and said it is their award more than her.
“Since I have started teaching, I have seen over a thousand students walk through the Anubhava gateway, many starting with me when they are barely 4 and leaving when they graduate from high school,” said Ms. Anand, who was primarily a performer of both vocal and violin when she lived in India.
“I came to the US in 1986. I started seeing my first students in 1987. I never did advertise, it was word of mouth that eventually spread and my most worthy students did the rest by upholding the highest standards and becoming brilliant student/performers,” said Ms. Anand. “So my start was not planned or etched by me, it was purely Gods and my Gurus’ will, fueled by my love of Carnatic music and children.”
Dr. Manju Sheth, MD, who launched the Lifetime Achievement Award at INDIA New England News six years ago, said that New England is blessed to have an artiste and a teacher of such high caliber.
“Music brings joy, peace and harmony in our lives and also brings us together as a community,” said Dr. Sheth. “We are very excited to share Tara ji’s legacy and honor her with Lifetime Achievement Award on May 17 and welcome you to join us in the celebrations.”
Mohan Subramaniam, one of the top local singer who has been trained by Ms. Anand, echoed Dr. Sheth’s sentiments.
“I do not have words to express how fortunate we are to have Tara Anand grace the Boston area as a musician, a teacher and a lovely human being. Tara’s music has divinity in it. Her teaching not only instills the same sweetness in her student’s music but also makes them lifetime devotees of music,” said Mr. Subramaniam. “Her greatest contribution to the Boston area is that she has given the Indian diaspora the invaluable opportunity to see their children receive the same impeccable training that they would have received in Chennai or Bangalore. I am so happy and proud that Tara is receiving this award.”
Shailaja Gargeya, who started learning music from Ms. Anand in 1992 and has been assisting her since 2004, said she is fortunate to have her as her guru and her best friend.
“Guru Tara is a wonderful person and a friendly mentor par excellence,” said Ms. Gargeya. “There are good teachers who teach. There are great teachers who care. There are but a precious few who do all that but also kindle a latent passion to learn, help one revel in music, and open a window to a timeless culture. Guru Tara is such a teacher. Her students are indeed lucky, and their parents are eternally grateful.”
In addition to being a world-class music teacher, Ms. Anand is an accomplished violinist and vocalist in the Carnatic tradition. She began her vocal training at the age of four. Her gurus have included esteemed artists such as Sri T. M. Tyagarajan, Sri K. V. Krishnan and Sri Shankara Sarma.
“On behalf of Indian and Indian-American community, it is a great honor to present the prestigious Lifetime Achievement Award 2019 to Ms. Anand,” said Upendra Mishra, publisher of INDIA New England News and its sister publications IndUS Business Journal, Boston Real Estate Times and Hispanic Business Journal.
Ravish Anandaram, who has known Ms. Anand since 2010 and whose son learns both Carnatic vocal and violin at the Anubhava School of Music, that there here are many qualities of Ms. Anand that have impressed both students and parents alike.
“Be it her dedication to purest form of teaching this art form to her students, or the discipline she imbibes in each and every student of hers, or the appreciation she cultivates for music in her students,” said Ms. Anandaram. “It is indeed a boon to this New England community to have her amongst us. It is our fortune to be able to send our kids to learn this amazing music under her. No wonder she is rightfully called as a Community Treasure by her peers and well-wishers alike.”
Ms. Anand began violin at the age of eight with Smt. Vedavalli Ramaswami of Delhi and Smt. T. Rukmini of Madras. She gave her first vocal concert at the age of eight. She subsequently performed with some great artists such as Sri T. R. Subramaniam, Smt. M. L. Vasanthakumari, Prof. Ramanathan, Smt. Sudha Raghunathan, Sri Nookala China Satyanarayana, Smt. R. Vedavalli, Smt. Sikkil Mala Chandrasekhar and Sri R. K. Srikantan to mention a few.
Ms. Anand has also played with her guru Smt. T. Rukmini. The Hindu, a national newspaper of India, at various times, commented about the “chaste classicism” of this “accomplished violinist” and the “sweetness, strength and an emotive quality” of her “finely modulated and attractive voice” as a vocalist. It also said that her “admirably phrased Begada did not recall any familiar style but testified to original gnana (insight).”
Ms. Anand has been teaching music – both vocal and violin – for over three decades and is one of most sought after teachers in the area. Her teaching is marked by rigorous standards, care and concern for her students and an infectious love of music. Tara has received national awards in India and USA. She has received awards from the Music Academy, Krishna Gana Sabha , two long standing traditional music academies in Chennai, India.
In the United States, she was awarded the Best Teacher award at the Cleveland Tyagaraja Aradhana Festival, a result of her students’ continued success at their annual competitions. Her students have also evolved into seasoned musical artists and continue to enrich the musical community with their talent and avid passion for Carnatic music.
Those how know Ms. Anand spoke highly of her music and her teaching style.
“We have known Guru Tara Anand for almost seven years, during which time she has been teaching our daughter vocal Carnatic music,” said wife and husband team of Subha Sainathan and Jayendran Rajamony. “Her teaching style is marked by her love of Carnatic music and a sincere fidelity to its classicism. She demands the best from her students and ensures each student is taught at their level. This level of personal attention to each student ensures that their personal journey through music is surefooted. In the process, her students gain not just a solid foundation in music, but also a precious understanding that nothing of value is learned without discipline and devotion.”
Rajamonys said that Ms. Anand is a cherished treasure of our community.
“Many New England evenings have been turned magical by concerts of a long line of her accomplished students. It is a delight to recognize how much love for music and its creative potential she has fostered within her student community,” Rajamonys said. “Her Anubhava school has raised both the profile of Carnatic music and the proficiency of music appreciation. Her students take the lamp she has lit within them and in turn light the flame of love and appreciation for music in our community.”
Ravikanth Rayadurgam, an ardent fan of carnatic music whose son is a senior student of Ms. Anand and has been learning vocal music from her since 2006, said that during this period he has gotten to see her in action as a musician and a caring teacher and have gotten to know her personally.
“Guru Tara is an exceptional musician and we, as Bostonians, have been lucky to have her in our midst. We have been be enriched by her music, which is in the tradition of some of the greatest masters of Carnatic music, a rare vintage indeed. A blessing for those of us who pine for traditional music from miles afar,” Mr. Rayadurgam said. “Her contributions as a Guru are equally immeasurable. It is indeed rare that a Guru can take a Sishya from the first exercises in music to being able to sing the most complicated pieces and bring out the creative talents of the student. Stunningly, she is able to do it as a teacher of violin and vocal music. While all her students share the common trait of great depth of understanding of carnatic music, they all retain their individuality.”
He added that this ability to instill tremendous musical skill and and yet allow the student to maintain their unique creative ability is truly unmatched by anyone in the world. The numerous prizes and grants that her students have won in competitions stands as a testament to her caliber as an unmatched teacher.
“To the hundreds of students she has lovingly nurtured over the years, she is another parent. The obvious thing is that they get musical training of the highest calibre,” said Mr. Rayadurgam. “But equally, they get a life lesson in hard work, commitment, persistence, sincerity and humility. Every student of Guru Tara will agree that she becomes an inseparable part of their existence for life. The students are truly blessed.”