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Sound of Music - Bee Fest

ASchool Bee Festival at Hyatt, Chennai on August 3, 2012

Swimming pools and buzzing bees don't usually go hand in hand. But day 2 of the Bee Festival, Pollinator 1 at the Hyatt Regency ensured a rather scenic treat for music lovers, at a bright and sprightly 6 am.

Fifty children participated in a morning session of song and reverence to nature and its many wonders.

City-based piano virtuoso Anil Srinivasan, who organised the event, said, with a smile, "These are my bees, they have worked very industriously over the last month for this performance. These children are aged 4 to 14, and many of them have no prior singing experience. It was wonderful to have them contribute to this festival," he added.

The show was led by renowned singer Vedanth Bharadwaj, who also accompanied the students on the guitar. "We've covered songs that are classical, hindustani, folk and bhajans," said Srinivasan after the concert. The songs, though mostly bhajans, were sung with very bee-like connotations — some lyrics were modified in praise of the bee.

The singers belonged to the A School, Lady Andal Venkatasubba Rao Higher Secondary School and various branches of Padma Seshadri Bala Bhavan.

Asked if they would like to take the concept of rearing bees in school to their principal, 12-year-old Charanian said, earnestly, "Oh we have a lot of classmates who are scared of bees." Evidently enjoying his explanation, he added, "Once a boy saw a bee in the class and hid under a table!" Clearly, the three-day bee festival will be turning a few fears around among youngsters in the city.


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