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September 3, 2013 > A Music and Dance Showcase

A Music and Dance Showcase

By Medha Raman

Irrespective of language, great music is universally appreciated and has frequently served philanthropic interests for centuries. Successful fundraisers in the aftermath of calamities such as Hurricane Katrina and the Haitian earthquake raised millions of dollars in aid and helped countless people rebuild their lives.

Aside from large commercial concerts, locally organized music events have proven to be important sources of aid for smaller community issues and an important way for everyday citizens to help their less fortunate counterparts. Four musically talented and accomplished teenagers from the Bay Area decided to further this tradition of local musical philanthropy in a bid to help their community. Last year, Ashwin Srikant, Divya Mohan, Gopal Ravindhran, and Vignesh Thyagarajan began a group called Youth Service Through Cultural Arts (YSTCA). Dedicated to assisting an annually chosen Bay Area charitable organization, YSTCA hosts annual music events to supplement the charity's funds. YSTCA's inaugural event in December 2012 raised over $8,000 for the Dominican Sisters of Mission San Jose, saving music and fine arts programs throughout Fremont schools.

This year, YSTCA shifted its community issue focus and chose the Indo American Senior Association of Fremont (INSAF) to receive the proceeds from its annual concert. Founded in 2003, INSAF helps Indian seniors in the Tri-City area who are in financial distress. Many of these seniors live alone with very limited resources and are either uninsured or underinsured. INSAF offers emotional and financial support to these Indian seniors, many of who are uncomfortable with English and unaware of the various community resources available to them.

YSTCA's Indian classical music event will take place on Saturday, September 7 at Shirdi Sai Parivaar Auditorium in Milpitas. During this free event, YSTCA plans to publicize INSAF activities and seek donations, which will be used to assist more seniors. The afternoon will be filled with Indian classical music and dance performances from over twelve schools throughout the Bay Area. The Consul of General of India, N. Parthasarthi, will attend the event as the Guest of Honor, while Mayor of Milpitas Jose Esteves and Fremont Vice Mayor Anu Natarajan will also be in attendance as Guests of Honor.

As the four YSTCA founders will graduate high school and move on to university in 2014, they decided to pass the torch to four new members - Malini Mahes, Medha Raman, Vedika Iyer, and Adarsh Ramchandran. These students hope to emulate their YSTCA seniors and utilize their musical knowledge to contribute in a meaningful way to the Bay Area community for years to come.

A Music and Dance Showcase
Saturday, Sept 7
12:30 p.m. - 6:30 p.m.
Shirdi Sai Parivaar
1221 California Circle, Milpitas
Free Admission; Donations Welcome

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