CMANA has thrived throughout its 35-year history, all while being a membership-based, non-profit organization that has been managed primarily by the hard work and efforts done year-round by a core group of volunteers who are professionals from all walks of life.
Among CMANA’s objectives as a non-profit organization is promoting, preserving and propagating the fine art of Carnatic music across North America. To a large extent, these have been accomplished by the great focus CMANA has placed and the activities CMANA has directed towards our local younger community of music students and enthusiasts, the Junior Members of CMANA. CMANA truly stands out among organizations of its kind that in being the only one that has had for the past 20 years, its own class of membership reserved exclusively for Indian-Americans in our community under 18 years of age.
A prime example of how CMANA has fostered an appreciation and celebration of Carnatic music in its Junior Members is via its annual Great Composers’ Day (GCD) function, a tradition dating back to its inception year, that is run both by and for our Junior Members. It provides a platform for them to:
o showcase their talents in vocal, instrumental and percussion music competitions and in the format of mini-concerts in front of local music teachers and accomplished musicians from North America and abroad, providing them with a unique learning experience and the opportunity to compete
o participate in one of various competitions to demonstrate their theoretical knowledge in Carnatic music (examples from the past include essay writing, crossword puzzle, Carnatic music quiz and painting competitions)
o volunteer in capacities such as emceeing, managing participant registrations, etc. and assume leadership with the planning and execution of the entire function, thereby giving them a chance to volunteer and accrue hours of community service.
GCD has continuously evolved and become more popular over CMANA’s 35-year history with the number of participant registrations now at its highest ever. For the first time ever, GCD was expanded to a 2-day format with the inclusion of many new categories of competition in 2011. Among the additional plans to expand GCD further over the next couple years are the staging of dance competitions and the telecast of this highly-acclaimed event on Indian television with subscribed viewers worldwide.
CMANA’s Junior Members have been recognized for their talents and invaluable services to the organization both internally through awards and felicitations and externally such as by top-ranking and Ivy League colleges and universities around the U.S. CMANA continues to invest much of its time and efforts on activities directed to our Junior Members, not only to further encourage their pursuit of this divine art but also to groom them in developing to their full leadership potential, which will allow the Board of Trustees and senior members of the association to leave this organization someday in the great hands of these future torch bearers.