2006 – 2008: “The Dartington Years”
In 2006, Samyo forged a partnership with the world-renowned and prestigious Dartington International Summer School, to take its Summer School there for three years. The gurus at the school were Pt Debashish Bhattacharya, and violin duo Ganesh & Kumaresh. For the first time ever, the Summer Retreat included a mix of concerts, workshops and composition sessions, led by the new Music Director for Samyo, Smt Manorama Prasad. Taking over from Sri Dharambir Singh, who had left following an award from NESTA to develop Indian music research, Smt Manorama Prasad brought her passion and dedication to Indian music for the benefit of Samyo’s young musicians.
The orchestra performed around the country once more, with concerts at the Sangeet Sabha conference in Leicester, at the Bhavan Centre in London and at the Lowry in Salford Quays. Samyo also opened the festival of British Youth Orchestras in both Glasgow and Edinburgh, in partnership with NAYO, in August 2006.
In 2007, Samyo moved its repertoire forward, with compositions by Dr Jayanthi Kumaresh, Violin Maestro Kumaresh, Pt Tarun Bhattacharya all composing for the orchestra at Dartington. The orchestra helped Surdhwani celebrate its 20 year anniversary in Wolverhampton. Under the direction of Manorama Prasad, the orchestra developed its Carnatic repertoire, recruited more vocalists and established itself as a touring orchestra.
In auditions in 2008, the orchestra recruited more musicians than ever before, and made the transition to a new system of Compositions. A new Composer of the Year, Gaurav Mazumdar, was invited to work throughout the year on one single, long composition, SHRINGAR, which was premiered in March 2009. Manorama Prasad was tasked with the project of developing Tarang, the UK’s Indian Classical Music Ensemble, in its next phase, and Sanju Sahai focused on Samyo. The Summer Retreat at Dartington featured Dr Rajeeb Chakraborty, Violin Maestro Kumaresh, Dr Jayanthi Kumaresh, Manorama Prasad, Gaurav Mazumdar, Bhavani Shankar and Sanju Sahai. The orchestra performed at the Lake District Summer Music festival, debuted Gaurav Mazmumdar’s “SHRINGAR” at the QEH in London and Bridgewater Hall in Manchester.