2003-06-19 / Front Page

Young pianist featured at festival

Five-year-old classical pianist Arjun Ayyangar of Old Bridge will be featured at the "A Touch of India" festival to be held June 22 from 1-5 p.m. at the Georgian Court College Casino, 900 Lakewood Avenue, Lakewood.

Arjun heads a long roster of children and teenagers who will perform Indian music, songs and dances at Empower the Children’s second annual fund-raiser.

Empower the Children has educational and nutritional programs in Kolkata (formerly Calcutta), India, for destitute and street (homeless) youngsters.

Rosalie Giffoniello, Empower the Children co-founder said, "We have dozens of young people here helping the poor children in Kolkata. They have helped put together specially designed lesson plans and participate in a ‘Pen Pal’ program. Now they are the focus of the festival’s entertainment. Creating multi-cultural bonds is very important in today’s world."

Arjun began playing the piano at age 3 and has won prizes in competitions conducted by the New Jersey Music Teachers Association. He has appeared twice on NBC-TV’s prime time show, America’s Most Talented Kids.

Other performers include: Indrani Chakraborty of Plainsboro; Piya Bhatta-charya of Jackson; Amrita Mazumdar, 11, of Marlboro; Riana Dutt, 12, of Manal-apan; Shreya Chowdhury, 9, of South Brunswick; Brinda Guha, 13, of Manal-apan; Ria DasGupta, 16, of Freehold; Bindu Piramal, of Freehold; Tara Mullen, 8, of Marlboro and Surabhi Kasera, 11, of Tinton Falls. Students from Freehold Borough High School will put on a fashion show.

Empower the Children is a nonprofit foundation dedicated to handicapped and homeless youngsters, helping them fulfill their potential, physically, intellectually and spiritually, according to a press release.

Donations are tax deductible. Festival donation is a minimum of $25. Checks can be sent to Empower the Children, 7 Ryans Way, Jackson 08527. Tickets will be held at the door. For more information, call (732) 901-6733.

Return to top