Music to ears: Daily Police Band at Palace
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Music to ears: Daily Police Band at Palace

January 3, 2022

English and Karnatak Band with majestic background between 5 pm and 6 pm

Mysore/Mysuru: The famed Police Band that usually gets attention only during Dasara or during events like Independence Day and Republic Day Parades or during the visit of any VVIP or a foreign dignitary will henceforth be a daily feature at the Mysore Palace.

From now on, people can listen to foot-tapping music in the Band performance that is both visually appealing — with uniforms, shining musical instruments — and soothing to ears and mind. Last evening was the first performance of the daily affair and people came in large numbers after seeing the Flower Show that concluded yesterday.

The daily performance schedule was inaugurated with a drumbeat by District Minister S.T. Somashekar in the presence of various dignitaries.  The Band will perform daily from 5 pm to 6 pm and will comprise both Kannada and English Bands.

The intention of the daily performance is to attract many tourists who are in Mysuru most of the days. They will visit the Palace and this will be an added attraction in the evening. “Tourists are seasonal and when they come, the Police Band performance might not be there. To fill the gap, we have initiated this daily band concept so that the uniqueness of the Band is not missed,” Somashekar said.

Mysuru District in-Charge Minister S.T. Somashekar and MLA S.A. Ramdas beating the drums during the inauguration of the daily performance schedule of Police Band at Mysore Palace premises last evening as MLA L. Nagendra, Zoo Authority of Karnataka Chairman L.R. Mahadevaswamy, Khadi and Village Industries Board Chairman N.R. Krishnappa Gowda, City Police Commissioner Dr. Chandragupta, Deputy Mayor Anwar Baig, Deputy Commissioner Dr. Bagadi Gautham, Jungle Lodges and Resorts Chairman M. Appanna, Mysore Paints and Varnish Limited Chairman N.V. Phaneesh, MUDA Chairman H.V. Rajeev and others look on.

“The aim is to retain the tourists in Mysuru itself after they see the Police Band so that the hospitality industry is benefited. Usually, tourists leave Mysuru to other tourist destinations after visiting attractions like the Chamundi Hill, Mysuru Zoo and KRS Dam,” Somashekar said and recalled the contribution of the Wadiyars to the cause of culture and music.

In the first daily performance, the Police Band enthralled the audience where a jugalbandi was performed by the English and Karnatak Bands. While the English Band was led by B. Manjunath, the Karnatak Band was led by R. Mohan. Later, the troupes performed music legend A.R. Rehman’s ‘Jai Ho’ and also performed ‘Made in India’ and a Kannada patriotic number.

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MLAs S.A. Ramdas and L. Nagendra, Deputy Mayor Anwar Baig, MUDA Chairman H.V. Rajeev, Chairmen of various Boards and Corporations L.R. Mahadevaswamy, S. Mahadevaiah, N.V. Phaneesh, N. Shivalingaiah, Krishnappagowda, M. Appanna, Deputy Commissioner Dr. Bagadi Gautham, City Police Commissioner Dr. Chandragupta, DCPs Pradeep Gunti and Geetha Prasanna, Mysuru Palace Board Deputy Director T.S. Subramanya and others were present.

A section of audience at the Mysore Palace last evening during the Police Band.

A slice of history

It was Sri Chamarajendra Wadiyar X (Chamaraja Wadiyar X) who took music to the masses of the Kingdom of Mysore with the Palace Bands — the English Band playing Western music and the Karnatak (Carnatic then) Orchestra playing Karnatak classical music. The bands were formed in 1868 and came to be an integral part of the social fabric of Mysore in the years to follow.

Though the present Mysore Police Band traces its origin to 1868, it has evolved over the past years assuming different names at various points of time. The Band came to be known as the Palace Band under the patronage of Nalwadi Krishnaraja Wadiyar who constructed the Band House on the road leading to Vasantha Mahal Palace in Nazarbad, now housing the District Institute of Education and Training (DIET). The road was later named after Dewan Sir Mirza Ismail.

In 1952, when Kengal Hanumanthaiah became the Chief Minister, he brought the Palace Bands under the Police Department and from then, it was called the Police Band. A special wing of the Mysore City Police was formed and trained to play melodious instrumental music to enthral connoisseurs and common man

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