Sur Tarang - Australian Singing Talent Hunt
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“History of Surtarang ”

In 1977, Sangam Kala Group organized the First All India Light Music Vocal Competetion, now “Surtarang”in the memory of the immortal singer Master Madan.

Master Madan was the Durbar musician of His Highness the Raja Sahib Bahadur of Keonthal State (Simla Hills). Master Madan, who died at the young age of 14, sang only few songs which are everlasting and embedded in perfection, unmistakable intonations and deep soul touching.


Master Madan was born on December 28, 1927, in Khanna, a village in District Jallandhar of Punjab. He sang in public for the first time when he was three and a half years old. Master Madan was a very religious child and spoke very little. During the night, he would just sit in 'padmaasan' position and do 'jap maalaa'.

Master Madan was a disciple of Sant Kaleraanvaale, a famous guru in Punjab. Apparantely, the Sant foretold of Master Madan's untimely death at a young age. In one of the gatherings of the Sant, Master Madan sang 'raag jaunapurii' with such great concentration that people claimed to see the 'raaginii' herself dressed in beautiful garb. When he sang 'bhairavii' though, 'Jaunpurii' disappeared. This incident was duly reported by the press.

At the age of eight, he was a famous radio singer, singing mainly on Delhi radio station on Alipur road. He won many gold medals and awards for his performances.

He died on June 5, 1942 suffering a great deal of pain. It is suspected that he died of mercury poisoning. He used to go to Delhi radio station canteen to drink milk. It is believed that a jealous singer gave him mercury in his milk.

The group organized this competition to spot amateur talent in the country and bring it out of oblivion, laying special emphasis on discovering singing talent amongst the below fourteen age group in the memory of Master Madan.

Reknowned music directors, and composers from the world of music including radio, television and films have graced the panel of judges to select the best talent. The group also offers scholarships to educate promising voices in light music.

The group has, therefore, all the reasons to proud of this pioneering venture few of the participants are now major singing stars like Sonu Nigam, Sunidhi Chauhan, and Shreya Ghoshal and some of the participants, even though, may not have reached the top, get due recognition in the form of shields and trophies, which give them encouragement to further, improve their singing faculty.

To reach every possible nook and corner of the country and worldwide, competitions are organized at all the regional level and various countries and the more promising talent are brought to compete in “Surtarang” in New Delhi, India.

The task of the group is a formidable one. Yet its noble cause has provided it with a lot of patronage from persons belonging to all the walks of the life.