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Indian Classical Music Concerts At Phillips Academy, Andover

Chand Sripad

In the present academic school year (2006 - 07), Phillips Academy, Andover MA, a multicultural, diverse educational institution for learning, hosted two Indian classical music concerts. These concerts were made possible by a grant from the Abbot Academy Association in response to a proposal made by Mrs. Chand Sripad, to engage the community in a multicultural artistic dialogue. Supported by the Phillips Academy Music department, the concerts were held in the Cochran chapel on the campus at Andover.

The first of the concerts on October 14, 2006 was a melodious Hindustani music  Sitar concert by Dr. Michael Siegell (Sitar), accompanied by Dr. Nishikant Sonwalkar on Tabla and Dr. Lakshmi Mudunuri (Tanpura). The music along with Michael's experiences of learning this art as a westerner provided the audience with a new perspective on Indian musical traditions. The second concert on January 7, 2007, was a Carnatic music violin concert by Smt. Tara Anand and her students, Suhas Rao, Rasika Murali and accompanied by Dr. Pravin Sitaram on the Mridangam. Tara anand began her concert with an invocation to lord Ganesha in Raga Abhogi, and introducing carnatic music concepts. The Violin trio along with Sitaram enthralled the audience and held them spell bound, concluding with a Tillana in Raga Hindustani Poorvi.

Coincidental as it may seem, this very tillana was popularly sung by the famous carnatic musician Mr. Jon B. Higgins, (Higgins "Bhagavatar" in carnatic music circles) who was born in Andover and graduated from Phillips Academy in 1958.

The concert was well received and applauded by over two hundred in the audience.

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