70 member ensemble to present a unique group song at upcoming LearnQuest Music Festival 2023

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By Shuchita Rao

Learnquest Academy of Music, a Waltham, MA based non-profit organization, is presenting an in-person Indian Classical Music festival at Casey Theatre, Regis College in Weston, MA on April 7, 8 and 9, 2023.

This is the 15th festival to be organized by LearnQuest’s founder Dr. Pradeep Shukla and a team of dedicated volunteers with Praveen Sahay serving as this year’s festival chair.

In keeping with the tradition of past LearnQuest conferences, this year’s upcoming festival began with several lecture demonstrations on Indian music as pre-conference events leading upto the festival featuring top-notch Carnatic and Hindustani maestro musicians from India and the USA. Details and tickets are available at LearnQuest Academy of Music

Boston is known for its rich culture of Indian classical arts due to the presence of several eminent, award winning teachers who have not only preserved Indian art and culture in the United States but have also nurtured talent in young children as well as adults.

Two Boston based music teachers and board members of non-profit organization KHMC ( Karnatic Hindustani Music Circle) – Carnatic music teacher, Uma Sankar and Hindustani music teacher, Vaishnavi Kondapalli are collaborating with established Boston area Indian classical music teachers in training over 70 local student performers to present a fusion song titled “Bhupali-Bilahari Jugalbandi “

“The invocation brings together many music teachers and provides an amazing platform for local musicians and students. This is the essence of LearnQuest, connecting people through music,” says Pallavi Nagesha, LearnQuest Conference 2023 Emcee and Magazine Committee Chair.

The choral group accompanied by instruments such as the sitar, harmonium, Tabla, Mridangam,Veena and violin will kick-off the third and final day’s Indian music festivities on Sunday, April 9, 2023. Renowned Hindustani musician, Vidushi Arati Ankalikar composed the Hindustani song “Kaanha Karata Barjori” and a swarmaalika in Raga Bhupali to go with the pleasing Carnatic Swarajathi in Ragam Bilahari, “Ra Ra Venu Gopa Bala” composed by Vidwaan Patnam Subrahmanya Iyer.

“It is really heartening and exciting to see 70 plus students of Hindustani and Carnatic music from several music schools in the Boston area come together to perform a jugalbandi song at the LearnQuest Music Festival this year. I have only dreamed of such an event. It is being made into a reality due to the initiative and hard work of two vocal music teachers of our area, Uma Shankar and Vaishnavi Kondapalli. I admire and applaud them for making this event possible,” says Pradeep Shukla, founder Learnquest Academy of Music.

The names of the teachers (in no specific order) are: Tara Bangalore, Durga Krishnan,  Swathi Panda, Pravin Sitaram, Pradeep Shukla, Jawwad Noor, Hirak Modi, Yogesh Karale, Vandana Rao, Vaishnavi Kondapalli, and Uma Sankar.


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