Arts Council England Visit 27/07/16
On Wednesday 27th July, Milapfest proudly welcomed Darren Henley, the Chief Executive of Arts Council England, and Jane Beardsworth, the Regional Director for Arts Council England North.
After an introduction to the team, trustees and volunteers, as well as a tour of our facilities, Darren and Jane were surprised with a performance by our own Sabrang choir as they headed to the Cornerstone Building for dinner. Visiting performer Nehha Bhatnagar welcomed our visitors by marking their forehead with fragrant sandalwood paste. This South Asian tradition serves as a welcome and expression of honour when guests arrive. As it was a gloriously sunny day, it also serves as a way of cooling the body, something which was gratefully received as Darren and Jane were about to join us for some traditional Asian cuisine in the Great Hall!
After dinner, we were thrilled to have Darren inaugurate our new Great British Gharana CD and book, which features the creative journeys of a number of musicians who have been a part of Milapfest’s ensembles over recent years. Darren and Jane then got a chance to see our ensembles in action as they joined us on the day that Tarang and Sabrang took to the stage for their Indika Showcase performances. It was a particularly special evening for Tarang who launched their new sound. Our visitors got to experience the debut of their Sound Trailer (which can be viewed HERE) as well as a number of tracks from their upcoming album. Sabrang, led by visiting tutors and performers, Sudha Raja and Vijay Rajput, closed the concert on a high note.
We would like to extend a huge thank you to Darren and Jane for taking time from their busy schedules to visit us and for all their warm and encouraging advice and conversation.