Music India 2014

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Samyo and Tarang with the tutors and staff at Music India 2014

Just under a month ago Milapfest hosted a week of Indian classical music and dance training at the Music India and Dance India residential summer schools. Milapfest’s Development Officer, Lisa Buckby, took on the role of Music India Co-Ordinator for the week.  Here, she looks back at the school and rounds up what happened over the week. 

Music India 2014 took place over eight days at Liverpool Hope University’s Creative Campus in Everton, Liverpool. The summer school had approximately 50 participants in total, ranging from beginner to advanced level. The participants were all UK based members of either Samyo, the National Youth Orchestra for Indian Music or Tarang, a touring ensemble of advanced adult musicians playing Indian Music.

Throughout the week, participants took part in sessions which aimed to improve performance on their first instrument, ensemble playing in their orchestra, knowledge of the Indian art forms and also team building skills in the Team Competition, where all ages and abilities worked together and performed at the end of the week. There were eleven tutors in total, some resident musicians of Milapfest and some who travelled from India to teach and perform as part of the Indika Festival, which runs parallel with the school.

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Samyo Conductors Gaurav Mazumdar and Kousic Sen perform a Morning Raga concert at Indika Festival.

“Music India teaches me to consider other types of music, different aspects of music I don’t learn in lessons, teaches me how to work well in an orchestra and allows me to work with amazing young artists who I have been able to learn a lot from.” Student, Music India

The school is the only one of its kind in England and has an ethos of excellence, encouraging comradeship and fun. Music India 2014 also ran parallel with Dance India 2014, which is an international summer school, attracting approximately 70 dancers who also train at the Creative Campus of Hope University throughout the week.

“The fact that teachers from abroad came to teach us their own style of playing and just watching them inspires us to work harder.” Student, Music India

Samyo – All students from the National Youth Portfolio Organisation, Samyo, were required to attend Music India as their annual retreat, to focus on repertoire, ensemble playing and improving their instrumental skills. At the beginning of the week, the orchestra gave a performance as part of the Indika Festival. Leader, Gaurav Mazumdar, worked alongside composers, Jayanthi Kumaresh, Lalgudi GJR Krishnan, Ranajit Sengupta and Anil Srivinasan to develop new compositions. Samyo were also coached by Alberto Sanna from Liverpool Hope University. A specialist in Early Music, Alberto worked with Samyo to improve their ensemble playing skills. They will continue to rehearse monthly throughout the year and are working towards a performance at the Queen Elizabeth Hall in the Southbank Centre in February 2015.

“The students are very good at picking up the music here, I’m very surprised. It’s so nice, they’re very quick, especially the vocalists. I’ve not seen such quick learning, even in India.” Pandit Madhup Mudgal, Vocal Tutor.

Tarang – Tarang, the ensemble for musicians over the age of 18, focuses on continued professional development in addition to training these exceptional musicians who are at the beginning of their musical careers. Similar to Samyo, Tarang had sessions throughout the week to work on new compositions and repertoire and were led primarily by Girishh Gopalakrishnan and Anil Srivinasan. They also received workshop sessions from workshop leader, Pete Moser, exploring ways of composing new music and discussing how to introduce Indian music to new audiences and teach Indian Music. Tarang also worked with Liverpool Hope University Lecturer, Alberto Sanna on their ensemble playing skills. This formed the foundation of a new project, where Tarang will collaborate with Italian musicians this November. Tarang will also tour the UK this Autumn to perform their new compositions, exploring North and South Indian music, and fusions of Western and Indian Music.

“Music India inspires me to continue practising, increases knowledge of both music and dance, increases my confidence, opens my mind to new ideas.” Student, Music India

Written by Lisa Buckby
Music India Co-Ordinator
Development Officer, Milapfest

We’ll be looking closer at some of the sessions and experiences at Music India over the next few weeks through blogs, videos and pictures.  Follow the blog or find us on Twitter @Milapfest  Instagram @Milapfest or Facebook /Milapfest

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