Music lovers from diverse backgrounds and fields of life witnessed North Indian Classical Music concert presented by the Shruti Music Academy at the Pasadena Conservatory of music on Saturday, September 24. The concert was partially funded by Pasadena Arts & Culture Commission and the City of Pasadena Cultural Affairs Division .
The Academy is founded by Dayita Datta, a recipient of ‘Music Apprentice’ and ‘Music Development’ grant from the Alliance for California Traditional Arts, and ‘Individual Artist Grant’ from the City of Pasadena . She is also an Orff trained music educator and teaches early music education at Caltech Children’s Center. She is a student of legendary vocalist the late Lakshmi Shankar, and now continues her musical training under the guidance of renowned vocalist from India Pandit Sandip Ghosh.
Datta has performed at various venues like CSULA, LACMA, Music Circle, UCSB, James Armstrong Theater, Pasadena Conservatory of Music, and Los Angeles Grand Performances.
The concert started with a keynote address by Rachael Doudrick, the Department Chair for Young Musicians of the Pasadena Conservatory of Music. Doudrick praised Founder/Director Datta for her continued work in the field of art and teaching kids’ music appreciation through various modalities.
The students of Shruti Music Academy presented morning Ragas under the direction of Datta, accompanied by JyotiPrakas on tabla (Indian classical percussion drums).
This section featured individual and small group performances by students at various levels of learning. The highlight being a Raagmala composition in Teentaal (16 beats) performed by all students of Shruti Music Academy ranging in ages from 5-65 demonstrating their training and proficiency in various Ragaas, melody and rhythm.
This was followed by a vibrant group performance by the students of Dhwani Academy of Percussion Music under direction of JyotiPrakas, senior disciple of tabla maestro Pt. Abhijit Banerjee. This included students who have recently started learning along with those who have been trained for a while as a team.
The second half of the concert included heartfelt and soulful renditions of Ragas by founder, director Dayita Datta and a mesmerizing rendition by her Guru, an eminent vocalist from India, Pandit Sandip Ghosh. They were both accompanied by brilliant musicians, JyotiPrakas on tabla and Indradeep Ghosh on violin.
The concert concluded with Pandit Sandip Ghosh handing over certificate of achievement to the students of Shruti Music Academy in front of an elegant backdrop by professional artist and designer Mohna Manihar who also emceed the event.
The diverse audience got to soak up all their senses listening to Indian classical compositions, seeing beautiful traditional Indian attires, and relishing an Indian vegetarian lunch.
For more info on Dayita Datta and Shruti Music Academy, visit http://www.dayitadatta.com/