Jazz And More.. hot music in Delhi

Woodstock's student musicians left campus early Saturday morning for a whirlwind trip to Delhi to perform on Saturday night, March 31, 2007, before an appreciative audience at the Pipal Tree Amphitheatre, part of the renowned Akshara National Classical Theatre. Gopal Sharman and Jalabala Vaidya, founder-directors of the Akshara Theatre, welcomed more than 40 Woodstock student and faculty musicians who entertained the 400-plus crowd with a wide variety of music.

The daytime heat still filled the theatre as the Jazz Band, directed by Dave Hugg, took the stage, and the temperature rose further as hot sounds of classic jazz and soul music filled the air-high points were "Stand by Me" and "Respect." The band's first set was followed by the Chamber Choir, fourteen voices in perfect harmony, conducted by Anne Sheehy. The intensely sad setting of the war poem, "In Flanders Fields" held the listeners spellbound.

The first half of the program ended with two fragile and evocative Classical Indian pieces: "Raga Tilakkamod," played on sitar by Nicole Lemire, and "Raga Jhinijhoti," played on santoor by Arpita Herbert, both accompanied by Aloke Kumar Maiti on the tabla. Mr. Maiti heads the Indian music program; he is, a fourth-generation shisya (disciple) of his guru, who studies with his bade guruji, West Bengal's renowned Pandit Manilal Nag.

The second half began with melodies sung by the Chamber Choir, including a spirited interpretation of "Queen of Soul (A Salute to Aretha Franklin)," followed by "String Quartet, Op. 1, No. 5," by Franz Joseph Haydn, performed skillfully by the Senior Chamber Strings ensemble, twelfth-grade musicians led by participating instructor Ravi Arthur on viola. Members of the ensemble are Maki Miura and Ye-Won Kwak, violin I; Siona Gholap and Annalisa Graham, violin II; Sruti Arthur, cello; and Amit Shakya, bass.

The Faculty String Quartet then performed "String Quartet No. 1," composed by Zingrin Shishak, a member of the Woodstock music faculty who graduated from Woodstock in 1997. This performance received a very warm reception. Members of the quartet are Louise Bamber, violin I; Kaye Aoki, violin II; Amitavo Roy, viola; and Ravi Arthur, 'cello.

The Jazz Band closed the program with several familiar numbers, concluding with James Brown's "I Feel Good." Theatre owner Jalabala Vaidya performed an impromptu jazz dance with MC Pete Wildman as the band played the audience out. A dinner on the lawn behind the amphitheatre for sponsors and donors was a pleasant end to a delightful evening of music.

This successful concert was a benefit performance for Woodstock School, and approximately Rs. 2.7 lakh ($6,400) was raised. Because all expenses for the event were covered by the school, all the proceeds from the event went directly to the Woodstock Annual Fund for the renovation and improvement of staff and employee housing at Woodstock. The lovely program was designed by Andy Malhan, Class of 1988, graphic artist and owner of TSA Effects, Delhi, and printed courtesy of Mr. and Mrs. J.B. Roy.

Well-known theatre personalities, Gopal Sharman and Jalabala Vaidya, founder-directors of the Akshara Theatre, gave Woodstock students the use of the theatre as part of their commitment to promoting the performing arts among young people, through Diksha, their program of classical training for children. The Akshara Theatre is located on Baba Kharak Singh Road, New Delhi.

Dave Hugg, head of Woodstock's Music Department and director of the Jazz Band, described the Akshara Theatre's Pipal Tree Amphitheatre: "The stage, the seating, the shade of old trees-this amphitheatre has the perfect ambience for a night of great music!"

Chamber Choir Members

  • First Sopranos
  • Amrita Dhillon (10th)
  • Yasmin Fitts (9th)
  • Kayo Horie (11th)
  • Ankita Suna (7th)
  • Second Sopranos
  • Esther Khiangte (9th)
  • Angela Bhutia (11th)
  • Charisma Kundan (10th)
  • Atila Jamir (7th)
  • Altos
  • Helena Billington (11th)
  • Rithambhra Garg (10th)
  • Pooja McArthur (8th)
  • Sareega Shetty (9th)
  • Basses
  • Joshua Ramsanga (9th)
  • Mark Williams (9th)

Jazz Band Members

  • Alto Saxophone
  • Eri Takeuchi, 10th
  • Karen Edlefson, 10th
  • Tenor Saxophone
  • Han Gil Seo, 10th
  • Baritone Saxophone
  • Dae Jin Lee, 10th
  • Trumpet
  • Avalok Kaul, 10th
  • Jae Young Lee, 12th
  • Dzung Viet Dau, 11th
  • Srishti Chandola, 10th
  • Trombone
  • Rebekah Blank, 11th
  • Khuplunmang Kipgen, 12th
  • Mikhail Verma, 12th
  • Shotaro Yamauchi, 11th
  • Atirav Gupta, 10th
  • Bass
  • Amit Shakya, 12th
  • Keyboard
  • Ennuri Jo, 9th
  • Drumset
  • Rohit Kapur, 12th
  • Taditraj Hazarika, 9th

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