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August 5, 2019 Shehnai Recital in the Newton Hall at SFHS
The Society for Promotion of Indian Classical Arts and Culture Among Youth (SPIC MACAY) and the Durga Das Foundation organised a Shehnai recital for students of Strawberry Fields High School in the Newton Hall, on Monday.
Recipients of the prestigious Sangeet Natak Akademi’s Ustad Bismillah Khan “Yuva Puraskar” for 2010-2011 in the Hindustani Music Instrumental category, and the Aditya Vikram Birla Puraskar in 2015, Ashwini and Sanjeev Shankar hail from a 300 year old illustrious lineage of shehnai players of the Benaras Gharana. They were supported by Shri Anand Shankar on table. The stirring performance was thoroughly enjoyed by the young music aficionados of the high school who have an enviable exposure to classical music through regular scheduling of such events as part of the curriculum.
The artists admired the musical literacy of the audience as they answered some questions at the end of the hour-long recital, shedding light upon the choice of ragas played during different occasions especially the traditional use of the shehnai during Indian weddings. Responding to other questions posed by the students, Shri Sanjeev Shankar explained the structural differences and similarities between the oboe and the shehnai and also shared that when the siblings were initiated into the art of playing the instrument they would often rehearse for nearly twelve hours a day, emphasising the fact that hard work is necessary for success in any vocation.
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