UMBC’s 29th Annual Indian Music and Dance Competitions Brought Talent and Thrill

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December 6, 2012

More than 200 artists competed in the two-day talent contest, on Thanksgiving weekend, bringing immense joy to those who watched them. Highly talented artists, Veena Sivaraman won four first prizes in the Under-18 Group, and Hema Raina won three first prizes in the Adult Group.

By Staff Reporter & Columnist, Sam Prasad JillellaSpecial to MYDOSTI.COM

December 6, 2012

More than 200 artists competed in the two-day talent contest, on Thanksgiving weekend, bringing immense joy to those who watched them. Highly talented artists, Veena Sivaraman won four first prizes in the Under-18 Group, and Hema Raina won three first prizes in the Adult Group.

By Staff Reporter & Columnist, Sam Prasad JillellaSpecial to MYDOSTI.COM

The prize winners of the 2012 AIMFA-UMBC Music and Dance Competitions with Hamid Hossain (center, dressed in white) Images/Photos Credits: Wlliam Kim

CATONSVILLE, Maryland—The Academy of Indian Music and Fine Arts (AIMFA) and the Performing Arts Department of the University of Maryland Baltimore County (UMBC) have teamed-up for 29 years, promoting South Asian music and dance through classes, competitions, concerts, and exhibition performances.

Since its inception, AIMFA’s annual competitions, held on ‘Thanksgiving’ weekend, had many thousands of visitors and participants from all 50 states of the US, and from as far as Mexico, South America, Canada, and Europe.

This year, the competitions drew more than 200 artists who competed in a range of classical, semi-classical, popular music, and dance categories.

AIMFA sponsors South Asian artists for national tours of the US. Through its sister organization, AIM Records (AIMREC), AIMFA produces and distributes digitally recorded high quality CD’s, featuring finest young musicians — Budhaditya Mukherjee, Shujaat Khan, Shakir Khan, Rakesh Chaurasia — and legendary artists like Vilayat Khan, Shahid Parvez, Ajoy Chakrovorty, and Rashid Khan.

The music guru of AIMFA, Hamid Hossain, was born into a musical family, in West Bengal, India. Hossain received tabla-sitar-Hindustani vocal training from his musicologist father, Kader Buksh. A civil engineer by profession, Hossain, dedicated himself to teaching and propagating Indian classical music, full time. He worked with All India Radio.

Hossain, lived for a while in Bangladesh, and worked with Radio Bangladesh. He moved to the US in the early 1970s, inspired by what Pandit Ravi Shankar, Ali Akbar Khan, and Vilayat Khan have done in the US.

Hossain began teaching music in his basement, in Baltimore, and soon built it into an Academy of Indian Music and Fine Arts (AIMFA), with satellite centers in Virginia, Delaware, New Jersey, and Ohio.

An energetic and delightful teacher, Hossain was recruited in 1982 by the University of Maryland Baltimore County (UMBC) to help start the Indian Music Department as part of the University’s ethnomusicology program.

Hossain has beautified the musical landscape with his innovative programs, creating vibrant music scenes. He showed he enjoys what he does.

The inaugural concert, this year, on Friday Nov.23, was performed by two outstanding artists: Ghazal singer Salamat Ali of Pakistan, and sitar-player Shakir Khan of Mumbai.

Salamat Ali, gifted with a melodious voice, and trained by legendary artist Medhi Hassan, has been featured on Pakistan Radio and TV, for many years.

Salamat Ali, in the UMBC concert, was accompanied by Saleiman Azizi on tabla, and Humayun Popal on the harmonium. Azizi and Popal, both of Afghan descent, are residents of Metro Washington, and students of Hamid Hossain.

Shakir Khan, the son and disciple of noted sitar-player, Shahid Parvez, was accompanied by Washington’s popular tabla-player, Enayet Hossain.

Enayet, the son and disciple of Hamid Hossain, has in the past accompanied world-class musicians like, Vilayat Khan, Pandit Jasraj, Salamat Ali, Shujaat Khan, and Budhaditya Mukherjee.

The competitions had several judges. Some of the noteworthy judges were: Amit Inderdeo, North Indian classical vocalist; Hidayat Khan, a sitar player and a fusion artist, who is the son and disciple of the iconic sitar-player Vilayat Khan; Hans Utter, a sitar player, and a disciple of Shujaat Khan; Padmasree Gumudavelli, a South Indian classical vocalist; Utpola Borah, one of India’s eminent Hindustani classical vocalists.

Winners of highest number of first prizes: (Left to Right) Veena Sivaraman, winner of four first prizes in the Under-18 Group, AIMFA President Hamid Hosssain, and Hema Raina, winner of three first prizes in the Adult Group. Images/Photos Credits: Sam Prasad Jillella

In the competitions, Veena Sivaraman won four first prizes, in the Under-18 Group, in categories of South Indian classical vocal, bhajan, film song, and duet.

A video clip of the first place winner, Veena Sivaraman, performing at the AIMFA-UMBC Music & Dance Competitions:

Hema Raina, in the Adult Group, won three first prizes in ghazal, film song, and bhajan categories.

Vivek Pandya, a flabbergasting prodigious tabla-player aged 6, won the first prize in the under-12 category. Pandya was cheered by professional tabla-players, who claimed they “couldn’t play tabla like him, at his age.”

The prize-winners — (http://indianmusiccompetition.com/winners.html) — of the 2012 competitions thrilled the audience, displaying great talent and showmanship.

Some note-worthy exhibition performers, on the last day prior to the prize-distribution, were ghazal singers, Amit Inderdeo, and Usha Bhargave.

The sound system, for the three-day event, was handled by Omar Waqar of the California-based premier music technology company, LINE 6 (www.line6.com).

The 30th anniversary of AIMFA’s music and dance competitions will be celebrated in 2013. Plan to be at UMBC for some real excitement.

Click below to view photographs from the 29th Annual Music and Dance Competitios held November 23-25, 2012:

http://www.mydosti.com/photos/albuminfo.aspx?alid=446&name=2012_AIMFA_UMBC_Event___Part_1

http://www.mydosti.com/photos/albuminfo.aspx?alid=447&name=2012_AIMFA_UMBC_Event___Part_2

http://www.mydosti.com/photos/albuminfo.aspx?alid=448&name=2012_AIMFA_UMBC_Event___Part_3

http://www.mydosti.com/photos/albuminfo.aspx?alid=449&name=2012_AIMFA_UMBC_Event___Part_4


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