UMBC’s Annual Indian Music and Dance Competition Attains 30-year Milestone

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December 10, 2013

By Columnist, Sam Prasad Jillella

The Academy of Indian Music and Fine Arts (AIMFA), partnered with UMBC, and built one of the largest competitions of its kind, outside of India. It has promoted the growth and appreciation of Indian music and dance, and fostered diversity and friendship in the United States.

December 10, 2013

By Columnist, Sam Prasad Jillella

The Academy of Indian Music and Fine Arts (AIMFA), partnered with UMBC, and built one of the largest competitions of its kind, outside of India. It has promoted the growth and appreciation of Indian music and dance, and fostered diversity and friendship in the United States.

Wow! The nightingales: Nandan Shastry and Veena Shivaraman  (Left to Right)  entertain themselves, by entertaining  the listeners. The nightingale sits in darkness and sings to cheer its own solitude with sweet sounds, but  the listeners entranced by the melody of an unseen musician, feel moved and softened.

CATONSVILLE, MD — The annual “Indian Music and Dance Competition” could be called the “Indian Music and Dance Carnival.”

Carnival! That’s what it was — a warmhearted carnival for a cold Thanksgiving weekend. 

The three-day (Nov.29- Dec.01) extravaganza warmed the competitors, their families, friends, and supporters with enthusiasm and joy.  Added to that, was the steaming South Asian cuisine and chai.

The Sunday evening show was captivating.

Veena Sivaraman, competed in the under-18 level, is again the winner of the highest number of prizes (three First Prizes and a Second Prize). Nandan Shastry, competed in the under-12 level, won three First Prizes.  The prize winners are listed at (http://www.indianmusiccompetition.com/winners.html).

The Guest of Honor, Mr. Asif Ismail, a publisher of American Bazaar and India Currents, who presented the prizes, said in an interview: “The couple of hours I spent here, this evening, gave me a taste of what may have happened, in the last three days. It was a great show!”

The audience is absorbed as if put under spell: Front row, extreme left (Left to Right) Mr. Asif Ismail, guest of honor, publisher, The American Bazaar and India Currents media outlets; Mr. Enayet Hossain, Washington’s world class tabla percussionist, Vice President, AIMFA.

Three decades ago, the Music Department of the University of Maryland Baltimore County (UMBC), and the Academy of Indian Music and Fine Arts (AIMFA) have partnered in hosting the Annual Indian Music and Dance Competition on Thanksgiving weekend.

The first competition had 100 competitors, and over the years it has grown to 200, bringing in thousands of visitors and participants from South Asia, South America, Canada, Europe, and all over the United States.

Many extraordinary musicians and dancers rendered exhibition performances or judged the competition, and inspired the competitors.

Communicating a story:  Amanda Abraham, is fluent in the body language.

The 2013 Competition had 245 competitors. 

Józef Pacholczyk, PhD, head of the Music Department of UMBC, and Hamid Hossain, founder and director of AIMFA, have initiated the Competition in 1982, as part of UMBC’s ethnomusicology program. 

Pacholczyk, a pianist and ethnomusicologist, educated at Warsaw Conservatory, Warsaw University, and the University of California in Los Angeles (UCLA), built the UMBC’s graduate program in ethnomusicology.

With an interest in photography, since childhood, he conducted field research in several countries, including India, and documented his work. He authored scholarly books on music and its relationship to culture, literature, and religion.   

Ustad Hamid Hossain, hails from a family of extraordinary musicians. “Ustad,” a title of respect, means “teacher,” “master.”

Tabla competition, in search of talents in tala : (Left to Right) Souvik Ghosh, and Matthew Poovan

Hossain, an energetic and delightful teacher, held teaching positions at Franklin and Marshall College, Dickerson College, and UMBC, and has beautified the musical landscape with his innovative programs, creating vibrant music scenes.

India is a mosaic of different cultures, and different forms of music and dance. Since 1965, after new immigration bills were passed, large number of Indians migrated to the US. As the Indian community grew in different cities, Indian music and dance learning-centers sprouted, and began replicating the Indian mosaic, here in the US.   

In Metro Washington and Baltimore, there are now dozens of such centers which are open during after-school hours for children and youth.  Many Indian children born in the US, learned Indian music and dance at these centers, and have become noteworthy performers.   

Bhajan, the melodic soul music : Usha Bhargave, a physician blends music with medicine—medicine to boost the body, and music to mend the soul.

Two weeks ago, the President’s Committee on the Arts and the Humanities presented the 2013 National Arts and Humanities Youth Program Awards, at The White House, to outstanding after-school arts programs. 

These after-school programs, exposing youth to a wide variety of arts, enrich youth with creativity, new skills, self-confidence, and transform their lives. It has been proven that those who train in these programs, are more focused and do better in school.

Parents have a good reason to expose their children to arts, and encourage them. .   

The prize winners of the 2012 AIMFA-UMBC Music and Dance Competitions with Hamid Hossain (center, dressed in white) – See more at: http://news.mydosti.com/umbc-29th-annual-indian-music-and-dance-competitions-brought-talent-and-thrill#sthash.kM88y3lU.dpuf

Top prize winners of the 2013 AIMFA-UMBC Music and Dance Competitions with Hamid Hossain, Founder/Chairman AIMFA

Maryland Governor Martin O, Malley, said in his message to AIMFA and the competitors:

 “We are proud to have such strong cultural traditions that bring richness and joy to our neighborhoods, while strengthening our communities…On behalf of Maryland citizens; I commend the Academy of Indian Music, and wish you many more years of success.”

The competition in fine arts is enabling youth to achieve life’s ambitions.

Entertain yourself, entertaining others!

The prize winners of the 2012 AIMFA-UMBC Music and Dance Competitions with Hamid Hossain (center, dressed in white) – See more at: http://news.mydosti.com/umbc-29th-annual-indian-music-and-dance-competitions-brought-talent-and-thrill#sthash.kM88y3lU.dpuf

The prize winners of the 2013 AIMFA-UMBC Music and Dance Competitions: center – (left to right), Mr. Asif Ismail, Publisher, Guest of Honor and Hamid Hossain, Founder/Chairman AIMFA

Click below to view photographs from the 30th Annual Music and Dance Competitions held November 29-December 1, 2013:

https://www.mydosti.com/photos/albuminfo.aspx?alid=496&name=2013_AIMFA_UMBC_Event___Part_1

Click below to view photographs from the 29th Annual Music and Dance Competitios held November 23-25, 2012: – See more at: http://news.mydosti.com/umbc-29th-annual-indian-music-and-dance-competitions-brought-talent-and-thrill#sthash.kM88y3lU.dpuf

Community Special by MYDOSTI.COM

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