February 06th 2017,
Dear Montreal art lovers,,
Let me start by extending my warm wishes for the New Year and personally welcoming you to Bharatiya Sangeetha Sangham’s upcoming music and dance season. We, the BSS organizing committee, hope your 2017 be filled with love, health, prosperity and of course, lots of art, music and dance!
Next, I would like to introduce to you the members of our organizing team who will be representing yours’ and the Sangham’s interests for this year. The committee of 2017 has three continuing members, Jeeva, Rajkumar, and myself; two returning members, Kalpalatha and Chaya; and two new members, Rathi and Shruthi. Jeeva has been instrumental in bringing various music and dance schools in Montreal into the Sangham’s fold and he plans to continue these outreach efforts as our Vice President. Kalpalatha, who has tended to our finances meticulously, will continue as our treasurer and Raj, who has managed the tech side of things and our social media activities, will be our secretary for the year. Our new member, Rathi, has a vast public relations and organizational experience, which will be tremendously useful as we plan our events and spread our wings. Our other new member is Shruthi, a singer and music teacher in our midst. Chaya, our past secretary, will continue as a director as long as her commitments permit.
To further our goal of growing internally, we will have a series of low-cost local programs to support and encourage young artists emerging in Montreal and the East Canada belt. We have observed that such programs serve to motivate our children in Montreal who are learning Indian classical arts. Our mini-concert format for upcoming musicians has been successful, as we now have numerous requests for performance opportunities from accomplished, youth artists from Ottawa and Toronto. During these programs, we hope to extend our scope to showcase vocal, instrumental and dance concerts. Our first Youth Encouragement Program (YEP) for this year will take place on the Feb 12th and we are happy to announce that a delicious meal will be served at the event. We plan to continue the YEP initiative through the year with our traditional Tyagaraja day and other events. Additionally, we plan to extend the year-end Composer’s day into a grand, two-day music & dance festival.
Getting into the nitty gritty of our concert planning for the upcoming year, we plan to showcase four professional concerts during 2017 and seek to honour the BSS tradition of showing a large-scale dance production in the Fall. As of now, we have booked the ever soulful, Vidushi Amritha Murali and party for late May and we are toying with some very exciting dance proposals for the fall. We also have other interesting vocal and instrumental concert proposals and we are working hard to figure out cost and feasibility issues. As discussed at our last Annual General Body Meeting (AGM), if any of you are willing to make a contribution towards bringing artists, we will be elated to pursue their proposals. If you are interested, we request you to please send us an email and one of us will contact you.
Our workshop initiative with visiting musicians has been a big hit with our Montreal rasikas and music students of all ages! Particularly, we have noticed that it is demystifying and enlightening for children and older music students to interact with the veteran artists who come to perform here and a rare privilege for them to have an opportunity to learn from these great Vidushis and Vidwans. In the coming year, we at BSS are committed to organizing workshops with all interested artists who are visiting Montreal and not solely those who are performing under the BSS banner.
Furthermore, we are thrilled to continue our collaboration with South India Cultural Association (SICA) in Ottawa! As we did last year, we will make carpool arrangements such that interested BSS members can take a short road trip to Ottawa and enjoy some additional concerts free of cost!
In terms of restructuring our member fees, as consented at the AGM, we have revised the season pass rates to $275 for the family, and $150 for single memberships. We have however retained the membership for music and dance school students (under age 18) at $25. Membership for students above 18 years of age will remain at $75. In addition, BSS will offer free membership for teachers who have more than 10 students inscribed at the Sangham. We will soon update our website with all of the fee details. The increase in subscription is due to a general increase in cost and an increase in the number of events planned. Though we managed to avoid a deficit last year, it was indeed very tight.
Last but not least, I urge all of you, supporters and well wishers of BSS, to make the leap to become season pass members, if you are yet to do so. Please consider purchasing the season pass as a donation to furthering the cause of promoting South Indian Classical performance art in Montreal. To keep this art form alive and thriving in Montreal, we need to increase its exposure and find ways to motivate our children to pursue their interests and talents in the Indian performing arts! Many of the children in the community are in fact learning one Indian art form or another, expending a great deal of effort and making commendable progress. We at BSS hope to continue providing them with a platform to showcase their progress and importantly, we hope to motivate them and cater to you, our dear Rasikas, by continuing to showcase Indian classical music and dance programs of an exceptionally high caliber.
Thank you for faithfully supporting us through all of these years. Our team hopes to fill your year with classical music and dance and I look forward to welcoming each of you personally at this year’s events.
President - Bharatiya Sangeetha Sangham