At noon on Thursday, April 16, The Auburn Indian Music Ensemble will perform a free concert at Jule Collins Smith Museum of Fine Art, Auburn University as a part of the museum’s weekly series, “A Little Lunch Music.”
The ensemble, led by Dr. S. Raj Chaudhury, comprises students in a semester long class where they learn fundamentals of Indian classical and semi-classical music. The students in the group come from varied musical, educational and cultural backgrounds and thus bring a rich diversity of experiences with them.
This music is based on the system of ragas (melodies) and talas (rhythms). The vocal performances of the group feature a variety of traditional instruments such as harmonium (organ), tabla (drums) and tanpura (drone). Bansuri (bamboo flute), sitar (six-stringed lute) and veena (South Indian lute) are instruments that are featured in the group’s compositions. The website auburnsangeet.wordpress.com has more about the class.
Spring 2015 members are Rasika Ramesh, Zachary Watson, Zachary Chandler, Alexander Horn, Lakshmi Krishnaprasad, Tyler Look, Ethan Pylant, Chaitra Gururaj, Gauri Desai-Shirgaonkar, Aniket Shirgaonkar, Ujan Mukhopadhyay, Dottie Bagwell, Susan Peterson, Joyeeta Das and Ameya Kolarkar.
Trained in classical and semi-classical traditions of North Indian music, Dr. S. Raj Chaudhury is the founding director of the Auburn Indian Music Ensemble, which was started in Fall 2010. His training is in the classical musics of North India with a focus on the music of Rabindranath Tagore. He has led similar music ensembles while a doctoral student at University of California, Los Angeles; at Christopher Newport University in Virginia; and within Indian cultural groups wherever he has lived in the United States. A vocalist by training, Dr. Chaudhury plays harmonium, tabla, and tanpura. In 2015, Chaudhury joined the Office of the Provost at Auburn University as Special Assistant for International Programs and Auburn Online. He previously served as Associate Director of the Biggio Center for the Enhancement of Teaching and Learning. His academic training is in Physics and Physics Education.