The Telegraph
Since 1st March, 1999
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School venue for winter music shower

This winter promises to be packed with a string of performances, vocal and instrumental, by talents from India and abroad, at the Calcutta School of Music. And it all begins on Saturday. The highlight of November is the Young Talents Contest, organised for the first time this year, but with hopes of making it an annual feature. The aim is to scout for new talent among schoolchildren, and provide them with a stage and a start.

The contest will showcase the youngsters’ skills in two broad categories — classical (instrumental), with either piano or violin, and popular (vocal), with pop, rock or country in English, film or folk songs or ghazals in Hindi and films or folk songs, Rabindrasangeet or Nazrulgeeti in Bengali. The three age groups are junior, for Classes III to V, middle, for Classes VI to VIII and senior, Classes IX to XII.

The preliminary selections will be done by the school staff. The deadline has been extended till November 3. “We only have about 20 applications so far,” says principal Tanusree Deb. “We have spoken to principals, but most schools were closed, and some are having exams. There has been a very positive response, so hopefully, there will be more applicants.”

The finals will be held on November 13 at ITC Sonar Bangla. Participants will be given certificates and winners will be awarded prizes. “I have spoken to people like Anjan Dutta, Usha Uthup and Reverend Noel Sen, to be judges for the finals,” says Deb, adding that if a student is “very good”, then “we might take them into our school”.

First up is a performance by Eva Fampas, a Greek classical guitarist and professor in the National Conservatory of Athens, on November 1. On November 3, it’s an evening of Italian opera with the Dell’Oste siblings, soprano Annamaria and pianist Cristiano.

On November 17, it’s time for more classical strumming on the guitar. In the performance spotlight will be German Roger Zimmerman, who is also a teacher at the Felix-Mendelssohn school of music and theatre. To end the month, on November 29, the 11-member chamber music group Linos Ensemble will take the stage. But that doesn’t end the season. More concerts are lined up through December, January and February.

“There is a loyal bunch of music lovers that attends every year. The instrumentals are most popular. But a lot of people are not aware of our programmes,” says Deb. Just keep your ears open and follow the sound of music, she sums up.

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