Meeryung Hall, the wife of US consul-general in Calcutta Craig Hall, belts out Alo amar alo at Live in Lakes, organised by Calcutta Classical Guitar Society and CIT, which organises cultural events at Rabindra Sarobar from 5-7pm every Sunday. (Below) The couple at the programme.
Pictures by Shuvo Roychaudhury
The Sunday evening audience at Live in Lakes had a surprise treat in store — a performance by Meeryung Hall, the wife of US consul-general in Calcutta Craig Hall, who was in the audience as a proud husband.
The classically trained singer sang two songs chosen for the occasion — Mary, did you know and Rabindranath Tagore’s Alo amar alo. Yes, you read that right.
“This is the first time I am singing a Bengali song; my friend Raj Lakshmi chose it for me. It is a simple song but it’s message touched my heart because it talks about the light that is everywhere and in everyone,” Meeryung told Metro before taking the dais.
Meeryung started her musical journey with the piano at a very young age. It was when she was an eighth grader that vocals came to her life.
Meeryung trained in both thereafter but the focus was on vocals. She got an undergraduate degree with a major in vocals at a Korean university, after which she moved to the United States for another undergraduate and a master’s degree in vocal performance.
Live in Lakes in Rabindra Sarobar was not Meeryung’s first gig in the city. She has already performed at ICCR and for a smaller informal gathering at her house.
Live in Lakes will definitely not be her last. “I would like to get together with local musicians and learn from and perform with them. Wherever I have been posted I have worked with local musicians, amateur as well as professional,” said Meeryung, who feels it would take her a little more time to understand Calcutta’s cultural scene.
Hall and Meeryung arrived in Calcutta in August.
“The Calcutta School of Music has got in touch with me and we are looking at how we can collaborate. I would love to meet and work with musicians from the city,” she said.
Sunday evening was the first time she sang a Rabindrasangeet in public, and it took her three or four tries to perfect.
“I learned the song without a score-sheet. I learned the words and by the ear. It is the simplicity of the song that appeals and at the same time it is so spiritual and deep,” said Meeryung, who is exploring Tagore for the first time. “I never knew that I would come to India. I think this was a gift, an opportunity from god.”
She was accompanied on the guitar by classical guitarist Sohini Dey.