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Date: Jul 18, 2008
Follows creation of endowed chair in Sikh musicology
Hofstra to Offer Two Fall Courses in Sikh Sacred Music
Hofstra University, Hempstead, NY – Hofstra University this fall will offer two new courses that focus on the musical traditions of Sikhism. Founded in northern India, Sikhism is one of the world’s largest religions.
The courses, Sacred Music of the Punjab I and II, will be offered this fall, meeting Tuesdays and Thursdays from 6:30-8:35 p.m., Sept.11- Oct. 2 and Nov. 18-Dec. 9. The courses together will examine music traditions in a broad South Asian context and will include an historical overview of Sikh gurus and their musical contributions, musical theory and techniques, vocal and instrumental elements, and the role of music in Sikh scripture. Towards the end of each course there will be a performance of Sikh music. The performances are free and open to the public.
The courses will be taught by two renowned experts in Sikh musicology - Bhai Baldeep Singh (Sept. 11-Oct. 2) , a 13th generation exponent of the Sikh Kirtan Maryada tradition and an instrument maker, vocalist, percussionist, string player, scholar and teacher; and Gurnam Singh, Ph.D., (Nov. 18-Dec. 11) founder, professor, head and chair of the Department of Gurmat Sangeet within the Faculty of Arts and Culture at Punjabi University in Patiala, Punjab, who has published 14 books, 27 edited books, and numerous articles and is a senior fellow of Sangeet Natak Research Academy, New Delhi.
The courses are being jointly offered by Hofstra University Continuing Education and the Department of Religion. They can be taken for credit or as non-credit courses. For more information on the courses and the concerts, please contact Debbi Honorof at (516) 463-6331.
Hofstra earlier this year announced the creation of the Sardarni Harbans Kaur Chair in Sikh Musicology that will concentrate on how Sikh music and scripture are historically intertwined. The chair is a gift from Hakam Singh, Ph.D., a retired chemist with a lifelong interest in Sikh music. Dr. Singh, who lives in California, had become familiar with Hofstra’s growing reputation as a center of Sikh study through his daughter, who lives on Long Island.
Hofstra University also is home of the Sardarni Kuljit Kaur Bindra Chair in Sikh Studies, which was established at Hofstra to promote the academic study of the Sikh religion, philosophy, culture and history. In addition to a major academic program in Sikh Studies and South Asian Religions, the Bindra Chair supports the appointment of a faculty member in Sikh Studies, helps build the University Library’s holdings in Sikhism, provides scholarship assistance to students interested in Sikh religion and culture, and funds annual conferences and lectures directed toward the academic community and the general public. The chair is now held by Balbinder Singh Bhogal, Ph.D. Hofstra's Department of Religion also includes the Msgr. Thomas J. Hartman Chair for Catholic Studies, currently held by Julie Byrne, Ph.D., and an endowed chair in Jewish studies.
Earlier this year, Hofstra awarded the first Guru Nanak Interfaith Prize to His Holiness the 14th Dalai Lama of Tibet. The biennial award, named for the founder of Sikhism, was endowed by the family of Sardar Ishar Singh Bindra and recognizes efforts at interfaith dialogue. The $50,000 prize will be presented to His Holiness on November 18, 2008 in India by a delegation including Hofstra officials, the family of Sardar Ishar Singh Bindra, which established the prize at Hofstra, and former Indian Prime Minister I.K. Gujral, a member of the Guru Nanak Interfaith Prize Honorary Committee. The Dalai Lama is expected to visit Hofstra in 2009.
Hofstra University is a dynamic private institution where students can choose from about 145 undergraduate and 155 graduate programs in liberal arts and sciences, business, communication, education and allied human services, and honors studies, as well as a School of Law. With a student-faculty ratio of 14-to-1, our professors teach small classes averaging 22 students that emphasize interaction, critical thinking and analysis. Hofstra offers a faculty whose highest priority is teaching excellence, cutting edge technology, extensive library resources, internships and special educational programs that appeal to their interests and abilities. The Hofstra community is driven, dynamic and energetic, helping students find and focus their strengths to prepare them for a successful future.