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Sikh Musicology

Sikh Musicology Concerts, Performances & Workshops

2016
2014
2013
2012
2011

Fall 2016

Thursday, November 3
Traditions in Transition: Intangible Cultural Heritage in South and Southeast Asia Symposium

This symposium unites scholars from the disciplines of anthropology, ethnomusicology, folklore, theater and Asian studies to sacred traditions of South and Southeast Asia. Through the participation in workshops given by scholar-practitioners, performances of a central Javanese Gamelan orchestra, Sundanese rod puppetry theater, Sikh religious hymns, academic lectures, and a one-day installation of an exhibit of puppets, costumes, instruments, and ethnographic photos of healing performances, participants in this symposium gain insight into complex performance forms and explore the paradoxical issues currently facing the traditional arts and their definition as intangible cultural heritage in South and Southeast Asia. UNESCO defines intangible cultural heritage as "the practices, representations, expressions, knowledge, skills — as well as the instruments, objects, artifacts and cultural spaces associated therewith — that communities, groups and, in some cases, individuals recognize as part of their cultural heritage." More Information


Spring 2016

Francesca Cassio, the Sardani Harbans Kaur Chair in Sikh Musicology at Hofstra University will be participating in the following events around the country:

Thursday and Friday, February 26-27
Dr. Cassio will perform with Parminder Singh Bhamra and Nirvair Kaur Khalsa and present a paper, "The Sonic Pilgrimage: Gurbani Kirtan as Vehicle of the Spiritual Journey” at the Music and Poetics of Devotion in the Jain and Sikh Traditions conference at Loyola Marymount University, Los Angeles, February 26-27. More information

Friday-Sunday, March 4-6
She will participate in a conference on the Music of South, Central, and West Asia at Harvard University. Dr. Cassio will perform on March 4 with Parminder Singh Bhamra and Nirvair Kaur Khalsa and deliver the pre-concert lecture, “Singing at the Guru’s court. The dhrupad of the Gurbani kirtan tradition.” More information

Thursday, April 7
Dr. Cassio will serve on a panel, “Women and Music in Religious Traditions from Around the World,” with a focus on the case study of Female Singers of Sikh Kirtan for the music conference Spirit and Sound, organized by the Institute for Religion, Culture and Public Life at Columbia University. She and Parminder Singh Bhamra and Nirvair Kaur Khalsa will also perform at the S. James Chapel (Union Theological Seminary) at 121 St. and Broadway, New York. More information

Dr. Cassio performing at Yale University, April 2016
Dr. Cassio performing at Yale University, April 2016

Fall 2014

Monday, November 17, 7 p.m.
Sacred and Secular in the Sikh Musical Tradition by Dr. Virinder Kalra, University of Manchester (UK)
This event is sponsored by the Hofstra Cultural Center in collaboration with the Sardarni Harbans Kaur Chair in Sikh Musicology.
Since the traumatic events of 1984 many aspects of Sikh cultural life have come under scrutiny and to some extent revival and reform, parallel with the Singh Sabha movements of the early 20th century. Sikh kirtan has also been subject to these revivalist forms resulting in a number of attempts at bringing tunes, instruments and practices back into use that had fallen into abeyance. This renaissance has been well documented and also received some academic attention. However, the vast majority of Sikh kirtan that continues to be produced and performed is of a popular variety. By focusing on the experiences of kirtan performers and the institutional structures in which music is managed in Gurdwaras, this talk will offer some reasons for the continuing salience of popular kirtan.


Spring 2014

The Hofstra Cultural Center presents the Joseph G. Astman Concert Series Sacred Music from Around the World

Thursday, March 13, 7:30 p.m.
Persian Mystic Songs for Nowruz

Sepideh Raissadat, vocal and sehtar; Naghmeh Farahmand, zarb, daff
The event celebrates the Nowruz, the festivity marking the Iranian New Year on March 21.
In collaboration with D'Addario Music Appreciation Initiative.
Admission: Fee
 
Wednesday, April 9, 7:30 p.m.
The Words of My Beloved. Holy Hymns from the Sikh Gurus'tradition

Dr. Francesca Cassio, vocal and tanpura Parminder Singh Bhamra, pakhawaj; Nirvair Kaur Khalsa, taus
Dr. Francesca Cassio (Sardarni Harbans Kaur Chair in Sikh Musicology at Hofstra University) will perform traditional hymns from the Sikh Gurus' repertoire (late 15th-early 18th century) in the medieval dhrupad style.
Admission: Free
 
Wednesday, April 16, 7:30 p.m.
The Alash Ensemble Performing Overtone Singing from Tuva

Ayan-ool Sam, Bady-Dorzhu Ondar and Ayan Shirizhik
The Alash Ensemble is a trio of master overtone singers (xöömei) from Tuva, a tiny republic in the heart of Central Asia.
Admission: Fee
 
Location for all 2014 events:
The Helene Fortunoff Theater, Monroe Lecture Center, California Avenue, South Campus

Spring 2013

Friday, April 12, 2013, 5 p.m.
Hymns from the Sikh Music Tradition
North India, 15th-18th Century
The First Sardarni Harbans Kaur Chair Student Recital

Featuring
Jessie Ann Bolash, Vocal and Tānpūrā
Rikhav Kothari, Pakhāwaj

Special Guest
Michael Braudy, violin

The Helene Fortunoff Theater
Monroe Lecture Center, South Campus

2012

Vaisakhi Festival  - April 14, 2012

A performance of shabad kīrtan by Dr. Francesca Cassio.

In the spring 2012 Dr. Cassio was invited to perform a kīrtan at the Gurudwara Mata Sahib Kaur in Glen Cove, Long Island,  to celebrate the Sikh Vaisakhi Festival. The event was attended by a large audience from the Sikh Community of New York and Long Island.

On this special occasion Dr. Cassio performed Sikh traditional repertoire, in the authentic medieval dhrupad style, playing tānpurā, and accompanied on pakhāwaj by the renowned percussionist Parminder Singh Bhamra from New Delhi. The duo performed Rāg Bihagra in Pancham Sawari, Rāg Jaijawanti in Chartāl, Sri Rāg in Sultāl

Dr Cassio and Parminder Singh Bhamra performing a kīrtan at Mata Sahib  Kaur Gurdwara in Glen Cove, NY.
Dr Cassio and Parminder Singh Bhamra performing a kīrtan at Mata Sahib Kaur Gurdwara in Glen Cove, NY.
poster

“Guru Nanak Prize”  -   April 18, 2012

The class of Sikh Musicology led by Dr Cassio performed a short kīrtan recital at the Guru Nanak Interfaith Prize, an event organized by Hofstra University in collaboration with the Sardarni Kuljit Kaur Bindra Charitable Foundation.

The function was held at Garden City Hotel in Garden City, NY, and was attended by hundreds of guests, among them the Hofstra President Stuart Rabinowitz, the Provost and Senior Vice President of Academic Affairs Herman A. Berliner, Dean of Hofstra College of Liberal Arts and Sciences Bernard Firestone, Mr. Teji Bindra, Mrs. Indie Singh, Dr IJ Singh, Dr  Eboo Patel, and Dr  Balbinder Singh Bhogal.

Seven students accompanied the performance of Dr. Francesca Cassio and Parminder Singh Bhamra. 

Dr Cassio interviewed by PTC Television Punjab, after the performance at  the Guru Nanak Interfaith Prize, Long Island April 2012
Dr Cassio interviewed by PTC Television Punjab, after the performance at the Guru Nanak Interfaith Prize, Long Island April 2012

Hofstra Students’ Recital  -  April 29, 2012

The class of Sikh Musicology led by Dr Francesca Cassio performed a recital of traditional Sikh Gurus’ repertoire in the medieval dhrupad style, with the accompaniment of Parminder Singh Bhamra on pakhāwaj. The class performed Rāg āsā,  ālāp and a shabad in partāl (12 and 14 beats). The event was attended and highly appreciated by Hofstra students and faculty.

2011

 “Songs for the Beloved”   - November 13, 2011

The Sardarni Harbans Kaur Chair in Sikh Musicology invited Dr. Gurnam Singh Rathour from the Punjabi University of Patiala (India) for a one-month visiting scholarship. During his visit, Dr. Gurnam Singh Rathour gave a recital of Gurbānī Sangīt, accompanied by Manpreet Singh (harmonium), Amandeep Singh (dilruba) and Bhai Raghbir Singh (tablā).

The event was held at the Helene Fortunoff Theater, in collaboration with the Hofstra Cultural Center and the Joseph G. Hastman International Concert Series.  

Members of the Sikh Community as well as Hofstra students and teachers attended the event. Among the honorable guests: Dr. Hakam Singh with his daughter Mrs. Indie Singh, Dr. IJ Singh, Mr. Teji Bindra, Dr. Balbinder Singh Bhogal (Chair in Sikh Studies), Dr. Firestone (HCLAS Dean), Dr. Robinson (Chair of the Music Department)

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Dr. Gurnam Singh and his group performing at the Helene Fortunoff  Theater, November 2011.
Dr. Gurnam Singh and his group performing at the Helene Fortunoff Theater, November 2011.

Dr Hakam Singh and Dr. Francesca Cassio felicitating Dr. Gurnam Singh Rathour  after his performance at Hofstra University
Dr Hakam Singh and Dr. Francesca Cassio felicitating Dr. Gurnam Singh Rathour after his performance at Hofstra University