Surangan School of Music Pays Tribute to Bangladesh’s National Poet Kazi Nazrul Islam

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HOUSTON: Thanks to the efforts of founder director Rupa Ghosh, the Surangan School of Music held its annual student appreciation day at the Maharaja Banquet Hall on November 21. Hailing from Bangladesh, it was only befitting that she and her students picked their national poet to pay tribute to and honor. They paid respect to him by packing the evening with songs, dances to songs and recitations composed by him.

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Rupa’s passion for music started at the tender age of five when she trained under Sri Nirmalendu Chowdhury who made Bengali folk songs mainstream in the sixties and seventies. She then trained in classical music and Rabindra Sangeet under renowned Gurus. She brought this passion along with her to Houston and to enable the next generation to continue the tradition and connect with their roots, she has been successful in training students Bengali music with purity and authenticity for the last four years.

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This passion reflected in the entire night’s proceedings which included group songs, group dances, solo songs and recitations. It was very encouraging to see the enthusiasm of the young budding performers attacking their performance with great gusto. The older senior students also did justice and enhanced the mood of the evening. A series of solo song renditions were presented by Smita, Sedra, Tithi, Purnata, Puspita, Arita, Prionti, Naiza, Sharoni, Gronti, Shayon, Shawon, Banani, Fateema while solo recitations were presented by Sohan, Rameen, Rafid, Sriti, Jolly and Arun. Maqsud’s, “Aalgaa koro go khopar bandhon” received a huge round of applause.

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The young dancers carried their colorful saris so capably and thoroughly enjoyed themselves in their four group dances. Raja Banga, director of the Prana School of Music, an eminent music school of Katy along with his few disciples delighted the audience with a Tabla Concert. He and Bidyut Ghosh on the mandira also provided the accompaniment to all the vocal renditions be it song or recitation.

The evening was compered very cheerfully with a lot of zest by PhD student at UH, Raju Ahmaad, who also got to screen his short documentary on Kazi Nazrul Islam. Maharaja reataurant provided boxed dinners for all present. Rupa finally took the stage and with her beautiful mellifluous voice charmed the audience with amongst others, “Aruno kanti”, a Nazrul kirtan, etc. At the end, on popular demand, she had to comply with the audience’s special request for “Anjali laha mor sangeete” although it was getting very late. She thanked the audience and handed over appreciation certificates to students and the night ended with a cake cutting.

All credit goes to Rupa Ghosh for keeping the vision and commitment to continue the traditional genres of Bengali music alive in Houston for both adults and children alike.