Raga@7: Tohfa – A Gift
Seven Arts Leeds

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Raga@7: Tohfa – A Gift

DATE: Saturday, 23rd March 2024
TIME: 7:00pm
VENUE: Seven Arts, 31A Harrogate Rd, Chapel Allerton, Leeds LS7 3PD 

When like-minded people join forces to invest in children and young people the outcome is a life-long Tohfa ‘a Gift' that gives to this generation and for generations to come. 
 
Thanks to Leeds Music Education Partnership (LMEP), Yorkshire Young Musicians (YYM), Future Talent, parents and individual donations, SAA-uk is delighted to invite you to our 1st Spring concert featuring next generation gems of talent to emerge from Leeds, presenting their first solo performances on sitar and santoor. 
 
The three soloists (Kirtan Kaur Virdee, Sukhraj Singh and Taveesha Vashista) have been learning and developing their passion and talent for Indian Classical Music since they were very young: ages 4, 9 and 12 respectively. Each of the musicians this evening has been training and preparing under the watchful eye of Ustad Dharambir Singh and Ustad Harjinderpal Singh. 
 
They will be performing ragas that are primarily associated with Hindustani Music (North Indian Classical Music) synonymous with Afghanistan, Pakistan, India and Bangladesh. Tabla accompaniment will be talented tabla artist Harkiret Singh Bahra and SAA-uk alumnus Bhavanjot Singh.  
 
Tohfa stands as a testament to the transformative impact of donations and bursaries, notably exemplified by the Future Talent Bursary, which has been a steadfast pillar supporting young Sukhraj's musical journey since the tender age of 9; our heartfelt gratitude goes to Future Talent for their unwavering commitment.  

“Music has benefited Sukhraj in many ways, such as improving his concentration. Playing an instrument requires focus and accuracy to ensure the melodic sound of the notations. Additionally, it has helped him become more disciplined, as improvement necessitates a lot of practice and repetitiveness.” - Sukhraj's parent 
 
Kirtan initiated her musical journey at the tender age of 4, embarking on a comprehensive learning expedition. Today, she not only continues her own musical odyssey but also imparts the rich oral tradition as a junior tutor at SAA-uk Academy and Yorkshire Young Musicians. Her presence is cherished by the young pupils, and we deeply value Kirtan's significant contribution to our Academy!  
 
“Kirtan has been learning sitar since the age of 4 from very inspiring and knowledgeable teachers through SAA-uk. Over the years she's had many opportunities to perform and be part of larger ensembles. This music journey has given her a chance to stay in touch with and explore her culture, language, background and history. Music has given her a grounded yet ambitious attitude towards other areas of her life. It wasn't always an easy journey, but I now see how music has shaped her and I am forever grateful for it. Thank you, SAA-uk!” - Kirtan's parent 
 
Meanwhile, Taveesha, an online student, embraced the sitar during the COVID-19 pandemic through our online classes. Tonight marks her debut performance for a live audience, emphasizing the significance of promoting online learning opportunities.  
 
“Playing Sitar brings in a sense of happiness in Taveesha and self-expression through music is a stress relieving experience for her. To learn and perform is a skill, and it's a test of her perseverance and patience and has added to her confidence.” - Taveesha's parent 
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