Roaring start to 10th SaMaPa Aalap Festival by maestro Abhay Sopori

Maestro Abhay Rustum Sopori performing on Day 1 of SaMaPa Aalap Festival.
Maestro Abhay Rustum Sopori performing on Day 1 of SaMaPa Aalap Festival.

Excelsior Correspondent
Jammu, Feb 16: The 10th edition of SaMaPa Aalap Festival, February 2016 began with a roaring start at Jodhamal Public School, Channi, Jammu featuring a Santoor recital by the son of the soil and eminent music maestro Abhay Rustum Sopori. Presented by SaMaPa (Sopori Academy of Music And Performing Arts), the premier music festival of Jammu and Kashmir, the SaMaPa Aalap festival this year is being organized in collaboration with Dept. of Tourism, Jammu, J&K Academy of Art, Culture & Languages and Dept. of Information & Public Relations, J&K.
The first session of the festival was inaugurated with the traditional lamp lighting ceremony by Dr. Aziz Hajini, Secretary, J&K Academy of Art, Culture and Languages, Nagendra Singh, Joint Director, Department of Information and Public Relations, J&K, Er. Sushil Attri, Dy. Director, Dept. of Tourism, Jammu, Anjali Sharma, Station Director, Doordarshan Kendra Jammu and Prof. Usha Bagati, former HOD of music, who were felicitated by Smt. (Prof) Aparna Sopori and Nandan Kutiala, Trustee of Jodhamal School. The concert started followed by Dogri folk music by the young students from Jodhamal Public School. Maestro Abhay Rustum Sopori presented Raga Bheem, a rare and a melodious morning raga commencing with soothing Aalap gently unfolding the raga and made the audience full of young students sing with him. The Jod patterns with the accompaniment of Pakhawaj left the audience spellbound.
This was followed by a Sufiana Tarana composition of Abhay’s great grandfather, the great Master musician Pt. Samsar Chand Sopori ji, “Dim Tana Ta Dare Ta Dani” in Ektaal, Bandish in Madhlaya Teentaal “Ae Naad Bedan ko” and Gat in Drutlaya Teentaal. The Sawal Jawab jugalbandi of Tabla and Pakhwaj with Santoor enthralled the audience. Ustad Akram Khan, one of the finest Tabla maestros of the country joined Abhay on Tabla and Rishi Shankar Upadhyay, a young Star of Pakhawaj gave splendid accompaniment.
Abhay explained the nuances of music to the students and the recital was followed by a long discourse on music where students asked their question to Abhay. Abhay also requested the school authorities to start Santoor as a subject and the Principal assured that the students will be offered Santoor as a choice in music very soon for which he asked for maestro Sopori’s help. The children had a memorable experience in the concert that went for nearly 2 hours. Though the inauguration was to be marked with the Santoor recital of music legend Pandit Bhajan Sopori, but on late Monday evening Pandit Shamboo Nath Sopori ji, hailed as the father of music in J&K, had to be hospitalized in Delhi due to severe and sudden medial emergency. Pt. Bhajan Sopori had to go back to Delhi and Abhay inaugurated the concert.
On the occasion Abhay Sopori highlighted SaMaPa’s initiatives and activities in the State. He said his aim has been to keep J&K a culturally vibrant State. He thanked the guests, media and music connoisseurs for being part of the SaMaPa movement. He said “SaMaPa widens its horizon into the general masses by creating the right platform for better appreciation and understanding of music in leading a more balanced life as well as exploring opportunities as means of employment”.