Dear Members and Friends,
I sincerely hope this letter finds you in good health and spirits. We have lived through another troubling year, and we can only hope 2022 is more forgiving in all ways. It is our great pleasure to say that, through all of this, the AACM is still standing strong. This is because of your incredible support and good wishes, and I want to thank you for continuing to be a part of our community of music lovers, teachers, and students.
Once again, we have spent this year teaching online. Fortunately, this style of teaching—although not ideal—works well for us. The teachers and students would certainly rather the classes be held in-person, but teaching and learning online is incredibly effective, and it has allowed us all to still feel connected to one another. It has also afforded the college an opportunity to offer additional online supplemental classes to our students each term, due to the ease of using Zoom. Many students are located quite a distance away from the college, so even if they did want to take a second class, they just couldn’t fit it into their busy lives. Now with the online option, they can.
Since the beginning of the pandemic, we have offered supplemental vocal and practice classes, and have recently added a raga appreciation class. These classes are completely free of charge to our students. We also encourage their families to join in and sing or learn about the ragas. It is important to us to expand our students’ knowledge of this beautiful music beyond the study of their particular instrument, and to help them understand their role in a larger musical context. We plan to continue offering this online supplemental class each session, and look forward to future additions.
Our focus for the next year will be on celebrating Khansahib’s 100th birthday! Such a milestone requires suitable attention, and we intend to commemorate this occasion with an abundance of music and joy. The festivities will begin on his birthday, April 14th, 2022, and will continue throughout the year. We are working on various forms of tributes, most of which will be offered online so the world can celebrate with us. If possible, we will be able to host some events at our own venue later in the year. Along with a few surprises we are working on, we will be releasing a new album of one of Khansahib’s performances, and a very special book filled with his musings.
Many artists located in India are understandably still not traveling for concerts, so we are working on filming their performances in India to broadcast during the year. Our students will also pay their individual tributes to Khansahib, along with sharing their memories. It is important to us to include our greater community by giving everyone an opportunity to pay homage to our dearest Khansahib in their own way. We will be sending out a request to our wider circle of friends to send us their personal messages and videos.
This is a poignant time—a busy time—and as we work hard to create these celebrations of Khansahib’s life we cannot help but to stop and think about his enormous contribution to the world of music. In fact, there isn’t a word that can encompass his impact. His presence has never left, and I speak for the staff and students when I say not a day goes by that we do not hear his voice in our heads guiding us through our lives. We are honored to be continuing his legacy, as we are honored to be a part of this incredibly warm and loving community.
Please join with us in keeping the college alive and a thriving destination for learning and performing!
With my warm wishes,