December 2020

Dear Members and Friends,

I begin this letter with a heart full of gratitude for the support the AACM continues to receive from all of you. Year after year, the College works hard to earn your trust that we will provide outstanding teaching and access to the very best that Indian classical music has to offer. We could not do this without the hard work and integrity of our incredible faculty, which includes Pandit Swapan Chaudhuri and Alam Khan, along with our team of dedicated teachers; my heartfelt thanks go out to them as well, especially during 2020.

The Covid-19 global pandemic has brought many incredible schools and businesses to their knees. We have seen a disturbing amount of hardship and loss in 2020, and we are all struggling with our own daily problems due to this pandemic. Fortunately, we have been able to offer music as a balm to our students and to the staff of the AACM.

The College has been teaching online classes since 2010. Because of this fact, we have had an easier time than some schools in redirecting all of our classes online. The result has been far greater than we had hoped for. Our students have continued to take classes, and new students have joined us as well. With many people working from home, some have found a little extra time to take classes and to catch up on topics they have been wanting to study. This has helped us to stay afloat. In turn, the college has offered an ongoing Sargam (singing) class to the students, free of charge. We wanted to give something back to the students that could connect them to aspects of the music they may not have had the time to study before. This Holiday session, we are offering a free group of Riyaz (practice) classes to further benefit our students’ knowledge and techniques. Because everyone is studying online, it makes it easier for students to fit these extra classes into their schedules.

Unfortunately, we are all missing live concerts, and our artists are facing many financial difficulties because of their livelihoods being cut short. I wish we could do more to alleviate the stress this has caused many of our faculty members. Hopefully, we will be able to resume classes and concerts in-person by mid-year of 2021. This is what we are being told, so our collective fingers are crossed. In the meantime, we will continue to teach through this pandemic.

This is the time of year when all non-profit organizations reach out to their members and well-wishers to ask for financial support. The AACM counts on our fundraising season to make our ends meet, and this year is no exception.

This year, I would like to offer a CD to all friends who donate at the beginning membership level of $40, or above. The CD is titled Live in San Francisco, and features Maestro Ali Akbar Khan and Ustad Zakir Hussain. It was re-released last year to commemorate AMMP’s fortieth anniversary—originally released as a cassette in 1986 and remastered for the digital version.

In addition to the CD, for all friends who donate at the Connoisseur level of $125 or above, we will send you an invitation to access 8-weeks of Sargam classes via AACM Online. These beginning level singing classes are a perfect way to relax and at the same time stretch your voice and your brain.

I am looking forward to the day we can all gather at the College again to attend classes, concerts, and to celebrate. Hopefully, our 12th Annual Birthday Tribute to Maestro Ali Akbar Khan can take place in person in April, 2021. Until then, please accept my good wishes for a peaceful winter season.

Sincerely,

Mary Khan

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