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The LQ Boston Music Festival – Passion in the air

Submitted by on June 5, 2010 – 3:58 pmNo Comment

Every spring, something happens that draws a huge dedicated crowd at the Regis College at Weston, a suburban city near Boston. For 2 1/2 fully packed days, starting on a Friday evening the school transforms into a musical bliss. The air is filled with the sounds of over 30 instruments, ranging from string to wind, accompanied with different forms of percussion instruments. This is furthered heightened through octaves of vocal indulgence from veteran and upcoming singers.

It’s a music conference extravaganza to say the least, planned yearly by the LearnQuest Academy, under the leadership of Pradeep Shukla and Durga Krishnan, and ably managed by the LearnQuest Committee alongwith a group of upbeat and dedicated volunteers.

What’s so unique about this you may ask? Well, where else will you find a combination of the two indian forms of classical music, lecture demonstrations from real doyens in the industry, interesting experimentations (popularly known as jugalbandhi’s) and even fusion music with western instruments. To this now add the festive atmosphere, dazzling display of ethnic  & western outfits, round the event food and beverages, music shops that sell rare to find albums and people mingling together as if everyone knew everyone.

This is my 4th year, and I can say for sure, that this is one festival I eagerly wait for. Here,  indulgence with otherwise impossible to meet, musicians is a very common site, and the friendly organization and the volunteer staff make you feel the passion as they exhibit that cheerfulness tirelessly over the full duration.

I spoke to Durga Krishnan, who is one of the primary organizers at Learn Quest, and she indicated that her vision was to make this comparable to the yearly festival of music at Chennai, India…

Yearly festival at Chennai? …. Oh well, that’s another story by itself, which I am sure to be writing about soon.

Some notable highlights this year apart from extra ordinary performances from youngsters like Jayateerth Mevundi, Shubhangi Sakhalkar,  Debapriya Adhikary etc. was the lecture demonstration from the mandolin maestro U Shrinivas. 

U Shrinivas particularly shared in his very humble way, how he made it to the top. He highlighted that as an instrument people cautioned him on the limitations of the instrument for playing the indian carnatic music, but he said that he never gave up and improvised both his skills and instrument tirelessly, practicing hours and hours daily for years. This he said was his recipe for success.
He was extremely humble acknowledging and paying rich tributes to experts all around him in both the western and indian music field. He talked about his association with the Shakti group and others. Hearing his soft spoken way of addressing every question with a response of respect with a sir added when he addresses anyone humbles you and makes you realize why great personalities can move you so much.

It was a delightful weekend, having heard maestros in action that included Aswini Bhide, Sangeetha Sivakumar, Shahid Parvez, Alam Khan & P  Unnikrishnan.

The concert finished late night hours of  Sunday and I along with my wife had to drive back home to New Jersey, a 4 plus hr drive from the venue.

It is unbelievable how easy the ride back was, as we reflected on the beautiful days we had socializing with a now familiar crowd, being stirred by the many forms of music and talent and hearing the collection of CD’s we purchased.

We were fully refreshed, ready to take on another year of challenging economic climate, with the hope that it’s only just another year away before we revisit bliss. Do join us at this conference next year and be a part of the musical tide that sweeps you to bliss.

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