Indian Classical Music was once thought of as restricted only to the "formally trained". However, with the inception of the Society for Promotion of Indian Classical Music And Culture Amongst Youth (Spic Macay), its accessibility underwent radical redefinition.
Spic Macay took shape in 1972 at a concert in the Brooklyn Academy of Music, New York. After a few sporadic concerts at Columbia University - between 1972-76 - the idea assumed a more definite shape in India in 1977. Since then, it has focused on bringing the youth closer to classical art forms.
"The aim is to work through volunteers and reach out to different sections of the youth in schools and colleges. We have reached out to students across Delhi University (DU) in Miranda House, LSR, SRCC, St Stephen's College and Hindu College," said Malavika Mazumdar, who has been a volunteer with Spic Macay since 1989.
"The volunteers from these colleges are very active in bringing together students to generate an active interest in Indian classical art forms. They continue to volunteer even after graduation," added Mazumdar.
Through initiatives such as "Virasat" and "Music in the Park", the society has tried to arouse the interest of even those far removed from the classical arts.
"When we call in big names like Pandit Birju Maharaj and others, it automatically rouses the interest of the public in exploring what the event has in store," Mazumdar said further.