A bit of a reverse movement has been ongoing at St Xavier’s College for the past 40 years. While most city colleges have increasingly tended to host the most popular rock bands on the block, the Indian Music Group (IMG), a cultural outfit at Xavier’s, has been championing the cause of promoting Indian classical music among the youth.
For the past four decades, they’ve been organising Janfest, an annual festival where veterans as well as upcoming talents perform at the college premises. But each year is a struggle, owing to the low youth appeal of classical music.
“It’s difficult to get students to attend the festival. Most of our audience is over 30,” says Utsha Mitra, a member of the organising team. The highlight of Janfest, which begins today, will be a performance by thumri legend Girija Devi, who is returning to the two-day festival after almost a decade. Santoor player Rahul Sharma and vocalist Ustad Rashid Khan will also perform.
You can also watch an interesting jugalbandi among Hindustani and Carnatic musicians at the event. “This year, we have promoted the festival among many colleges by sending out our volunteers. We’ve sold a lot of tickets too. With a young artiste such as Rahul Sharma as well as an exciting jugalbandi in the line-up, we hope to attract more students,” says Mitra.
To expand the fest’s popularity among the youth, IMG has introduced special ‘baithak’ tickets (as opposed to season tickets) that you can buy for a single performance. “They cost R75-R100, which is pocket-friendly for students,” adds Mitra.
Janfest will be held today and tomorrow at St. Xavier’s College. Tickets available at the venue. Contact 98333 28559