Kalashree Foundation produces special events like Basant Panchami. This celebration affords aspiring young musicians with an opportunity to perform. The audience is populated by family, friends, community members and supporting peers. This friendly, warm environment builds the confidence of young musicians. They get to experience presenting musical achievements in front of an informed audience. This performance is critical for a well-rounded musical education program.
About Basant Panchami
Basant Panchami is an auspicious day in India, as it heralds the arrival of Spring. This day also honors Saraswati, patron deity of the musical arts and knowledge. This day also signifies new beginnings and is a preparation for Holi, which takes place 40 days later. It is also important for young artists to get ready for Guru Poornima, another event that celebrates the guru by performing musical offerings in a public concert.
The video below features the talented students of Kalashree performing for Basant Panchami: 16th February 2021
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Guru’s Insight on Basant Panchami
Basant is the word for spring. According to Vidushi Kala Ramnath, students are given the thematic metaphor of spring to inspire their Basant Panchami performance. Spring is a time for new creations. In the musical context, improvisations are encouraged, as if painting a canvas based on springtime themes. In India, students as young as 4 or 5 years old get initiated into music on Basant Panchami; it remains a potent symbol for starting new endeavors in music.
New beginnings are well-represented in each student’s improvisations, as they build on the foundations of the past while bringing new musical phrases into existence. The metaphor of spring encourages students to reflect on the time needed to develop the fine art of improvising. From an initial seedling chalan to an exposition that blossoms into new musical phrases, the structures, forms and colors in a given raga are cultivated in the student’s mind.
Students till this fertile musical soil in preparation for the summer, in which the fruits of improvisational skills may begin to appear. Their command over improvisation is meant to blossom naturally, and it all starts with Basant Panchami. As spring signifies the start of new life, young musicians are encouraged to develop improvisational skills gradually over time; such that they may become ready for public presentation by the summer Guru Poornima event.