The Greater Cincinnati
Indian Community Choir is a unique venture exploring
polyphonic avenues in rAga based music.
It has also been a very successful attempt in building
community around music.
The first choral experiments were
with Basant, a musical theater production
that was performed in 1994. The next major choral performance
of rAga based music was 'Chants for Peace'
in the year 2000.
What started off as a committed group
of people meeting to enhance their choral repertoire,
grew into a group of about 85 singers of Indian origin,
who shared choral singing with two other community choruses
in what was the highly acclaimed multi-media musical Shanti
- A journey of peace.
performed again at the Aronoff Center for Performing
Arts, to a packed house of 2500 in Cincinnati in March 2006.
Kanniks made several trips to the Lehigh Valley area
where he worked with the local community.
Kanniks inspired the formation of
the Lehigh valley Indian community choir What
started off as a committed group of workshop attendees
grew into a sizeable group of singers of Indian origin
from the surrounding area, who shared choral singing
with singers from local choruses in what turned out to
be yet another spectacular performance of Shanti in May
2006 at Lehigh University to a packed Zoellner Arts
Center, Bethlehem PA. Shanti was performed again
in October 2008, hosted this time by the Arsha Vidya
Gurukulam, in the presence of Swami Dayananda Sarasvati.
Kanniks will be working with such
community choirs being formed elsewhere in the United
States in 2009 and 2010. The choral sessions allow participants
to get exposed to various rAgas that
form the basis of Indian classical music. The simplicity
of the parts make it a pleasurable learning experience
and over a period of time, the choir acquires the ability
to handle complex musical scales and themes.