…and has many more Vanraj Bhatias, Rahmans to offer, says Grammy-winning choir director Kevin Fox
Grammy-winning choir director Kevin Fox has said that India is a treasure trove of musical talent and the country has “many more Vanraj Bhatias and A R Rahmans” to offer. The music composer who was in India as part of Classical Movements’ India Choral Fellowship, hoped that the endeavour would help initiate an exchange process between Indian and American choirs.
“India has many more Vanraj Bhatias and A R Rahmans, and we hope to take Indian choirs abroad and bring more American groups to India. After some 5 to 10 years, we expect to see thousands of choirs and choral singers in India, singing in Indian languages and encouraging more Indian composers,” Fox said.
Organised by Classical Movements, a US-based company for world’s greatest orchestras and choirs, the tour saw ‘Yale Schola Cantorum’ and ‘Juilliard415’ coming together to perform in three Indian cities – New Delhi, Mumbai and Chennai.
Fox, along with his troupe, also conducted music workshops with adults, children, professional singers, as well as beginners in the three cities. The fellowship, a brain child of Neeta Helms, was aimed at an increased “exchange of information and exposure” between musicians from both the countries.
Helms is also the President of Classical Movements. “A native of India, Neeta grew up singing in choirs, and feels there is a need for choirs in India to be able to share ideas with more of their colleagues around the world. During the tour we trained a lot of Indian teachers. We also wanted to learn as much as possible about the choir programs in India, and explore ways in which we can provide conductors and teachers to enhance their activities and spread the joy that comes from group singing,” Fox said.
Helms seconded Fox saying that such collaborations would “energise” existing choir singers in India and also encourage new people to join choirs. “We wanted to expose new people to the idea of singing with others, and share ideas on making singers and choirs as a whole the best they can be,” she said.
Fox, on his maiden visit to India, said he found Indians very “welcoming and kind”, and also expressed his love for Indian food. “It is the tastiest and the most varied cuisine in the world,” he said.