This month on 19th April, Asansol Harmonicats hosted a harmonica meet at Raniganj (West Bengal) so as to enable the local harmonica players from Raniganj, Asansol, Kolkata and other parts of Bengal attend the programme conveniently. Raniganj is the hometown of ‘Harmonica Tiger-Swarup Mitra’. The harmonica lovers outside West Bengal were also welcome to join them. The day-long programme was successfully attended by 55 harmonica players and the strength of the audience was around 70-80 persons.
Shri Vinayak B. (Vice President of Harmonica Lovers of Hyderabad-HaLoH) was the anchor of this programme. The programme started with the Lighting of Lamp by three junior as well as the most promising Harmonica players-Sumit Guha, Haimanti Karmakar and Ashay Kumar. This was followed by garlanding of the portrait of the ‘Father of Indian Harmonica’ - Late Shri Milon Gupta by Shri Asim Banerjee, who is an excellent harmonica player from Jamshedpur. Shri Vinayak B. and Shri Asim Banerjee are direct students of Milon da.
The programme was divided into three performance sections either on karaoke or accompanied with orchestra. In Pre-Lunch session, the beginners performed on stage. There were around 20 odd local students who performed on stage. This was followed by authentic Bengali lunch.
Post Lunch, the performances by harmonica players continued. They included Haimanti Karmakar (student of Sandipan Chakraborty), Sumit Guha, Rabin Tah, Dr Ashish Goyal, Shri Kumar Auddy, Rajiv Shrivastava, Naren Jain, Shri S.G. Helkar, Rana Mukesh Singh and Dr Tapan Maharana. The session continued till tea break.
Post Tea-break, the most awaited performances were given by Sourab Debnath (student of Shri Swarup Mitra) from Asansol, Shri Ajay Vijh from Singrauli (played 2 Hindi songs), Shri Sumanta Basu from Kolkata (played around 5 Bengali numbers), Shri Swarup Mitra (played 2 Bengali and 2 Hindi songs) and Shri Asim Banerjee(played around 5-6 songs). Duet performance by Haimanti and her guru Sandipan was also enjoyed by the audience. Another highlight of the programme was a jugalbandi (jamming session) of harmonica and santoor by Dr Arindam Modak and Shri Swarup Mitra. During the programme, there was a special classical dance performance on Lord Krishna and Gopikas’ theme by the students of Sohini Dance Academy. This dance was choreographed by Mrs Swarup Mitra.
M/s Reynolds and M/s Thomas Music, Bangalore who deal in Hohner and Suzuki harmonicas respectively partly sponsored this event. Coca Cola sponsored the beverages.
At the end of the programme, Shri Vinayak B. received a standing ovation from the audience for his contribution towards the advancement of harmonica,his role in HaLoHandhis participation forthe success of this Meet. The local harmonica students got good exposure during the event. This boosted their confidence and zeal to learn harmonica. HaLoH wishes to see many such small local/state level Harmonica Meets all over India so that it motivates the present youth to pick up this wonderful little musical instrument.
(few videos will be published shortly)
We breathe harmonica!