Department Hosts Week of Cultural Events
This week, the Smith music department will present two concerts
with very different programs and aims.
On Saturday, Nov. 15, the department will celebrate 35 years
of music by Donald Wheelock, the Irwin and Pauline Alper
Glass Professor of Music at Smith, as the Walden Chamber
Players perform works by the composer. The concert, which
is free and open to the public, begins at 8 p.m. in Sweeney
Concert Hall, Sage.
And on Sunday, Nov. 16, the department will host a Concert
for Peace and Tolerance, a performance by contemporary Pakistani
guitarist Salman Ahmad, and Indian virtuoso tabla player
Also, a film screening of It’s
My Country, Too, a
documentary produced by Salman Ahmad about post-9/11 views
of American Muslims, will take place on Tuesday, Nov. 11,
at 7 p.m. in Weinstein Auditorium, Wright Hall.
Walden Players Perform Wheelock
The Walden Chamber Players,
founded in 1997, is a group of 13 musicians who specialize
in classical concerts with new content and presentation.
The oldest piece in the program of Wheelock’s music is Ten Bagatelles for Oboe and
String Quartet, which the composer wrote in 1972. It premiered
at Smith and Amherst Colleges and was performed by Peter
Bloom, oboe, and the Smith College String Quartet. The
most recent piece, Piano Variations, is a virtuoso work
composed in 2007, which will be performed by Judith Gordon,
pianist and faculty member at Smith. The concert will begin
with Wheelock’s String Trio (2003), a dramatic five-movement
work for violin, viola, and cello. The concert will conclude
with Music for Seven Players (1981), a one-movement work
for two wind players, string trio, piano, and percussion,
commissioned in the early 1980s by the Boston Musica Viva
with the help of a grant from the Massachusetts Council
on the Arts and Humanities.
Concert for Peace and
Ahmad and Chatterjee will present
an acoustic blend of popular music incorporating Eastern
and Western influences and conveying messages of peace and
band Junoon has sold over 25 million albums worldwide.
A passionate peace activist, Ahmad has performed at the
Nobel Peace Prize awards ceremony and has appeared with
Pearl Jam, Iron Maiden, Queensryche, Sting, Def Leppard,
and Prodigy. Chatterjee’s work has been a catalyst
for the fusion of Indian and Western musical traditions.
He has performed extensively on Indian national radio and
television and has appeared with Ravi Shankar, Vilayat
Khan, Bhimsen Joshi, Branford Marsalis, Ravi Coltrane,
Dance Theater of Harlem, Boston Philharmonic, Ethos Percussion
group, Da Capo Chamber Orchestra, Boston Musica Viva, and
other jazz, classical, and avant-garde musicians and ensembles.
The concert is co-sponsored
by The Smith College Music Department, the President’s
Office, the Lecture Committee, and the Kent Fund.
My Country Too
Lead guitarist and founding
member of Junoon, South Asia’s
most popular rock band, Salman Ahmad fields questions in
this documentary film about the social consequences of the
9/11 attacks, talking to taxi drivers, students, an attorney,
and a Muslim mother of a 9/11 victim. The event, which is
co-sponsored by the Music Department, President’s Office,
and Office of Religious and Spiritual Life, will offer a
post-film discussion with Smith faculty Suleiman Mourad,
associate professor of religion, and Saleema Waraich, lecturer
in art history, with Jennifer Walters, dean of religious
life, serving as moderator.
Ahmad, a trained doctor who left a promising career in medicine
to embrace his deep passion for music, has inspired thousands
of Muslims and Hindus in Pakistan and India to work toward
a peaceful resolution of their half-century conflict. At
one point in his career he was banned from Pakistani TV and
radio, and band members received death threats for his outspokenness.
He served as a United Nations Goodwill Ambassador on HIV/AIDS
in 2004, and joined relief efforts for Hurricane Katrina
victims and earthquake victims of northern Pakistan in 2005.
All events are free and open
to the public and no reservations will be accepted.