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News & Press: Member News

Columbia RNA student chapter co-hosts raga concert, discussion

Thursday, April 27, 2017  
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By Emily Churchill
President, Columbia Journalism Religion News Association

NEW YORK CITY — On April 20, the Columbia Journalism Religion News Association was pleased to co-host a concert and discussion entitled “Spring Ragas on Sitar: (Un)Covering Religion in India.”

The event began with an hour-long concert by prominent classical Indian musicians Pandit Kushal Das on sitar and Pandit Ramdas Palsule on tabla. The duo played two rare spring ragas — melodic frameworks for improvisation and composition — which filled the Brown Institute at Columbia’s Pulitzer Hall.

Following the concert, Pandit Das joined members of Columbia Journalism’s "Covering Religion" class for a question and answer session. The class, which is taught by Professor Ari Goldman and Professor Yogi Trivedi, recently returned from a trip to India where they studied and reported on faith in the country. The trip was made possible by a grant from the Scripps Howard Foundation.

During the discussion, students and Pandit Das spoke about the importance of music in India, as well as the relationship between religion and music – in both the serious and the playful.

The event was hosted by The Brown Institute for Media Innovation, the Scripps Howard Program in Religion, Journalism and the Spiritual Life, the Institute for Religion, Culture, & Public Life, CJRNA and the South Asia Institute at Columbia University. It was organized, hosted and curated by Ypgi Trivedi, adjunct professor at Columbia Journalism School.

The CJRNA would like to thank Professor Trivedi for allowing us to co-sponsor this event, as well as everyone who made this event possible. In particular, thank you to the Pandits, who provided us with an extraordinary musical experience.

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