Indian singer, scholar to present programs

For Immediate Release: Oct. 15, 2014

BLOOMSBURG—Indian singer and Sufi scholar Vidya Rao will present a lecture and concert later this month at Bloomsburg University.

Vidya Rao

She will give a lecture, “Today is Your Wedding Day, Qasim: The Gendered Voice of the Shi’a Moharram Laments,” on Wednesday, Oct. 29, at 7 p.m. in McCormick Center, room 2303. On Thursday, Oct. 30, at 7 p.m. she will present a concert, “An Evening of Thumri Music,” in Kehr Union, Ballroom. The concert will feature Rao on vocals, Samir Chatterjee on tabla and Rajyasree Ghosh on harmonium. Both events are free and open to the public.

Rao is a performer of thumri-dadra, Indian classical music, and ghazal, a form of Persian and Indian poetry closely linked to Sufism.

A disciple of the legendary singer, the late Vidushi Naina Deve, Rao has performed at national and international forums. She conducts lectures, workshops and lecture demonstrations, and sings and composes for dance, film and theatre. While researching and writing extensively on the performing arts and music, she focuses most of her attention toward musical form and gender.

Chatterjee, of India, is an expert tabla player. Traveling worldwide, he has performed in many festivals, both collaboratively and as a soloist, including the Nobel Peace Prize ceremony in Oslo, Norway in 2007 and at the United Nations General Assembly. He has played with artists including Pauline Oliveros, William Parker, Branford Marsalis, Ravi Coltrane, Dave Douglas, Steve Gorn and Glen Velez.

Ghosh, a trained musician and vocalist of Indian classical music, has performed and been featured regularly on India’s national television and radio. She holds the position of lecturer at Rabindra Bharati University in Kolkata.

Bloomsburg University is one of 14 universities in the Pennsylvania State System of Higher Education. The university, celebrating 175 years of excellence in 2014, serves approximately 10,000 students, offering comprehensive programs of study in the colleges of Education, Business, Liberal Arts and Science and Technology.