The district festivals of Celebrating Life have begun this year, starting off with a Classical Concert at the 'Selim Al Din amphitheater' at Jahangirnagar University on 13th February 2014. This is the first time in the cultural history of the University of 42 years that something like this was organized. The concert was very well received by the students, teachers and local community, who not only stayed late in the cold of the night under the moonlit sky to enjoy live classical music, rather kept requesting the organizers to keep going. The performers drew from the audience's energy, until closing the curtains at 3.30 am.
This year, the 12 district festivals to be organized will be composed of 4 classical themes, 4 folk-song based musical events, and 4 will feature band and modern music. This time around, there were 10 performers. Noted media personality Shampa Reza performed a few 'Bandish', as a tribute to her musical Guru, Pandit Dhrubo Tara Joshi, on his 100 birthday. Her performance was followed by the rest of the singers and instrumental performers, namely Asit Dey performed 'Raga Puria Dhanashree', Ahsan Zulkarnain performed 'Raga Tori', Mortuza Kabir Murad performed 'Raga Yaman' by flute, Supria Das performed 'Raga Nand', Dr. Rezwan Ali performed 'Raga Malkauns', Sheuli Bhattacharya performed 'Raag Behag' by violin, Dr. Nashid Kamal performed 'Raga Jog', Nishit Dey performed 'Raga Jogkauns' with sitar and Bijon Chandra Mistry performed 'Raga Raam Keli' in vocals. The night's success was embedded in how highly appreciated the event was by both the audience and the JU authorities. The interest of the community in classical music became evident, and the university authority has shown interest to organize this event once a year.
As the organizing team of the Standard Chartered-Daily Star 'Celebrating Life' competition gears up for yet another year of films, photographs and songs, get ready to put on your creative hats! The theme for the 2014 iteration of Celebrating Life will soon be announced in the Daily Star newspaper and website (www.celebratinglifebd.com).