A Look Back at 2023

2023 was a year in which we continued to bring back more in-person performances for students. Providing regular opportunities for students helps give them motivation for their practice and also gives the chance for parents and public audience to see how wonderful all of the students are playing.

Along with our student performances, our Guruji, Pandit Shantilal Shah, was also welcomed to the Soundwaves Festival at Texas A&M Corpus Christi where her performed and provided a master class.

Adding an exclamation point to the end of a busy year, Guruji received a special recognition for his work in the field of music.


IMS Ghar Baithak

Each year the Indian Music Society of Houston presents a Ghar Baithak. The program gives members of IMS Houston the chance to perform for each other. One group of senior students from our Tabla school performed at the event. Along with this, senior student Anuraag Shah provided accompaniment for many of the vocalists who performed.

Laya Taal Saadhna

Laya Taal Saadhna has been the premiere event at our school for many years now. Held every other year, LTS brings all of the school’s students together to perform on one stage. Opening the show our beginner students, some of whom may have only been learning for 6 months! As we progress through the program the skill level increases, culminating in a powerful ending ensemble piece.

Wonderful evening of classical percussion tabla Ensemble performance. It was simply melodious and amazing. Thank you Guruji and Aparnaji for organizing this lovely event. Amazing performances by kids and of course the adults.

Prem Shetty

This year’s program was dedicated to our Bade Guruji, Taal Yogi Pandit Suresh Talwalkar. Read more about the program here.


Guru Pranaam

On July 29th 2023, Pt. Shantilal Shah and the Indian Music Society of Houston presented their latest Guru Pranaam. The eighth since inception, this year featured Samarth Bhatt, a student of Pt. Shantilal Shah who has learned for more than ten years. Showcasing the depth of his training, Samarth performed two extensive solo pieces, while also providing accompaniment for a Kathak dance solo.

The program was held in Chinmaya Mission, Houston facility, an apt environment to express the spirit of Guru Pranaam.


Masterclass at Soundwaves Festival

At the end of September, Pandit Shantilal Shah was invited to perform and give a lecture-demonstration at the Soundwaves Festival held each year at Texas A&M University, Corpus Christi. This unique opportunity allowed students the chance to see Tabla in-person. For many of them it was the first time hearing this amazing instrument.

Vaadya Manjari Instrumental Music Competition

For the third year in a row, students from the Indian Music Society (IMS) of Houston Tabla School won top honors in the Vaadya Manjari Instrumental Music Competition. The digital music competition, organized by Radha Govind Dham of Dallas/Fort Worth, was open to children aged 10 and under and to adults aged 18 and above.

Four students from the IMS Houston Tabla School participated, all of whom learn under the guidance of Guru Pandit Shantilal Shah. Three students placed in the top three in their respective age groups in the Hindustani Percussion category and a fourth earned an honorable mention.

  • 10 and under age group – Aarohan Sarkar earned 2nd place.
  • 11-13 age group – Kirtan Patel 1st place, and Anoushka Bhasin honorable mention.
  • 18+ age group – Samarth Bhatt 1st place.

Read more in the article printed in the India Herald.


Aavishkar Ghar Baithak

Each year we try to provide various opportunities for students to perform. Aavishkar Ghar Baithaks are among our staple programs, providing beginner and intermediate students a stage in front of family and friends. This intimate environment helps build a comfortable foundation in students as they progress to larger performances.

In 2023, we held Aavishkar in October, featuring several group performances and one Tabla solo performed by advanced student, Manav Vishwanath.


IMS Local Artists Concert

In November, senior students Anuraag Shah and Jason Zinn performed in the IMS Local Artists concert. This program featured 2 days of performances by trained vocalists. Anuraag and Jason both provided accompaniment.

Guruji Recognized by Bade Guruji, Taal Yogi Pandit Suresh Talwalkar

On November 30, Pune music lovers witnessed a unique event organized by Taalyogi ashram under the guidance of Taalyogi Pandit Suresh Talwalkar ji. Three senior students Ramdas ji Palsule, Rajprasad ji Dharmadhikari and our beloved Guruji Shantilal Shah were felicitated by Bade Guruji and Pt. Ulhas Kashalkar ji.

See photos and read more about the event here.

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