The Pune Guitar Society (PGS) started in May this year (2015). As classical guitarists in the city we have always had the support of the Poona Music Society, getting access to classical guitar concerts and workshops at least once a year. However, when it comes to our own relationship with the guitar, we realised that as guitarists we play mostly in isolation.We wanted to do something to change that. But what would a society like this aim to achieve? We spent some time just thinking about this and here is what we came up with:
- Organize classical guitar concerts, workshops and masterclasses
- Advocacy for the classical guitar
- A facilitator for guitar students and teachers
- Providing mentorship
- Act as a repository of all kinds of information related to the classical guitar.
- Developing a culture
- Focus on quality of musical understanding and performance.
- Encourage learning between different genres keeping focus on classical guitar.
- Maintain a reference library of books, audio etc.
- A resource for national classical guitar events
The PGS will be a member of the Indian Guitar Federation, get up to date news on guitar events across the country and spread this information to its members.
PGS since May 2015: A brief summary of activities
In the last few months, the PGS has been active in organizing concerts, masterclasses and workshops. We also introduced the idea of monthly meetings for local classical guitarists as well as improvisatory guitar players, creating a unique opportunity to perform in front of peers.
Successful Initiatives since May 2015 –
- Concerts at public venues
- South American Guitar Music by Veet J Ohnemus at the Gyaan Adab Centre.
- We did a lecture/demonstration at The Loft
- Monthly Meetings
- There have been 2 meetings of the PGS. These meetings are an excellent opportunity to play for fellow guitarists and listen.
- Workshops and Masterclasses
- Masterclasses with the Bartoli-Fodera Guitar Duo at The Mazda Hall with the Poona Music Society
- 1 full day Workshop with Veet J Ohnemus at Enoch Guitars (a guitar studio for building and repairing guitars)
- The PGS was able to facilitate shooting of a music video for Veet J Ohnemus. This project was recorded and edited by the students of Symbiosis Institute of Mass Communication.
The Coming Months
The PGS has some very interesting initiatives lined up over the next few months!
- September 19: Expressions: A contemporary classical guitar recital
Concert at the Gyaan Adab Centre, Pune – Jayant S (Guitar) and Anoop Kumar (Narration)
This is a first of its kind event. An evening with the music of 20th century composers Brouwer and Koshkin. The music will be threaded with a narrative-expressive component featuring prose/poetic passages created by a collective of writers.
- October 23-25: Concert and Workshop by Samuel Klemke (Germany) with the Poona Music Society
- December 11, 12: Masterclass – Madhavan Somanathan (India) with the Poona Music Society
- January 19 (tentative date): A dedication: Leo Brouwer and Bill Evans
Jayant S (guitar and upright bass) & Rose Eliert (piano) with the Poona Music Society
The way ahead
It has been a fantastic journey so far. The PGS forum gives interested musicians a chance to interact and learn from concert performers and enhance their musical skills and knowledge. It has gotten us in touch with budding guitar players and musicians keen to explore and learn more, this includes guitarists with no classical training. It is our belief that classical guitar players need to be receptive towards other genres of music for a more holistic growth as musicians. We have found a group of self-motivated musicians, and to interact with them is a great incentive to learn and improve.
The masterclasses and workshops have made us acutely aware of the musicianship and study which goes into becoming a musician and a classical guitar player.
We believe a lot can be done in terms of fostering and cultivating a culture for the classical guitar. One of the reasons we have this belief is because of the Poona Music Society. As guitarists, we have benefitted from classical guitar concerts and masterclasses they organised. As organisers, their growth as a society – the fact that this professional organisation with long-term vision has evolved from a core group of passionate people committed to the cause of music, is inspiring for us. We have been able to incorporate some of their standards and methods of working into our own events. But more importantly, the kind of support we have received from the Poona Music Society is remarkable. We have been able to rely on their generosity for the Mazda Hall for concerts and workshops, as well as hosting artistes. The first partnership we’ve had was for the Bartoli-Fodera Guitar Duo masterclass and that was a great success. In further collaborations, we can be sure of the Poona Music Society’s continued support and mentorship.
In the months ahead, we look forward to interactions and exchanges with more classical guitar communities and groups across India. We at the PGS are well on our way and will continue to strive for serious musicianship and cultivating serious interest in the instrument through various classical guitar related activities in Pune and elsewhere in India.