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August 21, 2014
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It’s a family affair

“Playing out of tune is like poison to the ear,” according to sarode player Aashish Khan.


Having the opportunity to be exposed to such a wonderful variety of world cultures is amazing and usually, the kids are rapt with attention while learning and participating. The musicians themselves are all clearly gifted and Khan is “considered among the handful of India’s greatest living sarode players,” but (for whatever reason) this show failed to engage the younger set (and, to be honest, me) as it played out.

There were many adults in the Event Gallery who were clearly aficionados of traditional Indian music, and they could be seen throughout the room, eyes closed and swaying gently to the meditative music washing over them as the kids fidgeted or slept—while I scanned the program for future shows that might be better suited to the entire family, thinking that this one may have been a little too sophisticated for the little ones. Noting that Chinese lute player Yihan Chen is on the bill, along with a show titled “Big Drum, Small World,” I made a mental note to make room in my schedule for another day. While this particular show may not have been my cup of tea, my mother would remind me that personal taste is “what makes the world go ‘round” and she was, as always, correct.

The World Stage Series at Bethel Woods provides an opportunity for everyone in the region to experience the music and culture of locales that we might never have been exposed to, were it not for the efforts of this organization and its mission “to empower youth to be positive, engaged members of their community and the world, by fostering a respect for themselves and their talents, as well as exploring the diversity of the world.”

For more information on these and other events, visit the website or call 866/781-2922.