Nagaland Latvia

Kohima: Choral music is undoubtedly a vital part of the musical life in Nagaland. In a move to motivate local musicians, particularly choristers, Nagaland chief minister Neiphiu Rio announced a four-day free training in collaboration with the embassy of Latvia.

Taking to Twitter, Rio said, “I am happy to announce ‘Intensive Workshop On Choir Conducting And Voice’ to be organised by @LVinIndia and @TafmaNagaland. I wish the programme success. Grateful to @ArtisBertulis for the support to make it happen”.

The workshop would be coordinated by the Mountain Music Academy in Dimapur from November 8-11 and inaugurated by the Ambassador of Latvia to India Artis Bertulis. The workshop would culminate with a finale concert on November 13 at the Regional Centre of Excellence for Music & Performing Arts (RCEMPA) in Kohima.

When contacted, Advisor to the Task Force for Music and Arts (TaFMA), Theja Meru told EastMojo that the workshop is an outcome of a memorandum of understanding (MoU) signed between the government of Nagaland and the Embassy of Latvia to India on October 2, 2020.

The MoU was signed in Delhi by Nagaland chief minister Neiphiu Rio and Ambassador of Latvia to India HE Artis Bertulis. They announced a partnership between the Riga Cathedral Choir School Latvia and TaFMA India as institutional partners to pursue ways and means for artistic pursuits and the exchange of knowledge and cultural programs between Latvia and Nagaland.

Three experts in choir conducting and voice from Latvia, namely Egils Jakobsons, Inta Kamarute, and Gints Ceplenieks will conduct master classes for the Naga musicians. The intensive workshop will include live performances, techniques, individual lessons, live choir lessons and so on.

“We are very excited. Latvia majors in choral music. They are well known for their music and signing. The professors are masters of their field and it is an incredible opportunity for people to avail it and learn the best practices of how to conduct and motivate a choir, besides signing, which is important,” he said.

Meru informed that apart from TaFMA’s Bright Lights choir, there will be free registration for interested persons till November 5. While it is made open for all with no limited seats allotted, Meru said that it is also important for applicants to have a basic understanding of music.

“We want it to be a good time for our people to learn from the masters. We hope that something big comes from this friendship,” he said. Meru informed EastMojo that the final concert will be made open to the public. The concert will be conducted by experts from Latvia and singers from Nagaland.

Meru also added saying “We are grateful to the chief minister for the support. He is very keen on really raising up the next generation of musicians. All these collaborations are really helping our ecosystem and our musicians”.

As this is “just the beginning” for many such collaborations with other countries, Meru said that TaFMA is on a war footing to promote music and arts in Nagaland. “We really want to do as much as we can for the young people. For anything to grow, a holistic ecosystem is so important. All these exercises, training, and capacity building will strengthen the foundation. If we have our foundation right, I think the sky’s the limit,” Meru added.

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