Sangeet (literally, sang – together; geet—song) is the Sanskrit word meaning “the performing arts,” inclusive of music (instrumental, vocal, percussion), dance, theater, and everything connected to these. Since the mid-20th century, sangeet has been used more commonly to mean music (all of the above included); however, the old meaning has not entirely fallen into disuse. We choose to maintain the original meaning.
Sangeet Millennium’s vision is to create and inhabit spaces where the performing and visual/media arts, knowledge, and human rights weave together as narrative threads of the same story, inspiring aesthetic delight, compassion, understanding, and, ultimately, positive change.
In this context, founder and director Amie Maciszewski’s mission for Sangeet Millennium consists of the following goals, causes, and activities:
- using the music and culture of the Indian subcontinent as a foundation on which to lead community members in the joyful exploration of the rich diversity of music and dance in the world. The objective here is to raise people’s awareness and, ultimately, respect for different types of this ultimate human expression.
- providing opportunities for individuals of diverse backgrounds, generations, and abilities to participate in these art forms in collaborative performances, workshops, and festivals. This includes professional performing artists (both local and guest), students, and arts lovers.
- carrying out the role of cultural mediator between music makers and other performing artists of diverse communities, academia, and the public sector.
Sangeet Millennium grew out of the Society for India Music, a non-profit organization founded in Albuquerque in 1990 and relocated to Austin in 1993. In 1999, Amie renamed the organization Sangeet, and in 2003, Sangeet Millennium. Amie and Sangeet Millennium’s programs and projects were supported from 2000 to 2003 and 2004-2013 by the City of Austin Cultural Contracts, sponsored under the non-profit umbrella of One World 2004-2012 and Women and Their Work 2012-2013. Amie and Sangeet Millennium has been a selected artist of the Texas Commission on the Arts (TCA) Touring Roster since 2008 and the Mid-America Arts Alliance since 2010. Since her move to Dallas, Amie has set up Sangeet Millennium/Dallas in 2013, continuing to offer periodic activities in Austin. The mission of Sangeet Millennium includes a strong educational component, through workshops offered by some of the distinguished visiting artists, as well as Amie’s ongoing classes, presentations of sitar and Hindustani vocal music, and community education and outreach events.
Sitarist Dr. Amie Maciszewski is an award-winning artist and educator. Audiences describe Amie’s classical sitar/tabla and Indo-jazz fusion ensemble performances as “stunning” and “amazing.” Her training includes both formal academic and traditional immersion training in India (B.Mus., M.Mus., sitar performance and mentorship under the late sitarist Professor Suresh Misra in Santiniketan, West Bengal) and the U.S. (Ph.D., ethnomusicology, UTexas/Austin), as well as ongoing traditional study with two legendary gurus: Grammy-nominated sarode Maestro Aashish Khan and vocal diva Padmabhushan Girija Devi.
Passionate about women’s rights and creativity, she has published numerous articles in journals and books and co-produced/directed four films documenting her research with socially marginalized musicians in India. The films, two of them award-winning, have screened at festivals and conferences in North America, India, and Europe. (See Projects – Films, Writing)
Amie has served as visiting professor and teaching artist on the faculties of the Universities of Colorado, Texas, Alberta, Pittsburgh, Chicago, and Louisiana State. In 2006 she was Director of the Indian Music Ensemble, University of Alberta; in 2001-02, Assistant Director. She has received multiple awards for her scholarship as an ethnomusicologist (including documentary films), as well as musical performance, outreach, and education. (See Resume – Awards)
Deeply committed to sharing North Indian music culture, Amie has traveled three continents completing artist residencies, hosting recitals, and conducting all-ages workshops on the music of South Asia, particularly Hindustani music, as well as on world fusion music. She is a selected artist on the Texas Commission on the Arts (TCA) Touring Roster and Mid-America Arts Alliance (MAAA), an Empanelled Artist of the India World Cultural Forum (IWCF), and a former City of Austin Cultural Contractor (2000-13) as well as New Mexico Arts Division Artist-in-Residence (1986-91).Amelia Maciszewski resume 0416
Her brainchild, Sangeet Millennium Ensemble (Texas Top Ten award, 2008 and 2011, Austin Chronicle Polls), seamlessly blends traditional Indian melodies with jazz/world grooves, creating an ever-evolving boundary defying sound.
Amie’s musical credits include four CDs (two Hindustani classical sitar and two with her Sangeet Millennium Ensemble), as well as sound tracks in several independent films (among them Cutting Chai Productions’ Clay in 2013, Rhituparna Basu’s The Revolutionaries in 2012, the Nobelity Project’s One Peace at a Time in 2009, Cenozoic Studios’ Nan Wayne & Masala SXSW Trailers in 2003) and theater productions (notably A Modern-Day Vyasa: Jean-Claude Carriere’s Mahabharata in 2013 and 2014).
Amie resides primarily in Dallas, TX, where she teaches sitar and Hindustani vocal lessons to students of all ages and performs frequently in the region. She travels to India nearly every year. There, she consults with her gurus, continues her advocacy research with socially marginalized musicians, and serves as a Visiting Musician-Researcher at the ITC Sangeet Research Academy in Kolkata.
. . . Amelia is one of my most hard working, sincere, and dedicated students. She realizes how deep and spiritual our music is and always tries to convey that in her performance and teaching. She is a very accomplished performer on sitar and a fine teacher and ensemble director of both instrumental and vocal music. . .
– Sarode Maestro Aashish Khan
Amelia is a very sincere and dedicated disciple of mine whose deep interest in Hindustani music has led to notable understanding, accomplishment and professionalism as a vocal instructor and sitar performer. . .
– Padmabhushan Dr. Girija Devi
Oct. 26, 2014: ArtsEmerson Duo: Mozartian and Mahabhratian Magic
Jan. 2014: Three songs by Sangeet Millennium Ensemble in Number1Music’s Top Ten
Feb. 20, 2013: India Post, Chicago, IL.
Aug. 8, 2012: The Statesman, Kolkata, India. “Monsoon Ragas” – weekly update by Meena Banerjee
” . . . sitar exponent Dr Amelia Maciszewski (Amie) from the US, who is a senior disciple of Ustad Ashish Kh / an and Dr Girija Devi, offered her interpretation of raga Desh and a traditional kajri-based dhun. She displayed an eye for symmetry and a systematic pattern of layakari along with good melodic sense. . . . ”