2019 was a year of expansion for Sangeet Millennium and Amie Maciszewski that included extensive outreach, both locally and globally. The year began with Sangeet Millennium Ensemble’s tour in January 2019, supported by the Texas Tech Global Education Program, of schools in the rural communities New Deal and Abernathy, near Lubbock, Texas. Sangeet Millennium performed at four schools reaching some 1400-1500 children in grades 1-6. Additionally, they presented a studio performance in the Music Production and Communication Program at South Plains College in Levelland, another rural community near Lubbock.
In February, a configuration of Sangeet Millennium Ensemble performed a concert featuring a Sufi-influenced repertoire at the Dallas Museum of Art, as part of their Islamic Art exhibit. The Ensemble was called again in September by the DMA to do a theme performance, “From the Royal Court to the Silver Screen: Raga Music goes to Bollywood,” in connection with their Bollywood-themed art exhibit. Both events were visited by several hundred people.
During the first quarter of 2019, Amie and Sangeet Millennium teamed up with veteran Andean musician Jacco Velarde to host a series of monthly World Music Open Stage events at Dallas’s historic Bath House Cultural Center basement located on the shore of the popular recreational area White Rock Lake. During this series, both professionals and amateurs from diverse world music backgrounds showcased their talents bringing in culturally diverse, multigenerational audiences.
Students of Sangeet Millennium Academy also participated in this series, as well as in Indie Meme’s Kids’ Corner at their February screening in Carollton, TX, of India’s 2019 Oscars Entry film Village Rockstars, as well as at the Second Annual Festival of Joy in downtown Dallas’s Klyde Warren Park in March, where they joined Sangeet Millennium Ensemble members/guests including jazz saxophonist Lee Redfield from Austin.
In late May, Amie and Sangeet Millennium Ensemble veteran, saxophonist Paul Klemperer of Austin, teamed up with Indian touring vocalist Rupan Samanta and tabla player Uddalak Samanta for a three-city tour of northern New Mexico, titled “From the River Ganga to the Rio Grande,” with performances in Albuquerque, Taos, and Santa Fe. In a feature article in the Taos Tempo, Ana Chavez, board member of the Taos Onstage Theater who presented Sangeet Millennium’s concert there, was quoted as saying, “Amie’s decades-long immersion into mastering the sitar has earned her an international reputation, and Sangeet Millennium is a rare collaboration that should not be missed.” (May 23, 2019)
In June, Amie travelled to Edmonton, Alberta, Canada, where she was invited to perform and chair a panel at “Canadian Mehfil,” a multidisciplinary conference hosted by the University of Alberta’s Faculty of Arts, honoring the distinguished South Asian ethnomusicologist Regula Qureshi, Amie’s mentor during her Killam Postdoctoral Fellowship in ethnomusicology during the early 2000s. At the conference, she shared the stage with sarangi player Deepak Paramashivan, tabla player Rohan Bhogal, and pianist Prof. Michael Frishkopf in a special interactive concert.
Amie collaborated with Austin Dance India in two notable events in 2019. The first, held at Austin’s Mexican-American Cultural Center in June, was two-show run of a unique multimedia production titled “Sacred Earth Stories,” comprised of 18 performers, that combined music, dance, spoken word, and audiovisual projections commenting poignantly on the crisis of climate change. Both shows were beyond sold out. In the second, she was part of a quartet called “Moving Myths” comprised of sitar, tabla, voice, and dance who completed a 13-show tour of San Antonio area schools and senior centers supported by Musical Bridges Around the World’s Kids to Concerts series. The tour served some 3500 people of multiple generations.
Throughout the summer and autumn of 2019 Sangeet Millennium hosted intimate, informal performances at Dallas’s oldest record store and library, Top Ten Records. The events included showcases by Austin’s Middle Eastern/jazz ensemble Atlas Maior, Pakistani sitarist Rakae Jamil, Indian sarode player Sougata Roy Chowdhury, and Indian sarangi player Deepak Paramashivan, all in collaboration with Sangeet Millennium Ensemble.
Sangeet Millennium continued its South Asian Music for the World series supported in part by the City of Dallas Office of Arts & Culture (aka Office of Cultural Affairs) with a repeat of the Songs of Benares concert in June at the Atma Bhakti Center in Dallas featuring vocalist Rupan Samanta and tabla player Uddalak Samanta from Dehradun, India, joining Amie and harmonium player Amit Kelkar. Their final production of the 2019 cycle was the Fourth Annual Declare World Peace Celebration of Global Music and Dance, a packed event sponsored by Dallas Peace and Justice Center in September, which showcased performances from India, the Middle East including Palestine, Venezuela, Bolivia, and Cuba. Sangeet Millennium began the City of Dallas Office of Arts and Culture’s 2019-2020 cycle with an intimate concert celebrating the 80th birthday of Amie’s instrumental guru, Ustad Aashish Khan, held at the Bath House Cultural Center Theater in October. Sarangi player Deepak Paramashivan and tabla player Shantilal Shah, along with Amie, supported Ustad Aashish Khan.
Sangeet Millennium Ensemble also performed at the Denton Folk Festival in early October, upon invitation of the Denton Songwriters’ Guild and supported in part by the Texas Commission for the Arts.
Amie finished off 2019 with a tour of Pakistan and India. In Pakistan she traveled to Hunza, a remote northern mountain region, where she visited the innovative Leif Larsen Music Academy in historic Karimabad, dedicated to preservation of the traditional music of the Burushaski-speaking community. She also conducted a 2-day workshop on ethnomusicology at Fatima Jinnah Women’s University, which included a sitar and tabla concert, in addition to coaching students to prepare multidisciplinary performances which they presented at the end of the workshop. In India, she performed in Kolkata at her Guru’s 80th birthday celebration at his Aashish Khan School of World Music in Kolkata, at the Swaraj Pancham Society’s monthly concert in Dehradun, and performed in concert as well as presented her documentary film and demonstrated regional songs at the Mahindra Sanatkada Festival in Lucknow.