Wednesday, November 21, 2007

Army bands jazz up evening

By Source: The Telegraph on November 20,2007
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Gangtok, Nov. 19: Army jawans swapped guns for guitars to jazz up the evening with a gala musical show here today.

The Black Cat auditorium below Deorali reverberated with the musical strains of bag pipes, army jazz bands and the orchestra as the audience sat enthralled.

The evening began with a rapturous performance by the pipe band of 9 Assam Regiment, followed by a jugalbandi by the classical orchestra of Army School Gangtok and the combined band of 17 Mountain Division.

Later, jawans from Gorkha Rifles, 9 Assam Regiment and 66 Engineers came up with a rendition of A.R. Rahman’s “Vande Mataram” to huge applause from the audience.

Rifleman Namit Gurung performed an instrumental number, a Hindi song and the Eagles’ “Hotel California” on the saxophone. These were followed by Hindi and Nepali numbers, Bryan Adams’s “Summer of 69” and Hindustani classical music.

The musical extravaganza was the culmination of the jazz band competition of the army units based in Sikkim that was held over the weekend. “The inter-unit contest is an annual event and this year it was boosted by the presence of young talents from the Army School,” an officer said.

The officer added that the event was organised without a hitch despite the busy schedule of Black Cat Division that left little time for rehearsals.

The audience at today’s show included Sikkim governor Sudarshan Agarwal, who was the chief guest, and his wife Usha, chief secretary N.D. Chingapa, director-general of police C.M. Ravindran and principal secretary, home, Jasbir Singh.

The general-officer-commanding of 17 Mountain Division, K.V.S. Lalotra, was also present.