Bhutanese Community Association of Akron, Inc.

News: ASO + Druk = Good Music

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Akron Symphony Orchestra
Druk Fusion Band
Good Music

Threatening skies gave way to a warm and somewhat humid evening at the Firestone Metro Park on Sunday evening of July 24.  Several hundred people brought lawn chairs to sit in front of a large, portable stage for a concert by the Akron Symphony Orchestra (ASO).  What made this concert special for Bhutanese Community Association of Akron (BCAA) members was that Puspa Gajmer and the Druk Fusion Band performed Ukali Orali Haruma, a traditional Nepali song arranged by Nati Kaji and Roger Zahab.  It was an auspicious moment for musicians in the Akron refugee artistic community.

ASO Stage
People were arriving early as the ASO was setting up for the concert

Jacob Gustaota
Jacob Sustaita, Assistant Conductor, ASO, welcomed the Nepali musicians to the stage and the
air was filled with the lyrics and melody of a traditional Nepali love song
Christopher Wilkins ASO DFB 
Christopher Wilkins conducting the ASO and featuring the Druk Fusion Band
This collaboration of the ASO and the Druk Fusion Band may be a first

Many people brought chairs and blankets to enjoy an evening of light classical music of such pieces as Bernstein's Candide Overture, Bugler's Holiday by Leroy Anderson, the Andante and Hungarian Rondo by Weber performed superbly by violist Aaron Mossburg, Espana by Chabrier, Dance of the Buffoons by Rimsky-Korsakov, and Procession of the Sardar by Ippolitov-Ivanov.  Music excited the ears through a relaxing evening.


Puspar     ASO     Band Members
The lead vocalist was Puspa Gajmer and also performing were Bishnu Sunar (rhythm guitar and vocal), Arun Gajmer (tabla), Tek Sinchuri (madal), and Subash Ghatani (Harmonium).  With the superb reinforcement of orchestral strings, woodwinds,  brass, and percussion of the ASO the effect was transforming.

Family     Bishnu Family     Family
The concert was also a family event.

Puspa and Christopher
Puspa Gajmer and Christopher Wilkins began planning at the Nepali Kitchen months before the concert
On behalf of its members, BCAA would like to thank the City of Akron for sponsoring these concerts, Kyle Kutuchief of the Knight Foundation for suggesting such a cultural collaboration, Christopher Williams for bringing together the musical talents to make it happen, and Roger Zahab for attending rehearsals by the Druk Fusion Band and writing the orchestral arrangement.