KARACHI: The National Academy of Performing Arts (Napa) in collaboration with Austin’s Butler School of Music, the University of Texas (UT), has launched an outreach programme which leverages their previous partnerships to build capacity in music education for four educational institutions of Karachi.

This was announced at a press conference on Monday evening.

Speaking on the occasion, renowned music composer Arshad Mahmud, who, like most other speakers, addressed the media online, said ‘Sangeet Sangam’ was a unique initiative because in Pakistan there were not too many educational institutions teaching music as a subject or as an academic discipline.

He said: “We had a three-year partnership with the UT, Austin. Many of their scholars visited Napa and the ones who visited the UT from Pakistan also thoroughly enjoyed themselves in building capacity for Napa.”

Napa’s Arsalan informed the media about the initiative. He said that in 2014, the academy started a students’ exchange programme with the Butler School of Music. A lot of those who took part in it were still teaching or working outside of Napa, he added.

The initiative launched on Monday is an outreach programme of the same partnership. It involves Habib University, Karachi University, IoBM and Szabist.

Dr Sonia Seeman, an associate professor of ethnomusicology at the Butler school, talked about the vision and mission of the programme. During her presentation, she remarked: “We see this as a seed that continues to grow.”

Rachel Meyer of South Asia Institute highlighted the role of the institute in furthering the partnership. She commented: “It’s truly a universal language that does break barriers.”

Published in Dawn, October 19th, 2021

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