This musical institution started in 1992 in Garia and it is one of the oldest and esteemed institution in the southern fringes of Kolkata. It started as a centre for learning and appreciating pure western classical music. Mr. Sujit Sarkar, the founder and principal of this institution was one of the dearest pupils of our very own, respected Mr. Sam F Engineer, FTCL (Piano) since the early 70s till his last. This great personality was the man behind all this.
The school started in February, 1992 inaugurated in the hands of Mr. Engineer. The school started with around 8 to 10 students under the guidance of Mr. Sujit Sarkar. The school offered practical training in piano under the guidance of Mr. Sujit Sarkar and in violin under the guidance of his younger brother Mr. Gopal Sarkar. Another respected and great personality, whose name is unforgettable, when we talk about this institution is Mr. Ananta Makhal. He was an eminent violinist and more famous as a great teacher of violin, all over India. Mr. Gopal Sarkar started learning started learning violin under his guidance and soon became one of his favourite pupils. Mr. Makhal was in charge of the Oxford Mission, Behala. This great musical man, had immense contributions behind this institution, which has definitely helped us to move forward. Unfortunately, he passed away in 2012. We soulfully wish may his tireless efforts bring glory to his beloved pupils.
This institution started its annual cultural programme for the first time, 6 years after its foundation, in 1998 in Madhusudan Mancha, Dhakuria. Since then, our annual cultural programme is being organized every year, for the sole purpose of giving a platform, a good audience and specially a bench of distinguished guests, which include some of the greatest artists and personalities of the city as well as the country.
Till now many towering figures in their respective fields have helped to nurture the school and contribute to its growth with their solicited presence, moving speeches and other noteworthy activities. Among them, to mention a few are Mr. Sam Engineer and Mr. Ananta Makhal. Besides many people like Mr. Abhijit Bandopadhyay, celebrated music composer and lyricist, Mr. Noel Sen, famous musical personality and the former vicar of the St. Paul’s Cathedral, Mrs. Anita Hazra and Mrs. Fauzia Marikar, both famous piano teachers, Mr. Samir Aich, renowned painter and Mr. Anthony Braganza, regional co-ordinator of the Associated Board of the Royal School of Music, London, have always stood by us, for the welfare of this institution. All of them have always given open certificate to this musical institution, till date.
Responding to the increasing number of students and their varied requirements, this institution started giving practical training in electronic keyboard and guitar, and also started providing examination facilities, both theory and practical, under the Associated Board of the Royal School of Music and Trinity College, London. Till now, the institution has arranged for two musical competitions, in 2005 and 2008.
The school formed its Cultural Programme Committee in 1998, which bears the responsibility of organizing the annual programme and other cultural meets still today. The committee is headed by Mr. Prabir Sarkar, who has been holding the post of President since its inception. We have many more hearty members who willingly support the total cultural system of this institution. Regarding this, another well-wisher of this family, whose name is unforgettable when we talk about our school, whose selfless contributions behind this institution through music and many more important activities would always be remembered, is our very own Mr. Avijit K. Kundu, undoubtedly a shining musical talent of this generation. He is associated with the school since 2007. At present, this institution provides practical training in instruments, like Piano, Violin, El. Keyboard and Guitar, under the guidance of trained faulties. Besides, traning in Music Theory is also provided. This institution is about to commemorate its silver jubilee in a few years. May this school, which came up as an aesthetic thought to Mr. Sujit Sarkar for the betterment of western classical music in Kolkata, excel in all possible ways with the support and goodwill of the well-wishers through many more years in future.
© Southern School of Music. All rights reserved. Photos by Parthasarathi Roy.