INDIA—Indian music has emerged as one of the great passions of Dr. Harbold’s life over the past two decades. A Niebuhr Center grant funded his first trip to India in 2005, accompanying Dr. Paul Parker’s Peoples and Religions of India course. Harbold has now visited India thirteen times, published materials on Indian music, given talks at many Indian colleges and universities, and hosted Indian music concerts and courses at Elmhurst College. Some highlights include:
- A 2017-18 Fulbright-Nehru Academic & Professional Excellence Teaching Award took Dr. Harbold to Madras Christian College in Chennai as visiting professor. His Fulbright project, Collaboration in Teaching and Learning Music in South India, allowed him to teach and observe varied pedagogical approaches in Indian music schools. In collaboration with Chennai’s finest church musicians, Harbold developed and taught the first music program ever offered at Madras Christian College, a certificate program in church music sponsored by the college’s Institute for Advanced Christian Studies. This successful 2018 program was repeated in 2019, and plans are underway to add a more in-depth diploma program in the near future. For more information on Dr. Harbold’s Fulbright, see his bio on the Fulbright-Nehru web site or check out the news release on the Elmhurst College web site.
- Harbold’s Indian contacts have led to some wonderful opportunities for Elmhurst College students:
- At the 2017 Chicago World Music Festival in Millennium Park, the Elmhurst Philharmonic Orchestra under Prof. Joanne May premiered the Bharath Symphony, written by the great violinist Dr. L. Subramaniam to celebrate the 70th anniversary of India’s independence.
- Renowned journalist and playwright Gowri Ramnarayan gave presentations on her work to Elmhurst College Theatre and Music students in January and April 2016.
- Pt. Nagarajrao Havaldar of Bengaluru spent a semester at Elmhurst College in 2011 teaching an Indian Music course and Hindustani classical voice lessons.
- The always-inspiring Srinivas Krishnan (currently working in Chennai with the LEAP in India Foundation) collaborated with Prof. Joanne May to present the first-ever Elmhurst College World Music Festival (now in its eighth year!).
- Harbold has planned and led several January Term courses in India.
- 2016—From the Big Temples to the Silver Screen: The Music of South India (visit the course website). The course began with five intense days of music lessons at Pt. Nagarajrao Havaldar’s home in Bengaluru—a true gurukulam exerience and the perfect preparation for subsequent musical experiences in Chennai, Mahabalipuram, Pondicherry, Thanjavur, and Thiruvaiyaru.
- 2010 & 2013—Indian Art and Music in Chennai, Thanjavur, Thiruvaiyaru, Madurai, Mamallapuram, Ajanta and Ellora, Agra, and Delhi (visit the 2013 or 2010 course web sites).
- 2007—Indian Music, Religions, and Culture in Chennai, Thanjavur, Thiruvaiyaru, Mamallapuram, Jaipur, Agra, and Delhi (visit the course blog).
- In 2012, Harbold was named the College Music Society Ambassador to South India.
- December 2010 found Harbold in Karnataka as a “groupie” for the Swara Nada Yatra–Tablaphilia concert tour co-led by Pts. Nagarajrao Havaldar and Samir Chatterjee.
- In 2009 Harbold was honored to do a four-month stint as Visiting Professor at Madras Christian College (visit my blog).
- In 2008, Dr. Harbold participated in the National Endowment for the Humanities Summer Institute in India—Bharata Darshan: Past and Present in the Study of Indian History and Culture, an extraordinary study experience with world-class scholars such as Romila Thapar, Shereen Ratnagar, and Sunil Kumar in Shimla, Delhi, and Agra.
- Thanks to his sister in Thillaisthanam, Dr. Rama Kausalya, Harbold has had the privilege of attending the Tyagaraja Aradhana seven times, in 2007, 2010, 2012, 2015, 2016, 2018, and 2019. Held annually in honor of the patron saint of South Indian music, this festival is in many ways the heart and soul of Carnatic classical music.
- Best of all, Harbold has had the privilege of meeting some of the very best Carnatic classical musicians, including Sudha Ragunathan, Aruna Sairam, Sanjay Subrahmanyan, Dr. S. Sowmya, Dr. L. Subramaniam, A. Kanyakumari, Gayathri Girish, J. Jayanth, Kadri Gopalnath, Dr. Mysore Manjunath, Umayalpuram Sivaraman, and Dr. S. Karthick, among others.