Dignitaries from all across England and far beyond came together for the formal launch of the three-day inaugural World Music Conference which ended last Saturday.
Hosted by the University of Wolverhampton and organised by the British Carnatic Choir, the conference, themed 'Exploring the intersection of Science, Technology, Engineering & Maths, or STEM, and World Music' featured stage performances, discussions, presentations, workshops and much more.
Guests included Deputy Mayor of Wolverhampton, Cllr Phil Page, University of Wolverhampton Vice Chancellor Professor Geoff Layer, Deputy Lieutenant of the West Midlands Nasir Awan, Jaffer Kapasi, Honorary Consul General of Uganda and Dr Aman Puri, Consul General of India in Birmingham.
The free event, believed to be the only one of its kind to be hosted in the UK, brought together artistes, academics, music educators from across Africa, Europe, USA and India.
Performances included the amazing Kol Kinor Jewish Choir and Konnakol - the art of performing percussion syllables vocally in South Indian music, the Carnatic music performance art of vocal percussion – by members of NANDI, a popular band.
The keynote address, entitled ‘Is Music a Universal Language?’ was given by Dr Hans Neuhoff from Cologne University of Music and Dance.
The Conference received goodwill messages from the British Prime Minister Rt Hon Theresa May, India’s Prime Minister Narendra Modi, Lord Kumar Bhattacharyya, founder chairman of the Warwick Manufacturing Group, British Education Secretary Rt Hon Justine Greening & Lord Karan Bilimoria CBE DL, founder, Cobra Beer.
Among those honoured for their contributions and support in making this Conference possible were Professor Nazira Karodia, Dean of the Faculty of Science & Engineering at the University of Wolverhampton, and Santosh Kumar, CEO of Green Valley Infinity, the charity.
Organiser Dr Chithra Ramakrishnan FRSA said this was a "dream come true".
She added: Our vision and mission is to promote peace, togetherness and to learn to respect one another for who we are and our backgrounds through music, a universal language and the glue of a harmonious and tolerant society.”