Sanjeeta sits down in front of me, eyeing my chocolate muffin. Before she can reach out and take a bite, I grab the muffin and keep it close to me.
“I just want a bite!” she says, laughing. With Sanjeeta, it’s never just a bite. But then again, that’s what makes her so special – her ability to set her mind on something and then go after it. Be it the numerous opportunities she’s had at Berklee or the numerous “bites” of food she’s had from me over the last two years, Sanjeeta Bhattacharya has never missed a chance to seize the day! A 7th semester Performance major with voice as a principal instrument, she never fails to impress. Inspired, I want to hear her story and what brought her from Delhi to Boston.
So what brought you to Berklee in Boston?
I grew up learning Hindustani Classical music and sang a lot of pop, RnB and Soul in high school for competitions and gigs. My first tryst with Berklee was in summer 2010 when I attended the 5-Week Summer Performance Program. I had such a wonderful time being exposed to people and music from around the world. There was SO much more to listen to and learn! I came back again the next year and decided to do my undergrad at Berklee.
Wow! How did you end up in the Indian Ensemble then?
I met Annette in my first semester, she happened to be my assigned private instructor. I was so happy to meet someone from my own city with a similar background and a world of knowledge. Her passion for music, good vibes and my own curiosity about meeting Indians and playing familiar music in a completely new environment made me join the ensemble.
You’ve been a part of this ensemble for over two years now. What are some of your favorite moments, lessons and experiences with us?
In this ensemble I learnt how to put music first and keep egos aside. Constructive criticism, respect for each other, LOVE and laughter helped us grow together. I learnt that practice makes perfect and letting go of inhibitions makes you more receptive to the music around you. It’s been a beautiful journey, being in the Indian ensemble.
*Takes a bite of my muffin while I glare at her*
Hearing Mr. A.R. Rahman play the Bombay Theme on the continuum for the first time at rehearsal has got to be one of the most memorable moments. Everyone had tears in their eyes and smiles on their faces. I will never forget that show at the BSO. I’ve never had that much fun on stage! Rehearsals for that show really bonded us all as a family.
Also, biryani times are always memorable! And on that note, I’m hungry. Let’s go get biryani!