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Stan Scott: The Weaver

  Dr. Stan Scott began his musical career in the early 1970's as a singer and guitarist, performing original songs and American folk music at coffeehouses in New York, Vermont, Massachusetts and Connecticut.  Alongside of his folk performances, he studied Western classical singing with Frank Baker and Jan DeGaetani, composition with Henry Brant, and classical guitar with Gunnar Schonbeck at Bennington College.  Stan's interest in composition, improvisation, and non-Western musical traditions led him to Wesleyan University's world music program in 1972, where he began studying North Indian classical singing with Lakshmi Ganesh Tewari.  In 1974, Stan traveled to California to learn Hindustani vocal music from Ustad Ali Akbar Khan. Returning that year to perform and teach in the northeast, Stan began learning North Indian vocal music from Sushil Mukherjee, director of Fine Arts at the Windsor Mountain School in Lenox, Massachusetts.  Stan learned from "Sushilda" for twenty-three years, traveling with him and living with his family in India. Sushil was a rare musician who not only taught music but was able to illuminate the connections between Indian music, mythology, religion, philosophy, painting, sculpture, architecture, and contemporary arts in the West.

  Stan made his first trip to India in 1978, learning North Indian classical singing from Sri Krishna Chandra Banerjee in Calcutta.  Subsequent visits, including two years funded by Fulbright-Hayes and American Institute of Indian Studies fellowships, featured extended and intensive study with Mr. Banerjee and his disciple Dr. Sugata Marjit, two years learning the folk music of Bengal, Bangladesh, Assam and Meghalaya from folksinger Kali Das Gupta, and the study of the Agra style of Hindustani vocal music with Sri Mohan Singh of Santiniketan.

 In 1990, Stan began doctoral work at Wesleyan University, where he studied the Gwalior style of North Indian vocal music with visiting artist Dr. Vidyadhar Vyas of Bombay University.  Dr. Scott completed his Ph.D. dissertation on Hindustani classical singing in 1997.  In his visits to India, he has performed and lectured at institutions such as the Bhatkhande Music Institute (Lucknow) and Swaramayee Gurukul (Pune), while continuing his studies with Sri Mohan Singh and Dr. Vidyadhar Vyas.  Dr. Scott has performed as a featured soloist at Mumbai's National Centre for the Performing Arts, Kolkatta's Rabindra Sadan, Washington's Mahatma Gandhi Memorial Center, the Viswa Banga Sammelan in Lowell, Massachusetts, and for the United States Information Service.  In 2001, the Cultural Association of Bengal presented Stan Scott with its "Distinguished Service Award" for his contribution to Bengali music.

Alongside of his Indian music activities, Stan has been very active in multiple musical realms.  He has traveled to Ireland multiple times to do research on Irish traditional singing, and has performed and lectured at the Willie Clancy School and the Clare Festival of Traditional Singing.  As a folksinger, guitarist, mandolinist, banjoist and songwriter, he has recorded two albums:  A Friend of the Wind (with Sam Scheer) and The Lotus and the Rose:  Songs of Travel in Ireland and India. His Irish-New England trio Kitchen Ceilí, featuring George Wilson (fiddle) and Dora Hast (tin whistle and recorders), performs throughout New England and upstate New York.

In the realm of contemporary experimental music, Stan sang a major role in Anthony Braxton's newly recorded opera Trillium E.  As a writer, he has co-authored two ethnomusicology textbooks:  Music in Ireland:  Experiencing Music, Expressing Culture (Oxford University Press), and Exploring the World of Music (Kendall Hunt).  As a conductor, he directed the Colgate University Chorus and Chamber Singers for three years.  As a teacher, he has taught world music and North Indian vocal music at Yale, Colgate, Wesleyan, Clark, UCONN (Storrs), and Central and Southern Connecticut State Universities, and has taught North Indian music to more than one hundred members of Connecticut's South Asian community in his Rangila School of Music.

In January 2012, the Mumbai Music Forum, on behalf of the Indian Council for Cultural Relations, All Indian Radio and Television, the ITC Sangeet Research Academy, the Indian Musicological Society, and the National Centre for the Performing Arts, presented Dr. Stan Scott with the annual “Award for the Contribution to the Cause of Indian Music by an Overseas-Resident Personality” for his work "as an ethnomusicologist specialized in Hindustani and Bengali folk music," whose "contribution to several pioneering efforts at the promotion of Hindustani music amongst serious musicians and scholars in the Western hemisphere" has "given Indian music a unique home in North America, and helped India and the USA build new bridges of cultural understanding."