Friday, January 29, 2010

It's an 11th Hour passion

by Jayalakshmi Venugopal
Bangalore: Taking time off from their work schedules to make music at a friend’s home, about 15 senior-level management professionals, all graduates from different Indian Institutes of Technology (IIT), formed a music band, the ‘11th Hour’.

Now, they perform in music concerts organised to raise fund for charity. The band will perform at the upcoming IITF5, an inter-IIT music festival, held to raise fund for the Hippocampus Reading Foundation (HRF), a Bangalore-based organisation floated by a former IIT student, Umesh Malhotra, to promote reading habit among children.

“Some of the band members were involved with music groups during their IIT days. Now they have come together to support many causes like ours,” said Sangeetha Menon, head, operations, Hippocampus.

The band will perform a range of music — Indian light music to Western and from retro to the latest numbers. The group members include Vijaya Verma (IIT-Bombay), who runs a healthcare start-up, Dhananjay Collur (IIT-Kharagpur), director of an IT company, CS Balasubramanian (IIT-Delhi), who works in an IT firm, Dilip Panicker (IIT-Madras), entrepreneur and Joe Fernandes (IIT-Kharagpur), who runs a technology business.

“With our packed work schedules, looming deadlines and irate spouses, we all end up rehearsing only a month or so before performing at a concert. That's why the name, 11th Hour,” said Verma.

The band comprises both trained and untrained singers and musicians.

“There is a good mix of trained singers and people like me , bathroom singers, who’ve graduated to the stage. We are all based in the city and meet at a fellow band member’s home. We try to rehearse at least twice a week, or on weekends, at Dilip’s home,” Verma added.

The IITF5 is scheduled to be held at the Taj Residency on January 30 from 7.30 pm onwards. Donor passes are priced at Rs750 (adults), Rs900 (at venue) and Rs400 (for children).

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