Descriptive Essay On Rockefeller Chapel

1438 Words6 Pages
Rockefeller Chapel is an enormous space—neither religious nor secular, but teetering on the rims of both in its uses as a prayer hall, concert space, and location for the College’s convocation ceremony. On April 22nd, 2017, the chapel is used as a divine space, bringing two religions, two cultures, and numerous ethnicities together in “A Meeting of Two Seas,” a concert celebrating the contributions of Hindus and Muslims to the arts of South Asia. As a performer, I enter Rockefeller Chapel through its West Entrance, two hours before the concert begins for a quick rehearsal and sound check—I am an insider, not only as a Carnatic vocalist, but as a Hindu, who has observed the rifts between Hindus and Muslims, which have lasted seemingly through antiquity. Through the concert, I hope to observe a beautiful amalgamation of these two religions and cultures—and possibly, see the rifts begin to subside. Before guests begin to usher in, I take a seat in the front row next to my friends and fellow performers and prepare to take notes for my sketch. My friends giggle and chatter about their daily struggles, tuning out the sitar music playing softly in the background, but I tell them to quiet down so that I can pay attention during the concert. After a brief introduction from co-hosts Nikhil and Nur Banu, Minu Pasupathi, one of my South Asian Music Ensemble (SAME) directors, ascends the stage to perform the first act, an assemblage of two unconventional Carnatic pieces: “Allahvai

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