Indiana University of Pennsylvania will host a program on Buddhist ritual music October 1, 2009, at 7:00 p.m. in McVitty Auditorium, Sprowls Hall.
The event is sponsored by the IUP Department of Music, the College of Fine Arts, the Robert E. Cook Honors College, the Asian Studies Committee, and Karma Thegsum Choling, a Tibetan meditation center.
The program is free and open to the community. It will be presented by Tom Schmidt and Lama Tashi Topgyal, who will provide demonstrations of Tibetan instruments and discuss their use and significance in Tibetan Buddhist liturgical music.
Topgyal is from Raktrul Monastery in eastern Tibet. He came to the U.S. in 2003 to teach at Kunzang Palchen Ling, a Tibetan center in Redhook, N.Y.
Schmidt is director of Karma Thegsum Choyang Music, a studio associated with Karma Triyana Dharmachakra, a Tibetan monastery in Woodstock, N.Y. The studio is dedicated to the recording and preservation of Tibetan liturgical music.
In 1997, Schmidt acted as liaison between the monastery and Martin Scorsese’s film Kundun, about the life of the XIV Dalai Lama, when scenes were shot in the main shrine room of the monastery.
In the summer of 1999, Schmidt traveled to Tibet, China, Nepal, and India to study Kagyu sacred music. He produced a benefit concert for the monastery in 2004, with Philip Glass as principal guest artist, and a second benefit concert in 2005 with Lori Anderson. In 2008, he produced a concert with Jack DeJohnette and Pat Metheny.