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​Music Bursary Selection Panel 2022

Harjit Wolves_edited.png

Music Service Birmingham & Music Service Wolverhampton.

Azaad Arts/Azaad Dhol Group.

Harjit is a specialist in music education and is involved in community music projects. He was part of the pioneering Bhangra Band of the 80’s and 90’s called Azaad from Wolverhampton and played Indian percussion with the band.My mission is to make Indian drumming classical and folk genre accessible to a wider audience, and to see people from all cultures playing Indian drums in schools and the community.

Harjit Singh-Has worked in music education for the last 30 years teaching traditional Indian music, mainly Folk music of Panjab “Lok Virsa”. My teaching role mainly is working in mainstream education and also with SEND with the Music Service in Birmingham and Wolverhampton since 1994 many, many students have learnt through the traditional system and have taken grades in Dhol and Tabla. He also taught in the workshops at the prestigious Womad Festival


Founder of Azaad Arts/Azaad Dhol Group which is a well-established community organization that has performed and established many performances all over the Midlands and across the country

Harjit Singh - Percussionist
Dr. Vijay Rajputa - Vocalist

Music Teacher / Performing Artist

Born in new Delhi, India, Dr. Vijay Rajput started Learning Music at a tender age of eight. He acquired his initial training and guidance from Pt. M. G. Deshpande, Pt. VinayChander Mudgal and pt. Madhup Mudgal ji.Subsequently, he had a rare opportunity to learn for many years under the tutelage of world renowned Bharat Ratna Pt. Bhimsen Joshi Ji. He has acquired M.A., M.PHIL., PH.D.Degrees in Hindustani Classical music from the University of Delhi.

As a maestro of khayal style of rendition and an artist of international repute, his performances have mesmerized audiences in India and abroad. He has performed in many national and international Sangeet Sammelans festivals and Mahotsave. He  received  KALA JYOTHI award in 2010 for his excellent contribution in educating and promoting classical music in the North East of England.

He is currently based in North East of England in Newcastle upon Tyne. He is as keen a music teacher as a performer and is a visiting lecturer in vocal music at Newcastle University, Leeds collage of Music and VOICE (Education project of VHP(U.K.). 



Although my career had included spells in Special Education and teaching English as a Foreign Language, my breakthrough occurred when, as head of Modern Languages in a Manchester High School, I was invited to join Manchester Music Service to teach balalaika and domra. I had previously set up after-school music groups featuring these instruments in two High Schools and a Special School for children with impaired eyesight, but now had the chance to expand this provision into many more schools. This gave rise to the Kalinka Youth Balalaika Orchestra, still apparently unique in the U.K.

Harjeet Singh and I both joined the Music Service in 1984, and soon developed an interest each other’s musical traditions. Three years later, Harjeet accompanied the prototype Kalinka players on their first trip to Leningrad (the present-day St. Petersburg), Manchester’s twin city in Russia, where he was able to reveal the magic of the sitar to local audiences. Kalinka’s visits to St. Petersburg have continued, involving most generations of our players, and we maintain close links with our Russian colleagues, whose input has been crucial in Kalinka’s development.


Over time, I have gained experience as a repairer of fretted instruments, occasionally working with Harjeet, a notably gifted luthier from whom I learnt so much, and continue my connection to the Kalinka Balalaika Orchestra as a teacher and director.


David Wainwright, originally from Yorkshire, came to Manchester in 1964 to study at the Royal Manchester College of Music on double bass and composition. After College, he became a free-lance professional bass player and, later, a part time cello, bass and guitar teacher in some Lancashire schools. He joined Manchester Music Service in September 1972 as a visiting lower string instructor but soon began to take an interest in music in the classroom. In 1973 he was asked by the then Music Inspector for Schools to look into the introduction of study of ‘non-western’ music into Manchester schools.

After a few years he was able to appoint a team of specialist musicians in the fields of steelpan, African drum and Indian Classical music and dance. It was at this time he was introduced to Harjeet Singh as a sitar player and teacher. Together they were able to gain funding for a special project involving school visits by Dr Frances Sheperd, Clem Alford on sitar and Pandit Sharda Sahai on tabla, which served as a stimulus to expand interest in schools, which then became the basis for Harjeet’s full time programme of teaching in schools. Harjeet developed a unique approach incorporating tabla, sitar and santoor and integrating the use of classroom instruments such as xylophones. His pupils often featured in the various series of concerts set up by the Music Service in prestigious venues such as the Royal Northern College of Music.

David occasionally travelled the Country giving talks on behalf of the Minorities Arts Advisory Service, of which he was honorary secretary, addressing the rationale behind multi-cultural music education and its potential impact on anti-racist strategies. Several of these visits included live demonstrations of Harjeet’s work with both primary and high school pupils.

As a conductor of Youth Orchestras, David Wainwright felt it important to pay the same respect to ‘world musics’ in the concert hall as in the classroom, at various times integrating steelpan, Indian music, Chinese and Russian music into his orchestral programmes. Indeed, given the opportunity to perform at the Palace Theatre, David wrote a piece in (his understanding of, at the time) Raag Bhirav for youth orchestra, table, sitar, and even conducted it from dilruba! Reaching the post of Acting Head of Service, he left Manchester Music Service in December 2004 to devote more time to the family string quartet, the Spring Quartet comprising his two daughters, his wife and himself on ‘cello


​Ranjit's musical journey has taken him from playing at home with family to supporting his father in the classroom and accompanying his students on stage during the Annual Music Showcase concerts which were held at the prestigious Royal Northern College of Music and hosted by the Manchester Music Service. Ranjit has also run Indian Classical Music Workshops at the renowned Chethams Music School in Manchester, working with young extremely talented musicians.

Being raised in a musical family, Ranjit attended numerous concerts, and listening to Masters of Indian Classical music has been the ‘norm’ for him. Ranjit reflects on one of his father’s favourite quotes which was “we may not be great musicians ourselves, but the best musicians need an audience”  - this understanding has truly developed Ranjit's listening skills, instilling the ability to appreciate great musicianship. Starting and continuing as a student, Ranjit is privileged to be sharing with future generations his learning which has given him such enjoyment. This beautiful art is so precious, and it is so important to support its future; Ranjit is ensuring this tradition continues with his children.

Ranjit Singh - Tabla Student
David Wainwright - Music Teacher / Composer /Artist
Brian Hulme - Russian Music Teacher / Director

Vedic Organisation for Indian Culture and Education (VOICE). - Manchester

Manjeet Singh is an accomplished Tabla Player who has performed with several artists and is also a seasoned Tabla Teacher teaching students around the North West and is currently teaching for VOICE. A Student of Pandit Manikro Popatkar and Ustad Latif Ahmed Khan and the eldest son of Harjeet Singh, Manjeet has spent a considerable amount of time teaching and has had the privileged to accompany his father presenting many workshops, including the BA Music Module on Indian classical music at Manchester University.  Currently, Manjeet is a full-time educationalist in mainstream education, however, continues with his passion to teach music which has been handed down to him by his father.

Manjeet Singh - Tabla Teacher
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