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Evelyn Glennie, the internationally renowned percussionist, emerges as an embodiment of unflinching determination, strong self-belief, dedication and courage. Although challenged by severe hearing impairment, this young girl is able to make her way to an enviable position in life. Evelyn was found to have lost her hearing faculty at a very young age of eight years but her strong determination enabled her to encounter the challenge very bravely. Instead of joining the school for the deaf, as suggested by the headmistress of her school, she decided firmly to lead the life as a normal girl. She wanted to play the xylophone but was discouraged by her teachers. However, her resolution was strengthened by the encouragement she got from the percussionist, Ron Forbes. Under his able guidance, Evelyn learnt how to develop sensitivity to musical sounds through different parts of her body. She managed to sense musical notes through her skin, her hair, her fingers, and even her bare feet. Endowed with great confidence, Evelyn was able to get admission to the Royal Academy of Music, London, the most prestigious institution for music. Her confidence and devotion enabled her to receive the highest awards in percussion music. Such is her contribution to the percussion music that it has earned a special place in the orchestra. Despite her deafness, Evelyn gives solo performances and has command over a large number of percussion instruments. A person with a humanitarian spirit, Evelyn even performs in prisons and hospitals. Thus, with her confidence and resolute decision, Evelyn has revealed to the world that disabilities disappear before dedication and determination. Her achievements are a source of inspiration for those who suffer from handicaps.
Main Characters of the Story
Bismillah Khan In “The Sound of Music” (Part II), Bismillah Khan has been portrayed as a great musician, a devout patriot, and a liberal human being. Bismillah Khan has been one of the most eminent musicians of India who honoured rich, cultural heritage of Indian music. Born and brought up in the family of musicians, he inherited and learnt a lot from his paternal and maternal families. But he further enriched the shehnai music by his improvised raagas which he harmonised with the waves of the Ganga. His passion for music started at the early age of three and continued up to his death at ninety.
Starting with playing music in temples and on the banks of the Ganga, Bismillah Khan rose to fame with international conferences and concerts. Such was his fame that he was invited to play shehnai at the Red Fort on the occasion of the independence of India on August 15, 1947. Many awards like the Padamshri, the Padma Bhushan and the Padma Vibhushan were conferred on him. He has also been honoured with the Bharat Ratan, the greatest civilian award in India. He played shehnai in Afghanistan before King Zahir Shah; was invited to perform at Lincoln Central Hall, USA; participated in the World Exposition in Montreal, in the Cannes Art Festival and Osaka Trade Fair. Such is his international fame that in Teheran, an auditorium has been named after him.
Bismillah Khan was a great patriot who declined the offer of his student to settle down in the USA. He had a profound love for the Ganga in Benaras and his birthplace, the estate in Dumraon, Bihar. Such high regard does he have for the rich heritage of India, that he was not allured by the glamour of the film world.
Bismillah Khan was a liberal human being who had respect for all religions. Though a devout Muslim, he played shehnai every day in the Kashi Vishwanath temple, Benaras. Thus, a great musician and a great human being, Bismillah Khan earned international repute for himself.