The sitar -- an eastern Indian stringed instrument made famous in the western world by
A new group called the Music of
The seven students in the group, led by William and Mary assistant professor Max Katz, has been learning how to play the sitar this semester in a one-credit class offered through the college's music department.
Saturday's concert takes place at Ewell Recital Hall on campus at the college.
Katz, an expert on the classical music of northern India, said he started working to create the ensemble when he was hired by William and Mary in 2009. The school found the money to purchase eight sitars, which allowed Katz to begin teaching the class this semester.
"Seven students eagerly jumped in," Katz said. "The purpose of this concert is to show how much these students have been able to pick up a completely unfamiliar music system ... in less than a semester. It will show the fruits of their very determined labor."
Katz said the seven students will play in unison, which is not a traditional mode of performance in India. He will play a phrase from an Indian scale or raga and the students will play it back to him. Each student will get a moment to improvise during the concert.
The sitar players will be accompanied by a percussionist on the tabla drum.