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Featuring Aria Khambatta, Candice Rocha and Alique Khamabatta, whose talents took root at the Academy of Music, Pune.

Aria Khambatta

Aria Khambatta is eight years old and a grade three student at Symbiosis International School. She takes Music Appreciation and Rudiments classes at the Academy. Aria Khambatta joined the Academy of Music in June 2014, at the age of 6. She had already been learning the violin from the age of 4, but needed to learn the piano, especially with her sister Alique, winning all kinds of accolades!! She has also been a soloist in her school choir.

She began her lessons with me and it has been a wonderful journey!! Aria won 1st prize in the Preliminary division at MusiQuest 2017, and adjudicator Raj Bhimani now refers to her as his musical godchild! She also won the concerto prize and received an Adjudicators’ Special mention from adjudicator Kevin Olson, for the Jazz and Popular Music Division. Aria also took a private lesson with adjudicators Dr. Carolyn True and Dr. Bradley Beckman. Aria has even participated in the Norton festival in 2015 at the Academy, which featured the celebrated jazz and pop composer Christopher Norton. She was selected to perform in the Honors concert.

The Academy offers a holistic approach to music education with theory, music appreciation and music history being taught alongside piano lessons. Aria eagerly looks forward to the Academy annual solo and ensemble recitals. The Christmas performances, classes and parties are her absolute favorite!!

Candice Rocha

Candice Rocha is ten years old and a grade five student at St. Mary’s School. She started piano lessons in 2012, at the Academy of Music, and currently studies with me. She was inspired to take up the piano after she received a toy piano as a gift from her grandmother, when she was aged three years. Candice takes Rudiments and History classes at the Academy.

Candice has won in different categories, at the MusiQuest. In 2013, she was the first prize winner of the mainstream solo Preliminary division and in 2015, she was the first prize winner of the mainstream solo Junior Division. She also won the Piano Ensemble and Concerto prizes. She received an Adjudicator Special Mention in the Piano Ensemble and Popular Music and Jazz category. She has taken a private lesson with Alan Chow.

Candice has achieved an incredible 95% distinction score for the Trinity College Foundation Recital Certificate examination. She made her public debut in August 2016, at the National Centre for the Performing Arts (NCPA) Mumbai, performing for the Budding Brigade series.She was awarded the Academy Beginner of the Year award in 2013 and the Musicality award in 2014. She performed at the gala concerts of the Christopher Norton Festival in 2013 and 2015. Candice loves playing the piano, listening to music, dancing and reading. She really enjoys masterclasses.

Alique Khambatta

Alique Khambatta is fourteen years old and a grade nine student at Symbiosis International School. Alique joined the Academy of Music in 2007 at the age of 5 and has been studying with me. She has come a long way since then and this has only been possible because of the rigorous all round musical education that is offered at the Academy.

Alique has taken part in multiple MusiQuests from the preliminary to advanced level and has won prizes at all these competitions, in solo, concerto, jazz and ensemble divisions. In 2013, her prize package included Solo and ensemble masterclasses at the Bayerische Musikakademie in Marktoberdorf, Germany. There, she studied with Tomislav Baynov, Veselinka Ivanova and Benjamin Schatz. She performed both solo and jazz improvisation for the program’s Honours recital. She also performed and won first place as part of the Indie Trio for the International Six and Eight hand competition, held at Marktoberdorf.

Alique passed her Trinity Intermediate Recital Certificate with distinction and last year scored an incredible 96% distinction in her ATCL Recital examination. Over the years she has performed for masterclasses at the Academy with pedagogues such as Pervez Mody, Raj Bhimani and Charis Cheung. She has also taken private lessons at MusiQuests with international celebrity teachers and pedagogues Alan Chow, Jeremy Siskind and Christopher Norton. Last year was a busy one for Alique. Following the ATCL she performed at the NCPA Young Talent series in June . In July, she attended the International Institute of Young Musicians (IIYM) summer camp on a part scholarship and studied with Jack Winerock, Scott McBride Smith and Mike Kirkendoll. This was an amazing experience and cemented her career choice decision!

Alique’s incredible progress and advancement in music is because of the high standards and intense passion and dedication, something that she shares with me. Her hobbies include reading, singing, skating, dancing and riling her sister Aria! Alique hopes to pursue a career in music.

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