Utpola Borah, Ph.D., is an ethnomusicologist, music educator, cultural archivist, and North Indian classical vocalist. She has been performing diverse North Indian classical vocal genres as well as regional folk songs for several years in the United States and India. Utpola’s vocal artistry is founded on her extensive study with the renowned North Indian classical legends, Padmashri (Dr.) Prabha Atre, Vidushi Malashri Prasad, Pandit Indralal Dhanda, Ustad Iqbal Ahmed Khan, and Ustad Ballu Khan Warsi of Kirana, Banaras, Udaipur, and Delhi gharanas (traditions). Her deep knowledge of music is evident in her many concerts and regular broadcasts on the All India Radio (National Radio) and Television network. Following the path of her masters, she strives to impart India’s ancient music traditions to contemporary audiences and students.
Utpola has been teaching music to students of all age groups both in person and online for over 10 years. Her students have performed at various places across the U.S., such as in temples, Asian festivals, and Indian community festivals. She organizes two student performances every summer and winter and holds masterclasses, lecture demonstrations, and performances at universities, schools, community festivals, and senior homes.
Utpola holds a doctorate degree in music from the University of Delhi, India. Her doctoral research on the Bihu songs of Assam is available as a book, “Bihu Festival of Assam – Music, Dance & Performance” (B.R. Rhythms: 2005). Her articles are published in major research journals in India. Utpola worked in the Archives and Research Centre for Ethnomusicology at the American Institute of Indian Studies, Gurgaon, India. She was a course-writer, content-editor, and expert consultant for the postgraduate degree in folklore and cultural studies for the School of Interdisciplinary and Trans-disciplinary Studies at the Indira Gandhi National Open University (IGNOU). She was a research fellow for the Advancing Interdisciplinary Research in Singing (AIRS) project in University of Prince Edward Island, Canada.
Utpola is the CEO and founder of Sacred Music, LLC, an arts and cultural organization founded in 2013 with a mission to promote Indian performing arts, history, and culture through, singing, instrumental music, dancing, and storytelling among the Central Ohio community. As part of its cultural educational outreach programs, Sacred Music, LLC also promotes and encourages multicultural awareness and local art forms and artists including jazz, blues, central Asian, and Turkish. Currently, Utpola is working at the Columbus Metropolitan Library and as an arts learning/artist in residence for educational programs supported by the Ohio Arts Council.
Grade Levels/Age Groups
- Grades 1-3
- Grades 4-5
- Grades 6-8
- Grades 9-12
- Young Adult
Facilities and Resources Required
- Audio System
- Electrical Outlets
- Performance Space
- Raised platform and rug to sit