World-renowned Down syndrome musician to stage concert here-A A +A
Monday, January 17, 2011
SUJEET "Suj" Desai is a remarkable young musician from the United States of America who already performed 150 rimes in the US as well as in Canada, Malaysia, Singapore, India, the United Kingdom, and Qatar.
And this month, the 28-year-old Suj, of Indian descent, is set to play his first-ever concert in the Philippines and he chose to hold it in Davao City. Suj finished his post-secondary studies from Berkshire Hills Music Academy in 2003.
He has so far received three international awards for his achievements in music which includes one from the President of Singapore. Recently he was invited to become the Ambassador for Down Syndrome International. Yes, Suj has Down syndrome.
Among his achievements were the Honor and Pride Award for most outstanding individual with Down syndrome during the 8th World Down Syndrome Congress in 2004; Christin Puschel Memorial Citizen Award for outstanding self-advocate in the same event; Achievement Award as a special peforment during the International Day of Disabled Persons awarded by the President of Singapore in 2000; Minds-Uniscap Millennium Symposium on Intellectual Disability by the Singapore Minister of Community Development in 2000; and the Yes I Can Award by the Council for Exceptional Children in 2000.
In his performance in the city on January 29 at 7 p.m. at CAP Auditorium, Suj will be playing his favorite instruments like the violin, piano, clarinet, bass clarinet and drums. He will be accompanied by the students of the DS Foundation for the Differently-Abled, Inc. that will be celebrating its 10th anniversary on that same day.
The DS Foundation is being run by the family of Commission on Human Rights Southern Mindanao director Alberto Sipaco who also had a child with a Down Syndrome-Deanna. The foundation is named after her.
Deanna passed away on September 2005 at the age of 33. But even after her death, Deanna's works of arts continue to be hailed by the international community. And in recognition of her remarkable achievement despite her "disability", the Sipacos will soon be putting up a bigger school that will cater to differently-abled children in the city and the region.
Funds that will be raised on Suj's concert dubbed as "A Star Shines Brightly" will be allocated for the construction of the said school.
Tickets reasonably priced at P1,500, P1,000 and P500 can be bought at the DS Foundation office, Down Syndrome Association of the Philippines, Autism Society Philippines, Uraya Land Development Inc., JCI Davaoena Daba-Daba Inc., and the Rotary Waling-Waling Club.
Aside from the concert, a workshop entitled "Global Connection for Asian Parents of Children with Down Syndrome" will be conducted by Drs. Sindoor and Sharad Desai, parents of Suj. Video clips of Suj's performances all over the world can also be viewed at Youtube, just type "sujeet desai".
Published in the Sun.Star Davao newspaper on January 18, 2011.