Art of the Tabla


Photo by Aadi Mehta

Club president and senior Harpreet Saluja and vice president and junior Yash Fatehpuria of the Tabla Club show their talents on the tabla, an instrument that has provided classic music for Indian culture throughout its history.

Aadi Mehta, Contributing Writer

In an attempt to spread the culture of India, leaders of the newly-established Tabla Club discuss their backgrounds and how they are trying to make the club successful within this diverse school community.

“Ever since I came into high school, [starting the Tabla club] was something I wanted to do,” club president and senior Harpreet Saluja said. “I didn’t have the experience before to do it, but now I have the experience [and] the knowledge to be able to do this.”

Saluja has been playing the tabla for five years and said that he wants to be able to bring eastern music culture to school while at the same time share his passion for tabla with his peers. 

I want to really have people recognize [tabla] as an instrument and see the difference between Indian classical music versus something more Western.”

— Yash Fatehpuria

“Until now, we have been introducing tabla to the club and have been teaching them the basics so that they can then learn the more complicated and fun compositions afterwards,” Saluja said. 

He intended to prepare his peers for a small performance at the Poetry Slam in April. However, due to the constantly evolving Covid-19 issues, Saluja’s plans are now subject to change.

Vice president and junior Yash Fatehpuria said that he is trying to spread his culture through the club and wants people to have a passion for music. 

“I want to really have people recognize [tabla] as an instrument and see the difference between Indian classical music versus something more Western,” Fatehpuria said. 

Fatehpuria said that he has learned how to teach music and has seen the impact tabla has on students during the past semester. He will step up in the 2020 – 2021 school year as president following Saluja’s graduation. 

“[I am] fascinated by music from cultures…outside of the western bubble,” literary and language arts teacher and club adviser Jeanne Jelnick said. “And so, tabla to me was just something I wanted to learn about, and I thought [this club] was a legitimate means of getting other people to learn about it.” 

Jelnick said that she has known Saluja for many years and has faith in him both as a person and a leader. She said she was happy to be able to do something to support his desire. 

“You cannot underestimate the power and the value of coming of age,” Jelnick said.“[The] diversity, inclusivity that we provide you with, that cultural variety that you live with, you hear all these languages, and I think that you’re all very lucky.”

Saluja and Fatehpuria continue to showcase the tabla to students with the help of Jelnick. The club holds meetings every Monday at lunch in room 1003.