Musical treat raises £800 for Afghanistan charity appeal

Sitar player Ricky Romain gave a concert for Afghanistan

Sitar player Ricky Romain gave a concert for Afghanistan - Credit: Robert Golden

The sounds of sitar and tabla filled a packed St Michael’s Church, Shute on October 8.

The draw was a concert in support of Afghanistan hosted by Shute Festival with sitar player Ricky Romain and tabla player Lewis Riley, both South West based musicians.

They improvised two Indian classical ragas – an evening raga and a more romantic and lighter one, followed by an Afghan folk song called Anar Anar (Pomegranate).

In total over £800 was raised from ticket sales and donations on the night for a fundraiser set up by an Afghan charity director Rahela Sidiqi who is now UK based having had to flee Afghanistan a number of years ago. The funds will go directly to support Afghans in danger in the country who need to leave but at present are unable to due to the lack of safe routes, funding and the practical barriers to crossing borders. Ms Sidiqi also spoke to the audience at the end of the concert via a livestream link.

“It was wonderful to see so many people coming out to support this event and we are delighted to have been able to show the depth of musical culture in the region as well as bring Rahela to speak to our audience,” said Samantha Knights, co-director of Shute Festival.

This was the first time that Shute Festival have livestreamed one of their events. If you missed the concert and want to watch on replay you can access it via

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