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Borderland’s debut concert to offer cross-cultural musical collaboration in Surrey

Afternoon performance March 3 at Surrey Arts Centre
Sitar player Sharanjeet Singh Mand is among performers in the new Borderland ensemble. (File photo)

During a debut concert, performers on traditional Indian and Persian instruments will be in the spotlight at a Surrey theatre on the afternoon of Sunday, March 3.

Vancouver Inter-Cultural Orchestra (VICO) presents a 3 p.m. performance by Borderland, a new cross-cultural musical collaboration, at Surrey Arts Centre’s Studio Theatre.

The quintet features Sharanjeet Singh Mand (sitar), Sunny Matharu (tabla), Sina Ettehad (kamanche), Saina Khaledi (santoor) and Ali Razmi (tar, setar), all of whom come from “two different musical cultures that border each other, with different instruments and sounds but many techniques in common,” according to an event advisory from VICO.

“They have worked together since the spring of 2023 to learn from each other, share musical ideas and develop into a cohesive and exciting new intercultural ensemble.”

Borderland members in a poster for the ensemble’s March 3 concert in Surrey.

On March 3 they will be joined by VICO musicians Tim Chan (sheng), Lan Tung (erhu), Mike Brown (clarinet), Finn Manniche (cello) and Jonathan Bernard (percussion).

With conductor Peggy Hua, the combined ensemble will perform “a colourful and dynamic programme that focuses on musicians as creators, not just performers,” VICO promises.

The repertoire integrates both aural/improvisatory and score-based musical traditions and techniques, and will include the world premieres of three new works by B.C. composers Mohammad Amini, Akhil Jobhanputra and Mariah Mennie.

“This is a unique opportunity to witness the debut performance of an exciting new ensemble that offers a beautifully diverse sound palette and an innovative cross-cultural approach to music-making.”

Tickets for the concert start at $20, plus fees, on, or call 604-501-5566.

Founded in 2001, Vancouver Inter-Cultural Orchestra was one of the first professional concert orchestras devoted specifically to performing new intercultural music on a grand scale, according to a bio on

“It is currently the only ensemble of its kind in Canada, and one of only a handful that exist in the world. The VICO brings together musicians and composers from many cultural and artistic communities in the Greater Vancouver area, including Chinese, Taiwanese, Japanese, Indian, Persian (Iranian), Latin and South American, Vietnamese, African, North American and European.

“The ensemble includes Western strings and winds (violin, viola, cello, contrabass, oboe, flute, clarinet) alongside Chinese erhu, sanxian, zheng, and sheng/suona; Persian kamanche, tar/setar, and tombak; Vietnamese dan bau; percussion from many world music traditions; and a variety of other instruments as required.”

Tom Zillich

About the Author: Tom Zillich

I cover entertainment, sports and news for Surrey Now-Leader and Black Press Media
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