sandhya records©

Music Bio

Namasté and welcome! Give Peace a Chant, (GPaC) Kirtan community gathering was active in Vancouver, BC, 🇨🇦 from 2001 – 2015.  Originally, we began as a Friday Night Chant Night, as a result of YTT (yoga teacher training), when local musical guests, singers, sacred musicians, mantra yoga artists, teachers to come together to create presentations, as well as practice. We were singers, players, dancers, teachers,  technicians, artists, healers, lovers, friends and family of all ages, ashramites and drop-in visitors, from all around the globe. We were also, for the most part, many, many volunteers. Gratitude and more on that, here.

Whenever possible, we were h
onoured to help host/or co-host international guests, and visiting Kirtan artists. Special guests and musical visitors to Vancouver have included the late, great Shyamdas, Karnamrita Dasi, Gauravani, Radhanath Swami, Mayapuris, Jai Uttal, Krishnadas (events sponsored by Banyen Books), Srikala, Dave Stringer, Daniel Paul, Bhagavandas, Gina Sala, Heather & Benjy Wertheimer and Shantala, Jaya Lakshmi (Kirtronica), and Women of Bhakti (film premiere) and Adam Bauer!

From our CD ‘Kirtan Lila’ by Give Peace a Chant, available here on the website. Thanks for your support:

‘GPaC’ community BIO  (ever evolving/ always under construction):
We began offering ‘live’ music gatherings in the Fall of 2001, when a few of us got together
for Friday Chant Night  at Prana Yoga, in Yaletown, Vancouver.  Our non-partisan yoga based singing practice focused on mainly Sanskrit chanting, Vedic art and culture, Indian dance, bhakti yoga bhajans, and story-telling. Some amazing talents emerged and ‘GPaC’ became home base, connecting bhakti yoga community for many years. For myself, the gathering became an anchor for peace.

Friday night GPaC (below, in 2012), we shared a nice run of yoga studio fund raiser celebrations. This one was for Vancouver Foodbank, we often donated boxes of non-perishable, vegetarian food.

2004 – 2005 – GPaC’s first CDs, A Loving Flame / Peace Through Music Recorded Live! w/ Sandra Leigh, David Embry, Lyle Povah, and beautiful singing community in Kits, 2004-2005. Produced by Greg Birdsall. Recorded live, in the above yoga studio in Kits, with community. Great fun!

2005 – 2015 – Thanks to Rob Scharein, GPaC’s website went up in 2007. Rob also began archiving GPaC Live audio recordings, videos, photos, slides and created some amazing songbooks. Thanks, Rob!

GPaC also began hosting more visiting guest artists, and it was at this time that I worked with Banyen Books and Sound, and I was fortunate to be able to help Banyen Sound represent Kirtan events in Vancouver.

Meanwhile, I continued to manage our local weekly community events and took the ‘Give Peace a Chant’ program out to more places, including yoga conferences, festivals and mini-tours around beautiful BC, on the weekends.

2008 – When GPaC joined social media and attendance at our (now, bi-weekly) event went up… by a lot! We began hosting larger groups and community sweetly unfolded.

2009 – Forever remembering local beauty, Chantal Jolly, our karmic soul sister. Chantal shared her incredibly beautiful singing, Bass, Guitar and 12 String with GPaC. Singer, sound-healer, and a highly accomplished and compassionate musician. After a very long, hard fought battle with breast cancer, Chantal left her body, but her passing songs healed our hearts, leaving our lifetimes changed forever! We still love you, Chantal, beautiful soul!

2010 –  We started our own YouTube Channel givepeaceachant108/ SandhyaMusic, where we share our collection of videos, playlist, etc.

2012 – The world was scheduled to end on 12/21/12, but it didn’t, so we kept chanting, and held Kirtan twice per month, anchored in Kits.

2014 – GPaC tours UK, included Scotland. Glasgow, Sterling, Edinburgh, and Paisley. Recording began in the Summer of 2014 in Glasgow, tracking Bagpipes for Kirtan Lila, GPaC’s first full studio CD.

2015‘Kirtan Lila’ CD by Give Peace a Chant was released in June, 2015. Thanks for listening.

2016‘Divine Play’ CD (Instrumentals from Kirtan Lila) by Give Peace a Chant was released, January 2016 as soundtrack for ‘Yoga Moves for Every Body’ TV show, which aired in Vancouver and Calgary on (now, defunct), Shaw (analogue) community television, Channel 4 and Multicultural Channels. The show can now be seen on YouTube as YogaMovesTV.

2017‘Gopal Lila’ EP by Give Peace a Chant, released on SandhyaRecords©

2018 – was established in 2018 representing SandhyaRecords©

2019 – Give Peace a Chant was on hiatus, due to bi-lateral wrist surgeries. For enquiries, contact Sandra.

2020 – With the coronavirus said to be loose in the West End, Vancouver, we are grateful to be staying at home, at this time. Meanwhile, you might like to post your stuff, so please join our FB online community.

My Personal Bio:
My name is Sandra Leigh (pronounced Lee). I first took ashram residency in 1996 (BC and abroad). I studied yoga (and toning) in White Rock with Sandra Sammartino, and then, I went on to earn Dru Yoga, Meditation and Sound certificates from trainings held in Canada, North Wales, UK, and India.

More recently, I was guided to The Teachings of Shri Vallabhacharya, via connections I have fostered through (the late) Shyamdas, whom I first met in India. Since then, I have met some amazing souls, and have been captured by the most beautiful poetry and moods that come from the Vaisnava tradition that Shyamdas was best known for, often called Pushtimarg. While it might be lesser known, there are some great teachers carrying on the tradition of Satsangs, and we hope to see more online classes, thanks to Vallabhdas in the USA.

Previous to this, I participated in all levels study retreats at the Varanasi Academy of Indian Classical Music located in Varanasi (Benares). Gratitude includes Pandit Shivnath Mishra & Deobrat Mishra of Varanasi, based on Benares Gahrana music tradition in Varanasi.

I was also fortunate to study Sanskrit at UBC with Professor, Thomas Hunter. Sanskrit as a practice only, though.

2016, and then again in 2019, I was granted rare opportunities to go to India and take unique Initiation blessings with Pushtimargiya Acharya, Sri Milan Goswami, and the Teachings of Sri Vallabhacharya.

Brahma-Sambandha, means complete surrender to Bhagwan Shri Krishna’s non-discriminatory Seva. Jai Shri Krishna!

Update to 2020, my heart stays home, due to coronavirus.

Thank you for sharing your time, and for reading my bio. I hope you will enjoy my musical offerings, too.

We honour that our events take place on traditional, unceded, occupied territories of the Tsleil-Waututh, Squamish (Sḵwxwú7mesh), and Musqueam (Xwméthkwyiem) Nations.