KSV started as an informal music school in October 2001 in Dharwad. Mathieu Fortier, a Canadian citizen studying Hindustani classical music, his French wife, Agathe Fortier, a Fine Arts graduate, and sitarist Ustad Hameed Khan, then the principal of the Music Department at the Karnataka College in Dharwad, started a free evening music school, giving the opportunity to forty children from disadvantaged backgrounds to learn the rudiments of Hindustani classical music.
Later, with the help of Mathieu’s brother, Blaise, the endeavour was expanded into a residential school where students could dedicate themselves completely towards their academic and musical studies. They were soon joined by British national Adam Woodward, the current director of the institution.
In November 2002, land near Kalkeri was leased and the school started with a few children and two teachers. After eighteen months, there were forty students, six teachers and a handful of volunteers. Two years later, the Kalkeri villagers, appreciating KSV’s work, donated three acres of land which is the current site of the school today. Over the years, KSV has broadened its horizons beyond music whereby the students now have the opportunity to take classes in dance and drama alongside their academic studies.
KSV now supports 220 children, teenagers and young adults, and employs over 70 members of staff, comprising of teachers (academic & performing arts), the administration team, wardens, cooks and maintenance workers.
Many of KSV’s students have successfully completed their higher education in music as well as in other felds, and have found meaningful employment which brings them a huge sense of accomplishment and achievement, thus realizing the school’s vision.