Prathyogitha competition was conducted at Blue Bell, PA on August 22nd, 2009, sponsored by Shruthilayam Academy. Prathyogitha, as the name itself suggests was a fine competition that lasted for about four hours. The judges included renowned artists like Smt. Vidhya Subramanian student of the legend Shri. Lal Gudi Jayaram, Shri. Sriram Balasubramanian known for his mridangam, tabla and flute skills in the carnatic world, Shri. Ananthanarayanan student of renowned Smt. Vasantha Kannan and Smt. Lakshmi Iyer desciple of Krishnan Bhagavathar.

The students were grouped according to the different age groups and performed various complex ragas like Hindolam, Sudha Dhanyasi, Bangala and several others at a tender age of just six to ten years. Apart from grading their Vocal skills the Judges did grade them for their sound coceptual knowledge of Music as well. The students put up with this extremely difficult and tiring competition showing full productivity at every level. Though several students participated only three from each age group made it to the finals.

Approved by by the renowned artist, the Veena Gayathri Award is given to those young talents who not only help in promoting Indian classical fine arts but also take that one extra step to be a part of several fundrasiers and help raise funds for the needy using their classical talents.

The finalists included Ashwin Murali, Sheetal Tadiparty, Ashmitha Sivakumar, Sashank Sridhar, Srinidhi, Ashraya, Ramya Saravannan and Sruti Peddada all of whom recieved a certificate and a trophy for their performances.

Prathyogitha was a huge success with a huge packed hall of audience and amazing performances by all the participants who poured in from all over the Tri State.

Ashraya Ananthanarayanan eight year old student of Oaks Elementary school, PA secured the first place and was honored with the prestigious Smt.Veena Gayathri award for her constant contributions to the field of Indian Classical Music and Dance.

Ashraya has been giving fundraisers from the age of five onwards to help various organizations like Balabhavan, Cancer Research foundation, Krishna Iyer foundation, Karunashram, PFA and several others. The beautiful bondage between Indian fine arts and compassion flows in this little one.

Self learnt on Carnatic Piano she is all set to release her debut Carnatic Piano CD in 2010. The CD shall not only have the age old popular compositions but also a few pieces in Shankharabharanam ragam composed by Ashraya herself. As veteran Smt. Lakshmi Iyer disciple of Shri. Krishnan Bhagavathar says "tremendous hard work seems to have gone into these compositions as each and every of them are so unique yet adhering to the strict grammar of Carnatic Music. I have been fortunate enough to get a preview of this debut CD of little Ashraya".

Being nominated for the Presidentís Voluntary service award as well, this eight year old has once again proved that a combination of knowledge and compassion can lead to the creation of the fairy world that we only get to read in stories nowadays.

Six year old Ashwin Murali was the reciepients of the famous Veena Gayathri Award. He was also crowned with the Prathyogitha talent award during the ceremony.

Ashwin Murali has been a student of Shruthilayam Academy since the age of four and at this tender age he is able to deliver swarajathis, varnams and kritis with absolute ease. His sound knowledge of carnatic music could be seen not only in the compositions that he rendered but also in the theory section which he handled with a lot of ease and comfort after competing with other talents from the field for a duration of three hours undergoing three rounds. He is a student who truly follows the guru sishya parampara in today's world and that too in a land miles away from India.

As Shri. Ananthanarayanan puts it "Ashwin is that child who has the gift of voice from the lord above". With constant sadagam and hard work he is another famous musician in the making.

Apart from the Prathyogitha he also has the star of winning the Bharatiyar music competition and is a regular performer at the composers day and Thyagaraja Aradhana held in PA every year.

Information provided by Shruthilayam Academy

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