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Veena Gayathri Award for six-year-old Ashwin Murali
BLUE BELL, PA, November 3: Six-year-old Ashwin Murali was the recipient of the Veena Gayathri Award at the recently-held Prathyogitha Carnatic Bee competition, sponsored by Shruthilayam Academy here. He was also the winner of the Prathyogitha talent award during the ceremony, says a release.

Ashwin Murali has been a student of Shruthilayam Academy since the age of four. At this tender age, he is able to deliver swarajathis, varnams and kritis with ease. He did well not only in the compositions that he had rendered but also in the theory section. Apart from the Prathyogitha, he also won the Bharatiyar music competition.

Approved by Smt. Gayathri, this is an award given to those youngsters who not only help in promoting Indian classical fine art but also take that one extra step to be a part of several fund-raisers for the needy.

Prathyogitha, as the name suggests, was a competition that lasted about four hours. The judges included renowned artistes such as Smt. Vidhya Subramanian, a student of Lalgudi Shri. G. Jayaraman, Shri. Sriram Balasubramanian, a well-known mridangam, tabla and flute artiste, Shri. Ananthanarayanan, a student of Smt. Vasantha Kannan, and Smt. Lakshmi Iyer, a disciple of Krishnan Bhagavathar.

The students were grouped differently according to their age. They performed various ragas such as Hindolam, Sudha Dhanyasi, Bangala and several others. Apart from grading their vocal skills, the judges did grade them for their sound conceptual 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 final.

The finalists included Ashwin Murali, Sheetal Tadiparty, Ashmitha Sivakumar, Sashank Sridhar, Srinidhi, Ashraya, Ramya Saravannan and Sruti Peddada, all of whom received certificates and trophies for their performances.
Yamini Narayan -
Great Job Ashwin! We are so proud of you! You sang beautifully and you will definitely win more competitions. Keep up the good work.