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NE Music Students With Big Wins At Cleveland

Press Release

Winners from New England in Cleveland Thyagaraja Aradhana

Cleveland Thyagaraja Aradhana is celebrated every year for 10 days starting on the Easter weekend.  It is one of the most prestigious competitions in the United States.  Competitions are usually held on Good Friday for all areas in Carnatic music and dance.  Participants come from all over the United States where they are judged by prestigious and professional musicians from India.   This year New England had a strong presence with students of Vithal Ramamoorthy, Gowrishankar, and Tara Anand winning Violin, Mridangam and Vocal senior and junior competitions.

Harini Rajasekhar, an 8th grader from Scarborough Middle School, Maine, won the first prize in the senior Violin Kriti competition. She is a student of Shri Vithal Ramamoorthy. Earlier in March, Harini played at the Montreal Thyagaraja festival held at the Concordia University, accompanying two vocalists in a concert.

Kaasinath Balagurunath won third prize in the Cleveland Thyagaraja Aradhana Mridangam competition (sub-junior category ages 6-9). He is 9 years old, studying 4th grade in Southborough's Neary Elementary School. He is a student of Sri. Gowrishankar of Grafton, MA and has been learning Mridangam for the past 2 1/2 years.

His performance can be found on youtube at the following link:

Smt. Tara Bangalore students had a strong showing at the competition
and won in many categories.

Sahana Srinivasan, an eight grader, placed 1st in Kriti violin Junior.
Shyam Venkatramani, a seventh grader, placed 2nd in Kriti violin Junior.
Arjun Sridhar, an eighth grader, placed 3rd in Kriti violin Junior.
Rupa Ravi, a ninth grader, placed 3rd in Kriti vocal Junior (13-14).
Anirudh Rangaswamy, a sixth grader, placed 2nd in Kriti vocal Junior (10-12).  He moved to Ohio recently and is currently also learning from Sri Sriram Gangadharan.

Smt. Tara Anand is one of the most sought after teachers in the Boston area.  She teaches vocal and violin in Framingham and many of her students have won in previous years.

As usual she brushes off the success and expresses her in all her students who take on the challenge of learning the art form.  "The competition is not about winning . It is about  getting involved and experiencing an event. Above all, it is about hard work, which all the students put in. Prize or no prize, that is what requires appreciation and that should be what they continue to do.   I am very  proud of all my  students who work hard to learn this complex art form" says Tara.

Comments from some of the winners

Sahana Srinivasan -  "I had an extremely thrilling experience in the 2011 Cleveland Thyagaraja Festival. I cannot thank Tara Aunty enough for preparing me for the competition and making me a more confident violinist. The competition itself was a very small part of the trip, and although I feel honored to win first place in the junior violin krithi competition, I thoroughly enjoyed the opportunity to be completely immersed in a musical environment for four days. Listening to great artists like Balamuralikrishna, Sudha Raghunathan, Ravikiran and Shankar Mahadevan - to name just a few, made me realize my interest in and passion for Carnatic music. This trip has given me a keen appreciation of the vast "uncharted territory" in the world of music and a newfound determination to explore as much of it as I can"

Shyam Venkatramani has been learning vocal and violin from Smt. Tara Bangalore for 7 years.  He has been playing in the New England Conservatory orchestras for the past 4 years and took part in Jr. Districts for violin.  He loves singing and takes part in school musicals.  He is a black belt in KungFu and loves baseball.  Shyam says “Tara Aunty’s mantra of working hard really paid off.  I have never worked so hard in my life.  While winning is good, I went for the experience and had a great time”.

Arjun Sridhar is a student of both Indian Carnatic and Western classical violin. An avid Boston sports fan, especially Boston Celtics, he plays basketball and participates in school track. Cleveland experience was a great opportunity given to him from his teacher with the lesson learned that a little extra effort while demanding, can be rewarding.

Rupa Ravi says "Preparing for Cleveland has been a rigorous experience that is definitely an unforgettable one! Being a part of the competition taught me that if I work hard I can accomplish anything great and I'm overjoyed that I've received a prize. Tara Auntie is undoubtedly the best teacher and I thank her for everything."

Anirudh Rangaswamy says, "I’m very happy that I won the prize. I’m proud to be a student of Anubhava School of Music. Tara aunty and Sriram uncle are great teachers."

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