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Veena Gayathri Award for Ashraya Ananthanarayanan
CHENNAI, September 25: Ashraya Ananthanarayanan eight year old student of Oaks Elementary school, PA was honored with the prestigious Smt. Veena Gayathri award for her constant contributions to the field of Indian Classical Music and Dance.

Formally approved by the renowned artist Smt. Veena Gayathri herself it is an award to honor young talents who have not only helped spread Indian Classical Fine Arts but also used their acquired knowledge for helping the needy.

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” It is definetly a tremendous hard work that 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.

Not only the Veena Gayathri award she also secured the first place in the recently held Prathyogitha competition at Blue Bell, PA on August 22nd, 2009. Sponsored by Shruthilayam Academy the judges constituted of renowned artists like Smt. Vidhya Subramanian student of Shri. Lal Gudi Jayaram . Shri. Sriram Balasubramanian who is known for his Mridangam, flute and tabla skills in the Carnatic world, Shri. Ananthanarayanan student of renowned Smt. Vasantha Kannan  and Smt. Lakshmi Iyer.

Unlike many other competitions it was the first attempt of something like a carnatic bee for the young talents. Several students from the Tri state participated in this 4 hour long competition where students were not only graded for their vocal skills but also for their sound conceptual knowledge of  Carnatic Music.

Being nominated for the President’s 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.