The 55th Gokulashtami sangeetha utsavam of Krishna Gana Sabha (organised in the memory of Late P. Obul Reddy and Gnanamba) was inaugurated at its premises on August 7. On this occasion former chief election commissioner, T.S. Krishnamurthy, presented the awards, Sangeetha Choodamani to S. Sowmya and Sangeetha Kala Acharya to Dr. Radha Venkatachalam. In his inaugural address he said that music is an instrument available to get over life's sufferings and lauded the Sabha for its service in this regard.

Y. Prabhu, general secretary of the Sabha read out the citation and the Birudhu Patra, and mentioned that Sowmya had made her first sabha concert in Chennai in 1983, at KGS.

Felicitations

Prof. T R Subramaniam felicitating Sowmya said that he was instrumental in making her change her direction in favour of music than chemistry and said that Sowmya had made many achievements even when she was quite young. Dr. V.V. Srivatsa felicitated Radha Venkatachalam saying that she was a great teacher and learner and adept in assimilating kritis that demanded serious attention.

Sowmya in her acceptance speech dedicated the award to her family and to her gurus Professor S. Ramanathan and Muktha and remembered Kitta Iyer who had chosen her to perform here several years ago. She also thanked the whole community of artists who had accompanied her during her musical career. Dr. Radha Venkatachalam, who is residing in New Delh, thanked the sabha for choosing her for the award and said that she was able to interact with a galaxy of musicians and scholars only through her guru TRS. “Yagnya Raman,” she mentioned “was immensely appreciative of her bold writings on music.”

Cleveland V.V. Sundaram proposed the vote of thanks. The event was followed by a fusion concert, “Ecstasy” by Dr. N.Narmadha and her group.

(sivakumar2004 @gmail.com)