VDS Arts Academy, Nungambakkam, recently celebrated its 11th anniversary at M.O.P.Vaishnav College for Women. Madurai T.N.Seshagopalan, chief guest of the evening, lauded the services rendered by the academy. Awards for best performances and prizes for contest winners were given away on the occasion: The best gurus selected by the academy for 2006 are: A.S.Murali for vocal; Lalgudi Alamelu for violin; Umayalpuram K. Sivaraman for mridangam and Srekala Bharath for Bharatanatyam. Best accompanying artistes for dance were also selected: Shanthi Jayaraman for vocal; V. Muruganandhan for violin and Nellai D. Kannan for mridangam.Top ten winners who were awarded prizes were:First prize - H.R.Krithi (vocal) - Radel Sparshini Tambura with `Bala Bhaskara' award; Second prize - R. Raghavendra (vocal) - Radel Maestro Tambura; Third prize - K. Bhavya (vocal) - Radel Micro Tambura; H. Praveen of Bangalore (mridanga - first prize); Sumitra Subramanian (dance - first prize); Sowmya Tilak (dance).The chief guest gave away 26 medals and 64 mementos to young musicians who performed well in 2006. The evening started with a concert by the first-prize winners. A highlight of the evening was the concert by Seshagopalan who started with an Abhogi varnam. After a kirtana in Dharmavathi, his main item was Subhapanthuvarali, in which he rendered an alapana, niraval and kalpanaswara.