Meet a winner from six decades ago


Pala C.K. Ramachandran is one of the oldest prize winners at the fest

The State School Arts Festival was a small affair when Pala C.K. Ramachandran competed in it in 1959 and 1960, the third and fourth editions of the festival. There were not that many events, but the competition was stiff, especially in music. So stiff, he could come only second on both the occasions.

But we would get a fair idea of the quality of the competition when we learn about those who beat him: playback singer P. Jayachandran and composer-singer Perumbavoor G. Ravindranath.

Ramachandran, one of the most respected Carnatic vocalists and gurus at the moment, still remembers the joy he felt when he knew that he had come second in the entire State.

No media coverage

“There was no media coverage then, but I could feel the significance of my achievement,” he told The Hindu. “Even now, very few people know that I am one of the earliest winners of the school festival.”

The 76-year-old said it was only when his photo was featured in an exhibition during one of the recent school festivals that some of his friends called up and asked him about it. “I had not told anyone about it till then,” he said. “I remember coming first at my school, St. Mary’s High School, Bharananganam (Pala), and then going on to compete at the district and State festivals.”

He said he could not have imagined that the festival would grow so big. “I have been part of the appeal committee at the State festival on a couple of occasions, and was impressed by our young musicians,” he said.

“It is a great platform for our children, though I feel more time should be allotted for the classical music contests.”

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Printable version | Dec 12, 2019 8:16:32 PM |

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