Indian vocal music competition.

Hindustani Classical | Carnatic Classical | Non-Classical (includes devotional music too)

10 and under | 11 -13 years | 14 -17 years | 18 and above
Registration Fee: $15/category
Last day of registration: May 31, 2020

Submit your video by: June 7, 2020

5 and up
Max Seat:
Deadline - May 31, 2020

Sur Manjari

 Saturday, July 25 2020 | 2:00 pm – 7:00 pm

Venue: Radha Govind Dham, 8888 N. MacArthur Road, Irving, TX – 75063

Hindustani Classical Vocal | Carnatic Classical Vocal | Non-Classical Vocal | Non-competitive

10 and under| 11 -13 years | 14-17 years | 18 and above

Registration Fee: $15 /category
Last day of registration: May 31, 2020

Submit your video by: June 7, 2020



Non-Classical: genres like semi-classical, devotional songs, film songs, Rabindra Sangeet

Disclaimer:  The date and/or format of the finals is subject to change based on COVID-19 restrictions.

Rules and Guidelines

1. Deadline for completing registration is May 31, 2020.

2. Entries will be accepted on a first come basis. In the event of entries exceeding the capacity, registration may close before the deadline.

3. A panel of judges will individually score a performance based on the rubrics. The judges may also consider additional criteria in their decision-making.

4. Participants must first complete registration at They will create a video recording of a classical/non-classical piece in a noise-free environment. This video will be uploaded to YouTube and a link to the YouTube video should be sent to along with the proof of registration.

5. Taanpura (electronic or string) is compulsory for all classical music performances. Taal accompaniment (tabla or mridangam) is compulsory for all Hindustani Classical performances, and recommended for Non-Classical performances. For Carnatic classical, participants should give taal using their hand;hand should be visible in the video.

6. For Taanpura and Taal accompaniment, either live accompaniment or electronic app must be used.  No other accompaniment instrument is allowed.  Strictly no use of karaoke in the background. 

7. For each participant, the time limit is 6 minutes for Classical, and 5 minutes for Non-Classical performances. Going over the time limit will incur a 10 point penalty.

8. No edits should be performed to the original video shot. If any edits are identified in the video, the participant will be disqualified.

9. For Hindustani or Carnatic classical entries, please specify the name of the raag at the beginning of the video recording.

10. The videos will be sent to the judges for judgement.

11. Finalists will be declared on June 27. Performance videos of finalists will be posted on Shiksha Facebook Page.

12. Finalists will be notified via email or phone. Non-selected entrants will not be individually notified of the results. The finals will take place on Jul 25th from 2:00 pm – 7:00 pm.

13. ONLY finalists will perform at Radha Govind Dham during the finals.

14. Participants need to be present 15 minutes before the scheduled time for the finals. Final schedule will be updated on July 18. 

15. Judges’ decisions will be absolutely final.

16. Judges will not reveal the scores they have recorded on the scoring sheet provided.

Additional rules (and clarifications) for the Finals

1. The deadline for submission of the Finals video is July 11.

Carnatic and Hindustani
1. Participants are required to be sitting on the floor while recording unless they are medically unfit do so.

2. Use of electronic tabla and electronic tanpura/or app. is compulsory.  No other accompanying instrument will be allowed. 

3. Any raag of your choice may be presented, but has to be different than the one presented in the preliminary round. 

4. For Carnatic, a different composition should be presented.

5. For Hindustani, Alaaps and Taans have to be sung along with the bandish. Alaap and taans in aakaar is preferred.

6. The time limit is 6 minutes and finalists are advised to sing for at least 4 minutes.  Going over the time limit will incur a 10 point penalty.  


1. The Finals performance should be different from the one submitted for the Qualifying round.

2. The time limit is 5 minutes and finalists are advised to sing for at least 3 minutes.  Going over the time limit will incur a 10 point penalty.  


The rubric described below is a general guideline to help prepare for the competition.
Classical Vocal
1. Shruti/Pitch
2. Laya/Rhythm
3. Overall Presentation – includes sitting posture, confidence level and involvement in singing
4. Pronunciation
5. Expression (Raga Lakshana & Bhava)

Non-classical vocal
1. Tonal accuracy
2. Sense of rhythm
3. Accuracy and adherence to the original song melody
4. Tonal quality
5. Diction, articulation, and pronunciation
6. Mastery & overall presentation style

Judging Panel

Rubela Sarkar     Smt. Rubela Sarkar

Smt. Rubela Sarkar – Hindustani Vocalist

Born in a musical family, Smt. Rubela Sarkar gave her first performance at the age of 4 in Benaras.  She started her journey in Hindustani classical music under the guidance of Shree Deepak Mukherjee and her mother, Dr. Raktima Sarkar. She learned semi-classical under the tutelage of famous thumri artist, Lt. Smt. Vidushi Purnima Chaudhary.  

Notable musical accomplishments:

1. AIR Varanasi – Child artist 2. Sangeet Natak Academy – Winner in Kanishta Varg 3. Awarded national scholarship by Govt of India under the ministry of HRD 4. Sangeet Prabhakar from Prayag Sangeet Samiti, Allahabad 5. Appeared in Doordarshan Benaras

Her ambition is to nurture students to grow into future artists and to know the rich cultural heritage of Indian Classical music, and to promote “Guru-Shishya” parampara.

Dr. Amie Maciszewski     Dr. Amie Maciszewski

Dr. Amie Maciszewski – Sitarist

Dr. Amie Maciszewski is an internationally acclaimed sitarist, teaching artist, and ethnomusicologist who has spent her adult life studying, performing, teaching, and promoting the music of South Asia. Her training includes a decade’s study in India, both academic (BMus Gold Medalist/MMus Merit Scholar, Santiniketan, W. Bengal) and immersion apprenticeship (under the late Pandit Suresh Misra); a Ph.D. (UTexas/Austin) and Post-doctoral Fellowship (UAlberta, Canada) in ethnomusicology; and mentorship with Grammy-nominated sarode Maestro Aashish Khan (periodic since 1991) and the late Hindustani vocal diva Padmavibhushan Girija Devi (1996-2017). Amie has performed in concerts and taught in residencies, workshops, and on several university faculties throughout North America, India, Pakistan, Europe, and Japan. She is a juried artist on the Texas Arts Commission Touring Roster and Mid-America Arts Alliance, Empaneled Artist of India World Cultural Forum, and multiple grant awardee from the City of Dallas Office of Arts and Culture (2017-present) and City of Austin Cultural Arts Division (2000-13). She was awarded the Gandharva Puruskar in 2014 by Hindustan Art & Music Society (Burdwan, India) for her contributions to Indian music abroad.

Rubela Sarkar     Smt. Sumati Ramesh Sarangapani

Smt. Sumati Ramesh Sarangapani – Hindustani & Carnatic Vocalist

Smt. Sumati Ramesh Sarangapani is trained in both Carnatic and Hindustani forms of Indian classical music. With the blessings of Sriman Narayana, her Acharyas and her parents, she has had the wonderful opportunity of training under great teachers in both styles of music. She received advanced training in Carnatic music from Guru Smt. T.R. Balamani of Mumbai. For Hindustani music, she trained under Smt. Shirishtai Joshi and then received advanced training under Smt. Madhubala Chawla of Swami Samarth Sangeet Vidyalay. She has completed Sangeet Visharad degree from the Akhil Bharatiya Gandharva Mahavidyalay. She has been teaching both Carnatic and Hindustani music for the past 25 years. She has recorded 6 devotional albums for Central Chinmaya Mission and Sat Bhavana Trust.

Soumya Ranganathan         Smt. Soumya Ranganathan

Smt. Soumya Ranganathan – Carnatic Vocalist

Smt. Soumya Ranganathan hails from an illustrious musical family. Her grandfather Tiger. Sri. C.R. Srinivasa Iyengar was a successful musician and harikatha exponent. She started learning carnatic music from the age of 7 under the auspices of Smt. Jayanthi Srinivasan, a disciple of Vidvan Anantharama Bhagawathar and Vidushi A. Champakavalli; founders of Sri Guruguha Gana Vidyalaya, Kolkata. She was additionally trained by Smt. Rama Parthasarathy, her aunt, at Pune. Soumya is currently pursuing advance lessons from Smt. Vidya Subramanian, a disciple of the maestro Padma Bhushan Sri. Lalgudi Jayaraman. She also has been pursuing laya lessons from Mrudangam Vidvan Eroge Nagaraj, a disciple of Padma Vibhushan Umalayapuram K. Sivaraman.

Soumya has been providing carnatic music lessons for over more than a decade. She is a Visharad Poorna in Carnatic Music from the University of Miraj – India. Soumya has given concerts in Pune and Chennai in India and has been an active participant in programs organized by various local organizations in India and the USA. 

Vasundhara Kikkeri                     Smt. Vasundhara Kikkeri

Smt. Vasundhara Kikkeri – Veena Player

Smt. Vasundhara Kikkeri is a disciple of Dr Suma Sudhindra, Sri Chitravina Ravikiran and Dr Chitti Babu. Founder of Swara School of Veena, a premier Veena Institution in Texas, Smt Vasundhara Kikkeri imparts her passion and dedication to several of her students. She is very grateful for the honor to present her student’s very First Veena Arangeatram in the entire Southern United States. Winner of Best Instrumentalist award from the prestigious Gayana Samaj,India,  has performed in India, including  Chennai December season and all across the United States.She is very grateful to her family, Gurus and loving students for their unconditional support and dedication to this magnificent art form.

  Umamahesh Iyer     Shri Umamahesh Iyer

Shri Umamahesh Iyer – Violinist

Umamahesh Iyer started learning violin at the age of 5  from Palai Balakrishna Pillai, an eminent violinist.  He completed  his Arangetam at the age of 9 and later continued his lessons from Shri. Needumangad Sivanandan, Chertalai, Kerala and Prof. R Thyagarajan of Swathi Thirunal Music college, Thiruvanandapuram, Kerala. 

Umamahesh Iyer has won several prizes  in state level youth festivals and Kerala Sangeetha Nataka academy competitions. He is currently taking advanced violin lessons from Smt. Vaikam Padma Krishnan and consultation lessons from Shri TKV Ramanjuacharlu.

  Nandita Padmanabhan     Smt. Nandita Padmanabhan

Smt. Nandita Padmanabhan – Carnatic Vocalist

Nandita Padmanabhan is an ‘A’ grade artist of All India Radio. She is being mentored by music, sanskrit and kannada scholar – Dr TS Sathyavathi. She also learned from Vidushi Madhavi Rajagopalan and Vidushi Nagavalli Nagaraj. Nandita won the first prize in the prestigious All India Radio music competitions. She received HRD and CCRT scholarship from the Govt of India for advanced training in music. She has performed in several music sabhas across India and US including programs for Doordarshan and All India Radio, Gayana Samaja, Bangalore, Shanmukhananda Sabha, Bombay, Tirumala at Thirupathi, etc. She has won several music competitions, some of which include prizes at The Madras Music Academy, Tambura prize by RT Nagar Cultural Association and the Ragam Tanam Pallavi competition held by Gayana Samaja.

  Kajori Dasgupta     Smt. Kajori Dasgupta

Smt. Kajori Dasgupta – Vocalist

Smt. Kajori Dasgupta received her musical training under some of Indiaʼs finest maestros namely Shyamlal Mishra Nahar, Smita Bellur, and Chaitra Sontakke from the esteemed Shankar Mahadevan Academy. Kajori Di is adroit in various forms of musical renditions like ghazals, bhajans, popular modern songs and Bollywood numbers. She is regularly invited to perform in various prestigious events across U.S and India. She has recorded original scores and is currently collaborating on an album with an eminent Mumbai based composer, and also on covers with an acclaimed playback singer alongside.

  Ramakrishna Neti     Shri Ramakrishna Neti

Shri Ramakrishna Neti – Percussionist

Ramakrishna Neti hails from a family of musicians. His uncle late Sri Neti Srirama Sarma was a top grade Voco-Violinist at All India Radio, Hyderabad. His elder sister Smt. Indira Kameswara Rao is a top grade vocalist at All India Radio, Visakhapatnam. Ramakrishna is a desciple of Mridangam maestro, Padmashri Dr. Yella Venkateswara Rao and has performed in various Sangeetha Sabha concerts in India and North America as well as the Prasara Bharati network in India. He has also learned Hindustani Vocal.

  Murali Bala     Shri Murali Bala

Shri Murali Bala – Percussionist

Murali Bala, was introduced to the art of playing the mridangam at a very young age. His advanced techniques were taught by the illustrious Srimushnam Raja Rao, a Sangeetha Natak Academy awardee. Murali also plays several other percussion instruments like tabla, thavil, ghatam and kanjeera. He has played at several successful charity fundraisers, bharathanatyam arangetrams and accompanies visiting artists from India. Apart from this he has judged several music competitions both classical and light-classical. He also teaches aspiring mridangists the art of playing the instrument.

  Murali Bala     Smt. Viji Somanath

Smt. Viji Somanath – Vocalist

Smt. Viji Somanath is a classical carnatic music vocalist, and has been involved with carnatic classical for over 48 years. She has always loved to learn and teach music, and her life revolves around dance and music. She has trained under nighly highly talented gurus including Smt. Sowmya. S., Smt. Sundari Janakiraman, and Smt.Lalitha Seshadri. She is presently under the able guidance of the genius Sangeeta kalanidhi Sangeeta Samrat Chitravina Ravikiran Sir. For the past 18 years, she has been formally teaching students in Carnatic music, and slokas/bhajans/stotrams etc. She has judged several music and dance competitions, and routinely performs at various concerts in the DFW metroplex. She is the coordinator of Vidyavikas Bhajan program at Ekta Mandir.