Samhita is ten years old. She is studying 5th grade at the West Valley Elementary School, Sunnyvale and is the Vice President of the Student Council. She is a recipient of the Johns Hopkins Youth Talent Search award for academic achievement.
Samhita started learning Carnatic Vocal music at the age of five years from Guru Smt. Jayashree Varadarajan, Founder and Director of Sri Rama Lalitha Kala Mandir School of Fine Arts, Sunnyvale. Samhita has won prizes in her music school for her performance in class and the examinations. She has won prizes in Classical Vocal competitions held by Bay Area Telugu Association. She has participated in competitions held by OSAAT and Cleveland Thyagaraja Aradhana. Samhita has participated in the school's productions for the school's 25th Anniversary celebrations, Purandaradasa and Kanakadasa Day at Badarikashrama, and a house concert on the occasion of Sri Venkateswara Kalyanam. She sang at the Livermore temple during the Sri Rama Kalyana Mahotsavam and the Sri Venkateswara Kalyana Mahotsavam. This is her first solo concert.
She plays Western Classical Flute in her school band. She has learnt Western Classical Violin and participated in the Suzuki play-ins at Stanford University.
Samhita is also learning Bharatanatyam. She has participated in her school's 25th anniversary celebration 'Guruvandana', Dussera celebrations at Sanathana Dharma Kendra in Sunnyvale and Shiva Rathri celebrations at Shiva MuruganTemple in Concord. She has won prizes in competitions held by Bay Area Telugu Association and Youth Utsav Fest.
Samhita has been attending Chinmaya Mission Bala Vihar since Kindergarten and has won a prize in the Gita Chanting Competition last year. Samhita is an active volunteer and fund raiser for Sankara Eye Foundation. Her hobbies include Biking, Tennis, Reading, Sewing, Jewelry Making and Gardening.
Sushmita Shrikanth is a junior at Homestead High School. She has been learning Carnatic vocal music under the guidance of Smt. Jayashree Varadarajan, founder/director of Sri Rama Lalitha Kala Mandir School of Fine Arts, for the past seven years. She has participated in all of her music school's programs including the most recent 25th anniversary celebrations Kala Vandana - a tribute to the art form of Carnatic music. She has performed with her group on the occasion of Sri Ramanavami , Annamacharya day,. Sri Purandara Dasa day, and Saint Tyagaraja day celebrations at various venues including at the Badarikashrama, San Leandro, Shiva Vishnu temple, Livermore, and the Shiva Murugan temple, Concord, and South India Fine Arts.
Apart from learning Carnatic music, Sushmita also learns Bharatanatyam from Smt. Vidhya Subramaniam. At school, Sushmita is an active member of the Future Business Leaders of America chapter and is the activities coordinator for the International Thespian Society. Sushmita also co-hosts a Bay Area kids variety radio show, on 1170 AM KLOK.
Rangashree Varadarajan comes from a family of distinguished musicians. She began learning Carnatic vocal from her mother, Smt. Jayashree Varadarajan Founder/Director of Sri Rama Lalitha Kala Mandir School of Fine Arts (Sunnyvale, CA), at the tender age of five and presented a solo debut concert in Bangalore, India in 2001 and was deemed a "promising young vocalist" (KANNADAPRABHA). She received her early training in Carnatic violin, from Smt. Srimati Brahmanandam and Smt. Anuradha Sridhar, Founder/Director Trinity School of Music (Saratoga CA), and is undergoing advanced tutelage under Smt. Jayashree Varadarajan. Rangashree’s first solo violin concert was presented in Bangalore, India in 2004. Rangashree's fluidity and maturity in execution have made her a desirable violinist among the music community both in the US and India.
Rangashree is passionate about using her talents in music to benefit her community. In 2006, Rangashree served as the Principal Investigator of a research study at the Lombardi Cancer Center, Georgetown University. In addition to serving as a mentor to upcoming music students, Rangashree has several CD credits to her name and performs regularly around the US including Carnegie Hall, the Kennedy Center and in conjunction with the organization, SubContinental Drift’s art show “Positive Exposure.” In addition, Rangashree is an accomplished jazz vocalist and western violinist.
Rangashree currently works as a Research Associate at the Samueli Institute in the Department of Military Medical Research.
Ravi hails from a family deeply involved in Music and Spirituality for decades. He had his mrudangam initiation under Sri M.A.Krishnamurthy in Mysore in 1980. He then continued to learn under Sri M.K.Venugopal, in Bangalore. In the bay area he received training under Sri Shriram Brahmanandam. Currently he is furthering his knowledge under Sri Neyveli Narayanan, a prime disciple of both Sri Late Thanjavur Upendran and Sri Umayalpuram K Sivaraman.
Ravi continues to accompany various leading musicians in the Bay area as well as from India. He has also been running a percussion school – Nadhopasana Academy of Fine Arts where he enjoys teaching this great art to selective students.