This year, the Northeast Ohio Telugu Association chose to facilitate Shruti Aring, for her contributions to classical music in the Cleveland area. The whole Annamacharya Aradhana was well organized and on time, and Shruti was given an opportunity to perform Annamacharya kritis at this event. It was a well-received 45 minute performance.
Below is the speech that was read at the event during the fecilitation. Many thanks to the NEOTA committee for this honor.
Shruti Raghavan Aring began her musical career at a very young age. She began singing as soon as she was able to talk, and even at that young age she was able to maintain raga and shruthi. She participated for the first time at the Cleveland Thyagaraja Festival at the age of four. Her first and primary guru during her formative years was her mother. She received additional short term training under such eminent musicians Jayalakshmi Santhanam, T.K. Govinda Rao, and T.N. Bala of Philadelphia. She also studied Carnatic Violin under Sivaganesan, a well-known violinist in Chennai, and Narasimhamurthy of Mysore, disciple of M.S. Gopalakrishnan. She was awarded multiple first prizes at the Cleveland Thyagaraja Aradhana competitions in both the vocal and violin categories.
After high school she travelled to Chennai, India for advanced vocal training. She studied under the former Director of AIR, Sri Vaigal Gananaskandan, disciple of the legendary, Sangeetha Kalanidhi, Padma Bhushan, Padma Vibhushan Sri Semmangudi Srinivas Iyer. Within six months, Shruti had her vocal arangetram. The title of Sangeetha Bhaskara was awarded to her by the Gnanaskandan Trust for her extraordinary achievement in such a short amount of time. Since then, Shruti has continued to perform and has given concerts all over the USA and India and has taken further training from Chitraveena N. Ravikiran.
Shruti has been actively teaching vocal and violin since 2003. In fact she had the good fortune of participating along with her students in the very first Annamayya program in Cleveland. Her students did such a nice performance that it aroused the interest and curiosity of the chief guest Shri Surya Babu, father of Malladi Brothers, who wanted to know who the teacher of this group was. When introduced to her, he praised Shruti for her style and teaching capabilities.
She is a co-founder of Ragapriya School of Carnatic Music along with her mother. Through the school, and along with her mother, she has been involved in organizing a variety of programs. This includes fundraisers for deserving organizations such as the Shiva Vishnu Temple and Sankara Nethralaya; an annual music competition for young musicians every year to encourage young musicians to work towards higher skill levels; and several thematic performances like Dasavataram, Ramayana, Devi, Shiva etc. Today, Shruti teaches vocal and violin. She has the distinction of conducting music arangetrams. She regularly sings for dance arangetrams and regularly accompanies vocalists on the violin. She believes that music is an important medium through which we connect to each other, to our heritage, and to our spiritual selves.