Thirteen-year-old girl wins first place at the 'All
Island Music Competition 2015'':
Poornima Madhuwanthi Mapalagama, a Grade Eight student of Nalanda
Girls' Central College, Minuwangoda won first place in the Primary
Category at the 'All Island music competition 2015' organized by the
Ministry of Education recently.
Mapalagama plays the sitar which is mainly used in Indian classical
music. The instrument is believed to have been derived from the veena,
an ancient Indian instrument.
The sitar derives its distinctive timbre and resonance from
sympathetic strings, bridge design, a long hollow neck and a gourd
In an interview with the Junior Observer, Mapalagama speaks about her
Q: Tell me something about yourself?
A: I was born and bred in
Gampaha. My father, Jagath Mapalagama is a musician and lecturer at the
Faculty of Visual and Performing Arts at the University and my mother is
a dancing teacher. I have two younger siblings.
Q: When did you start playing the
A: I started playing the
sitar when I was nine years old. I was in the fifth grade at the time. I
became interested to play the sitar because my father played it at home
and I always saw him playing it.
Q: Do you offer music as a subject at
A: Yes, I do music as a
subject at school. My music teacher, Kumudu Dharshani encourages me a
lot. It is she who motivated me to participate in this competition.
I am grateful to her. Though I offer music as a subject in school, I
do not play the sitar. I hope to practise it and participate in more
events in the future.
Q: What do you do during your
A: I play the sitar
whenever I am free. I like North Indian classical music. I use a mishrab
to play the sitar. I also love reading adventurous stories and play
badminton with my siblings.
Q: What is your ambition?
A: My favorite subject is
Science. I find it easy and interesting so I want to be a doctor one
Q: How do you feel about getting the
first place in the junior category?
A: I am happy about it. I
was happy that I brought honour to my school. There were three
competitors at the final stage for the primary category. I was selected
from the Western Province and the other two students were from the
Sabaragamuva and Southern Province. There were three rounds- Zonal,
Provincial and All Island. I practised hard three weeks before the Zonal
My teachers and friends wished me and said that I can do much better
in the future.
I am proud because I was the first to play the sitar in my school. I
am thankful to my Principal, teachers, friends and my parents who
encouraged and helped me to win the first place at the 'All Island Music