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Thirteen-year-old girl wins first place at the 'All Island Music Competition 2015'':

Little wonder

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 resonating chamber.

In an interview with the Junior Observer, Mapalagama speaks about her achievement.

Excerpts:-

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 sitar?

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 school?

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 leisure?

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 day.

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 Competition.

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 Competition.'

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