" Sri Guru" Jayashree Varadarajan

Sangeetha Kala Vibooshini, Smt. Jayashree Varadarajan, founder and director of Sri Rama Lalitha Kala Mandir School of Fine Arts, is a dedicated teacher with an extensive background in music and musical education. She started her initial training in Carnatic vocal music from her mother Smt. Ramamani Iyengar at the age of five, and then came under the expert tutelage of her maternal aunt, Ganasaraswati, Karnataka Kalashri, Smt. G.V. Raganayakamma.

Jayashree's singing is greatly appreciated for its beauty and technical perfection. Jayashree has won numerous accolades and prizes in music and dance competitions for her outstanding performances. She has secured the first rank in the proficiency examination (1977) held by the government of Karnataka. She has also received a thamboora from Sangeetha, Kalanidhi Dr. Semmangudi Srinivasa Iyer by obtaining First Prize in Raga, Tana, and Pallavi singing competition held under the auspices of the Bangalore Gayana Samaja.

She has been awarded honors such as Sangeetha Vidushi, Sangeetha Kala Saraswati and Sangeetha Kala Vibhooshini. She is the recipient of the Artist's Fellowship Award from the California Arts Council for her excellence in music. In April 2007, she was presented with the Sri Guru Award by India Parent Magazine. In 1996, she was nominated for the Woman of Achievement Award for her contributions to the field of music.

A gifted composer, Jayashree has set music to compositions of Purandara Dasa and has released an audiocassette and a book entitled “Purandara Pada Saurabha.” She has set original music to “ Syananduresvara,” a rare and major poetic work by Maharaja Swathi Tiruna” and has released an audiocassette entitled “Syananduresvara.” She has many compositions in Sanskrit, Kannada, and Tamil to her credit. Her other audio programs are “ Bhakthi Saurabha,” “Excerpts from Live Concert,” and “Bhajans.” Her most recent audio pogram was for the Shiva Vishnu Temple, located in Livermore, on the occasion of “ Shiva Keshava Maha Yagya.”

She has written two musical plays “Gagana Padma” and “ ”Subhadrarjuna” in Kannada. She has also published books “Lessons in Vocal Music” in four volumes accompanied by audio programs for the benefit of all students of music in general with Carnatic music in particular. She has many compositions in Sanskrit, Tamil, and Kannada to her credit.

Jayashree is also a Bharathanatyam dancer and holds a senior degree in Bharathanatyam. In addition, she has senior degrees in veena (1975) and Sanskrit (1968), as well as a diploma in Drama and Theatre (1969). She is well known in the Indian American community as a multi-talented artist. She has written, directed, and produced many music, dance, and operatic productions all of which have drawn large audiences and garnered high praise from many critics.

Jayashree also holds a Master's Degree in Botany from Mysore University and a Master's Degree in Microbiology from the University of Cincinnati, Ohio. As the founder and director of this premier educational institution, Smt. Jayashree Varadarajan oversees the teaching and the operation of Sri Rama Lalitha Kala Mandir School of Fine Arts. Varadarajan is known amongst the music community as an eminent vocalist, composer, and most importantly, a dedicated and knowledgeable teacher – who has become a recognized and sought after Bay Area icon in musicianship and music education.