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The Music – Extravaganza

Spotlight is a music competition organized by the Sports and Entertainment Avenue of the Rotaract Club of University of Kelaniya to build a stage for young musical enthusiasts. The main objective of the project was to motivate, encourage, and award skilled music enthusiasts among the crowds waiting to shine. After several competitive rounds on university premises, the final competition was held on November 7.

All Rotaractors in Sri Lanka were welcome to enter the competition when the idea was announced. All participants were initially asked to submit a 2- to 3-minute video clip of themselves performing online. Twelve of the top performers from among the 42 contestants were chosen by Rtr. Ashka Kulathunga, a semi-finalist on Voice Sri Lanka. Currently she is undertaking the Performing Arts Special Degree program at the University of Kelaniya. Submissions came from both the club’s members and affiliated clubs.

The final 12 contestants attended a workshop led by Rtr. Ashka Kulathunga, which significantly raised the competition’s standards. This workshop’s main goals were to educate participants on how to project their voices, extend their vocal range, sing with ease and clarity, and apply good breath control. Furthermore, the Spotlight team wanted to make sure that this opportunity would aid its participants in improving the quality of their voices as well as their ability to convey and understand music more effectively

Next phase was the semi-final round which was held in Faculty of Commerce and Management ,University of Kelaniya. A very diverse panel of judges, including Mrs. Mahesha Sandamali (a singer, performing artist, musician, and dubbing artist), Mr. Milinda Tennakoon (a film music composer and director, lecturer in the department of fine arts at the University of Kelaniya), and Mr. Darshana Pramod (4th place in Sirasa Super Star – Season 1, Sangeeth nipun and Temporary Lecturer in Indian Classical Music), selected the top five performers from among the 12 semifinalists to advance to the final round. 

A practice session was arranged on the university premises in advance of the grand finale to help the finalists feel more confident.

Next and final round of Spotlight 2022 took place on November 7, 2022, in Faculty of Medicine, University of Kelaniya, Ragama. The opening ritual of the competition was the lighting of the oil lamp. Participants from both Rotaractors and non-Rotarctors attended the glitzy event. The University band, which has been extremely supportive of this initiative from the beginning, supported the five finalists as they gave their best performances. 

Each finalist gave two performances at the event, each in a different genre, along with a group performance by all of the semi-finalists and a guest performance by Rtr. Ashka Kulatunga. Mr. Thusith Simpson (Lecturer in the Department of Fine Arts at the University of Kelaniya, Singer and Music Director), Mr. Lahiru De Costa (Music Producer & Audio Engineer), and Ms. Kalpana Kavindi (Graduated at University of visual and performing Art, Youngest A Grade Singer at SLBc, Music instructor At National Youth Corps, Musician, Actress & a panel member of Little Star and Little Titance) made up the judging panel for the grand finale.

Rtr.Dewmini Fernando from the Rotaract club of University of Kelaniya was the winner of the competition and was awarded with a cash prize of Rs.20,000. First Runner up was won by Rtr.Shanali Ranaweera from the Rotaract club of CINEC. Second runner up was Rtr. Pamudi Vithanage, also from the Rotaract club of University of Kelaniya. The 1st and the 2nd runners up were rewarded with cash prizes worth Rs.15,000 and Rs.10,000 respectively.The most popular singer of the competition was chosen based on the number of likes on Youtube for each contestant’s Semi-final performance. Rtr.Naveen Sandeepa was awarded as the Most popular singer of Spotlight 2022. With that Spotlight 2022 concluded with great success. The winner and 1st runners up – Dewminie Fernando and Shanali Ranaweera were given a golden opportunity to sing with one of the finest bands in the Island – Wayo at Rotralia 2022.

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