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SLAF singing sensation Saranga in Ranaviru Real Star final 10

Published on: 8:48am on Monday 4th April 2011
SLAF singing sensation Saranga in Ranaviru Real Star final 10
The top 10 is a cut above the rest. It is not an easy task to make that cut. But Flying Officer Saranga Kristantha from the Sri Lanka Air Force has achieved this feat almost effortlessly. He is one of the top ten finalists competing to be crowned the island’s first “Ranaviru Real Star”. He is busy at rehearsals with much preparation ahead of this week’s performance. But he cheerfully made time to talk to SLAF Media about his journey which has put him on the threshold of musical stardom.

A resident of Tangalle, Flying Officer Saranga hails from a musical background that extends far back to his childhood. His father though a civil servant by profession was an ardent lover of music and holds a national certificate from Heywood (the then National School of Music). This meant that Saranga literally grew up surrounded by music and singing, with his father as his first guru in learning the beauty of rhythms and melodies. Like father like son one would say since Saranga too was especially fond of Hindustani Music.

Saranga studied music all though his school life as a student of the Weeraketiya Rajapaksa Madya Maha Vidayala, including at the GCE Ordinary Level and Advanced Level examinations. His passion and enthusiasm for the subject were made clear when he obtained good results, paving the way for university entrance.

Successfully completing his degree, Saranga graduated from the Visual and Perfoming Arts University, Colombo in the year 2000. At university while following the main subject of Violin, he also developed his singing skills. University was also a place where Saranga got the opportunity to work with veterans in the field such as Somasiri Elesinghe, a one time music director for Rupavahini Cooperation. Saranga also had his first taste of performing on stage during this time, while winning several intra-university  competitions for folk singing, classical singing and also for his ability to play the Classical Violin.

His dedication to music saw Saranga in the role of a lecturer at the university of Visual and Performing Arts until 2007 when he joined the Sri Lanka Air Force as a student officer. Here, says Saranga, he learnt a valuable lesson; that of music not being a hobby but also a responsibility and an area which needs to be given proper training. At present Saranga is committed to shouldering that responsibility as he follows a career in music at the Sri Lanka Air Force.

When “Ranaviru Real Star” was becoming the talk of the town in Sri Lanka last year, deep in his heart Saranga wanted to send in an application but never acted upon the idea. It was his Commanding Officer Squadron Leader Maheel Chandana Amarasinghe who prompted him, to consider entering this latest reality TV sensation in Sri Lanka, aimed at giving an opportunity to the country’s Armed Forces to showcase their talents.

Now Saranga had no reason to turn back. He entered the competition with confidence and has since then been an exceptional performer on television capturing not only the hearts of his countless fans but also the attention of the judges. He prefers to perform songs of his favourite artistes such as Victor Ratnayake, Sunil Edirisinghe, Pandit Amaradeva and Mervin Perera. Saranga is also in tune with the current trends of the music scene in the island, preferring Amal Perera, Kasun Kalhara and Chamika Sirmanne from the contemporary singers.

The unassuming person that he is, Saranga shyly mentions that the Ranaviru Real Star is his first major competition. And indeed it is an incredible feat to have gone through countless rounds of selection and rehearsals, to be where he is today. This week the competitors are to perform hits from old Sinhala movies. Saranga’s choice: Meastro Amaredeva’s renowned song ‘Thanha-aasha’ from the movie ‘Pataachara’.

There will be many who consider music as a passionate hobby or a career. But for Saranga it’s his way of life. It is something where he has given his utmost best for the aesthetic enjoyment of countless others. Join your fellow colleagues and friends from the Sri Lanka Air Force as well as your families in supporting this talented young man as he steps steadily towards his dream.

Catch Saranga in action this weekend on Rupavahini with the latest performances of Air Force talent in Ranvirua Real Star. Show your support to this budding singing star of the Sri Lanka Air Force by sending in your votes by SMS. Bring SLAF a step closer to victory.

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