A few years ago there was much discussion in academic circles and the media about the so-called Latur pattern. It was related to the students who appeared for the SSC and HSC state board examinations and made it to the merit list. Students from Latur in the Marathwada region invariably dominated the merit list and people wondered how this could happen. It was said that there is some special and concentrated coaching which enabled the students to score over the other students from Maharashtra. One also wonders whether there is any special coaching for music in the Latur region. Vrushali Deshmukh, who hails from Latur is a very competent singer. At present, she is under the tutelage of the popular singer Ashwini Bhide. Vrushali holds a degree in music and is also on the faculty of a college in Latur. She was featured by Kalabharati in a morning programme at Karnataka Sangha. She began with the raga 'Shudh Sarang'. This noon time raga has innate musicality even as it reflects the weary mood and a certain longing of the noontime.
The note teevra madhyam conveys the scorching heat of the sun. Vrushali sang the raga with a sense of reverence. Her taan patterns had admirable clarity and speed. She also sang the raga 'Multani'. It is said that the origin of this raga is in 'Moolsthan' which came to be known as 'Multan' which is now in Pakistan. This is another beautiful melody which has to be mastered through years of patient practice and dedication. Vrushali's depiction of the raga was proper in tone as well as spirit. She concluded with a bhajan in the raga 'Bhairavi'. She was ably assisted on the harmonium by Shashikant Deshmukh and on the tabla by Shantanu Shukla.
'The First Edition' presented the veteran Gwalior Gharana exponent Sharad Sathe in a morning concert in their 'Hidden Maestro' series. Sathe who is well past 80 was in his elements. His two-tiered 'Prabhat Bhairav' was full of meends and khatkas as well as gamak taans which elicited instant approval from the connoisseurs. 'Lal Hamiso', the jhap taal bandish in the raga 'Todi' was full of grace and grandeur. Chaitanya Kunte on the harmonium and Shrutindra Katgade on the tabla lent superb support.