Born on 1 February 1946 in Kakching, Manipur, Shri S. Thanil Singh had his initial lessons in Pung — the Manipuri Mridang integral to Nata- sankirtana — from his father Shri S. Ksher Singh and from Shri S. Tombi Sharma. Later he trained under several gurus including Shri N. Bheigyachandra Singh and Shri L. Koireng Singh at the Jawaharlal Nehru Manipur Dance Academy, Imphal, obtaining a Postgraduate Diploma in Nata-Pung in 1974. He also received basic training in Manipuri Rasleela. Shri Thanil Singh is widely known in Manipur as an outstanding Pung artist. Apart from participating in Sankirtana within the State, he has performed at important festivals in the country and abroad since 1964. As a guru he has been imparting training to young scholars at JNMDA. He has also been researching in Manipuri music, supported by fellow- ships from the Manipur State Kala Akademi and the Government of India. He has published three books on Pung and has prepared other works for publication. Shri Thanil Singh has been honoured for his work by the royal family of Manipur. He also received the award of the Manipur State Kala Akademi in 1980. Shri S. Thanil Singh receives the Sangeet Natak Akademi Award for his contribution to Nata-sankirtana as a Pung- player.