A unique concert for a unique orchestra


Insii Thai House

Belgian violinist

Geertje Podevyn

playing in a multi-ethnic concert in Chiangrai

 
Full size pictures; click here.
 
On August 25th, Count Gerald van der Straten Ponthoz, together with the Rotary Club of Maechan, hosted a very special concert of the Chiangrai Youth Orchestra at the Wiang Inn Hotel in Chiangrai: Fire in the Bow.
On that occasion, the 400 guests who filled the concert room not only enjoyed music, but also the particular multi-ethnic flavor of an ensemble which has definetely chosen to be different: "A string orchestra open to everyone who loves music and which proudly promotes its northern roots and culture".
Many guests made the trip from Chiangmai and Bangkok, for this special evening which was enhanced by the presence of Khun Thanit Vajarodaya, Director at the Office of His Majesty's Principal Private Secretary, and Khun Wittaya Tumornsoontorn, of the Bangkok Symphony Orchestra.
During a concert which probably seemed too short for most of the audience, 40 talented young musicians played an unexpected combination of Walt Disney adaptations, classical melodies, Hungarian rapsodies and local hill tribes' songs, surprising the guests with their skills and creativity.
The concert transformed itself into a multi-cultural musical show soon after the first notes, with the hill tribes' violinist of the Suksasongkraw Maechan School playing all together in their traditional costumes, accompanied by impressive drum performances and lighting effects.

Khun Chantouch Srinilta, Manager of Thai Airways in Chiangrai, Khun Pongrit Srismit, Khun Paramet Lerdkasem, conductor of the Chiangrai Youth Orchestra, Count Gerald van der Straten Ponthoz, Khun Komol Rattomrattana , President of Rotary Club of Bangkorlaem ( Bangkok) and two students of the Suksasongkraw Maechan school.

Khun Wittaya Tumornsoontorn, of the Bangkok Symphony Orchestra, Count Gerald van der Straten Ponthoz, who hosted the event together with the Rotary Club of Maechan, and Khun Thanit Vajarodaya, Director at the Office of His Majesty's Principal Private Secretary.

 

Left: Khun Thanin Siriratanothai, of Rotary Maechan, receiving a donation from Khun Pornsri Ponphisit, Ass Managing Director of Ford Chiangrai.

After the successes of last year, this concert was another milestone of the "Chiangrai Youth & Hill Tribes Violin Project".
The project was innitiated by Ajarn Paramet Lerdkasem, the conductor of the Chiangrai Youth Orchestra, and Belgian violinist Geertje Podevyn, with the help of Count Gerald van der Straten Ponthoz and valuable partners, such as the Rotary and Thai Airways International.
The two months of dedication which Geertje Podevyn spent with the young violinists this year were rewarded by a tremendous success. This recognition of the public can only encourage the partners to go further in their efforts to bring violin to the greatest number of youngsters of the Chiangrai province, including children coming from the poorest families or the remotest villages.

Khun Pongrit Srismit with Belgian violinist Geertje Podevyn.

Weerapong Boonklieng addressing the guests before the concert.

As Count Gerald said in his address to the guests, this concert showed the good side of globalisation: Western instruments and Belgian violinist came to meet the people of Thailand. They played violin together with local drums. They mixed European styles with traditional local sounds. They brought the beauty of music to the remotest mountains of Chiangrai...
Beauty and style were certainly at the rendez-vous.

Past President of Rotary Maechan Khun Somrit Pantarat, owner of Taweeheng Leasing, who donated 23 violins to start the Chiangrai Youth & Hill Tribes Project in 2006, with Khun Tanin Siriratanothai and Geertje Podevyn.

Paramet Lerdkasem, Khun Thanit Vajarodaya, Geertje Podevyn, and Past Rotary District Governor Wiwat and his wife.

Violinists from four different hill tribes of Chiangrai.

The drummers who accompanied the violinists in the concert.

Visit the website of The Chiangrai Youth Orchestra regularly !