An evening which will be remembered for a long time, not
only by the musicians of the Chiangmai Symphony Orchestra who gave their
debut performance, but also by the audience and members of the New Life
MC’s of the night who led the audience through the evening with humor and
insight into the work of 40 Years New Life Foundation - Cory
Croymans-Plaghki and her Thai counterpart Ajarn Jo Brin’cob Worahurai,
head of Payap University’s Music Department.
It was a gala in two parts, a night with strong public
support (1392 spectators) which showed once again the cultural interest of
the northern community who showed their appreciation of an evening they did
not want to end, and over 350,000 baht in net proceeds was raised for the
Xavier Titijet Vichitporn and Judith Utley started the concerto in C major
for flute and harp and the audience was spellbound.
Cory Croymans-Plaghki, consultant to the New Life
Foundation began with an informative speech outlining the fundraising of the
night and background regarding the 40 years of the new Life Foundation.
“This wonderful organization which is very close to my heart was
established in 1964 with the support from both the Thai and American
governments. During the past 40 years, our main activities have been to set
up special villages where we care for 1065 underprivileged Thais with a
physical or mental handicap, patients who have recovered from mental
disorders. They have a place to stay temporarily at the “Halfway Home”
at Hueydindam, in the Hangdong District of Chiangmai province which is
managed by the Suanprung Psychiatric Hospital from Chiangmai. In this
beautiful facility, they learn how to care for themselves again, how to
re-integrate into society, how to grow organic vegetables and Jiaogulan tea.
The New Life Foundation is now also supporting the second and third
generation of these villagers. Fifteen years ago, we constructed two Homes
for Elderly and with your help; we would like to renovate these run-down
intermission the spectators were treated to some tasty Jiaogulan tea and
presentations of handicrafts from the villages that are supported by the New
She gave an insight into the two kindergarten schools for
the children of the members, on the scholarship fund to ensure the
educational support for orphaned children and the audience was given a taste
of the fabulous Jiaogulan tea at intermission, grown by the villagers being
supported by the Foundation.
Symphony Orchestra (CMSO) directed by Prof. Sompong Wongdee.
We were treated to a combination of Asian themes, using
two compositions by His Majesty King Bhumibol Adulyadej the Great, and
Western musical styles including Haydn and Mozart.
but filled with passion for the difficult music pieces.
The new CMSO began with ‘Saifon’ (Rain) and
‘Lomnow’ (Winter Breeze), both composed by H.M. the King, who developed
complex chords and rhythms for both pieces making varied arrangements
possible for orchestral presentation. Tenor Rangsun Poonsup and Soprano
Jutarat Honsakornprasert had the difficult task to break the ice but by the
time the musicians started Mozart’s concerto for harp and flute it was
obvious that the first signs of nervousness were gone and they played from
their heart. Professors, students, graduates from USA and musicians from 18
schools or universities from all over Chiang Mai province all showed a
spirit of dedication.
chorus of the blind children of Baan Chulasai, trained by Ajarn Xavier was
When Ajarn Xavier Titijet Vichitporn and Judith Utley
began the concerto in C major for flute and harp the audience was
spellbound. The brilliant consonance of flute and harp that launches the
first movement was caught and expressed by the new orchestra from start to
finish. Ajarn Xavier caught Mozart’s flair for the dramatic interludes
with the development of the first movement.
Jutarat Honsakornprasert had the difficult task to break the ice, looking
like a snowflake herself.
The end of the first part of the evening in the Kad
theatre was Haydn’s ‘Toy Symphony in C major’ played as a ‘march
in’ under director Prof. Sompong Wongdee with children playing recorders,
whistles and small drums.
Suprasert, seen with all five members of A Capella 7, had the honor to hand
out mementos of appreciation to the musicians.
Part two of the night was a treat in itself featuring a
chorus by the blind children of Baan Chulasai and the long round of applause
these special students received was well-deserved.
Bupphan Nimmanhaeminda, president of the New Life Foundation and Cory
Croymans-Plaghki, consultant, MC and organizer of this unforgettable
They were followed by the ‘A Capella 7’, musicians
who are mostly heard in Bangkok, but originally from Chiang Mai. Their ‘a
capella repertoire’ went from ‘Don’t worry be happy’ to music from
Chicago and even Ronan Keating’s ‘Nothing at all’ which received much
applause from the audience.
of the artists from ‘A Capella 7’, lively, professional and full of
It was a unique experience. Fine music, played by over eighty musicians
performing at their peak with energy, spirit, and most of all, love for
music. This pairing of nationally recognized guest artists and local
musicians was exceptional. Where else is that possible but in Chiang Mai?
The Chiangmai Symphony
Orchestra (CMSO) is a full 80-piece symphony orchestra composed from 18
different Chiang Mai Schools and Universities.