HEADLINES [click on headline to view story]:

Exhibition depicts Chiang Mai’s growing status as economic hub

Prem Center takes over the Magic Eyes Barge program

Thai musicians line up for Global Battle of the Bands

Awards and honors ceremony a time for thanks and rejoicing

Exhibition depicts Chiang Mai’s growing status as economic hub

Chiangmai Mail Reporters

An art exhibition promoting the concept of Chiang Mai as an economic hub was staged at Central Airport Plaza on October 22 and 23.

Pongsak Wangsamer, Chiang Mai governor’s assistant (center) presents awards to painting and sculpture winners on behalf of the governor.

Paintings and sculptures depicted the artists’ views of various sectors in which Chiang Mai excels and will continue to develop, such as aviation, medicine, education, investment, conferences and SMEs.

Chiang Mai educational institute students took part in the exhibition, and there was a competition with almost 30 artworks entered. The winners were presented with certificates and scholarships from Chiang Mai governor’s assistant Pongsak Wangsamer, on behalf of the governor.

Asst. Prof. Winai Somdee, lecturer from Chiang Mai University, said that the artworks explained the concept of an economic hub more effectively than a written text, and that he was proud of the students who had contributed.

Prem Center takes over the Magic Eyes Barge program

Davidene Hannah

Effective from August 2005, the Prem Center has taken over the Magic Eyes Chao Phraya Barge Program. This renowned environmentally and culturally-focused educational program was first established by M.L. Tridhosyuth Devakul (Mom Tri) in 1994. In 1998 ML Tri gave the barge to Khunying Chodchoy Sophonpanich’s “Magic Eyes” environmental foundation. Khunying Chodchoy has now returned the Barge Program to ML Tri who is Chairman of the Board of Governors, Prem Center.

The barge itself is a beautifully refurbished 100 year old traditional teak rice barge. It has a large covered main deck used for activities; an air conditioned cabin that can sleep 25 students, a kitchen, two showers, toilets and a small library.

The Barge Program serves many schools in Thailand and from overseas, taking students on voyages of discovery along Thailand’s life-line, the Chao Phraya River between Bangkok and Ayudhya. Through exploration and hands-on investigation, the importance and interrelationships of the environment, culture and history of Thailand are emphasized, while promoting community and individual growth.

There is also a land-based program which focuses on the Chao Phraya watershed extending to the mountains of Chiang Mai, forests of Khao Yai and out to the sea, enabling students to learning about the wider influences of the river through further experiential learning.

Widespread recognition has resulted in UNEP (United Nations Environment Program) selecting the Barge Program as the best practice Environmental Education Program in Asia Pacific in 2001, and in 2002 the Canada Fund accepted the Barge Program’s Water Quality Monitoring Outreach Program as one of the top 25 projects in Thailand.

Lister Hannah, the President of the Prem Center, said, “The Barge Program, with its diversity of activities tailored to meet individual school needs, covering ecology, science, geography, local history and culture, hopefully enables all who take part to realize and value how, by working together, they can change the earth for the better. As such, it provides an educationally enriching complement to the very successful Prem Center Visiting Schools Program and to a fast growing regional boarding and day Prem Tinsulanonda International School.”

Thai musicians line up for Global Battle of the Bands

4 million baht and world fame await winners

Nopniwat Krailerg

Thai bands will participate in the Global Battle of the Bands 2005, competing against musicians from 25 other countries for prize money of US$100,000 (4 million baht).

DJ Winit Lertratanachai, administrator of the Thai heats with Frat Air Co Ltd (left), an organizer in Thailand and “Big” Thanan Thanyaharn, a judge from Grammy Company jointly give information in a press conference of the Global Battle of the bands 2005 at Novotel Hotel, Chiang Mai on October 25.

This is the first time Thailand will be taking part in this worldwide event, a result of cooperation between M-150 and Frat Air Co Ltd with DJ Winit Lertratanachai. GBOB, which is organized in the United Kingdom, places no limit on style and allows professionals and amateurs worldwide to join the competition.

Each region in Thailand is now staging a contest to find one champion band that the kingdom can send on to the next round, which will take place in London.

The Northern region contest took part on November 5 at Central Airport Plaza, with the Southern region contest organized on the same day at Central Phuket. November 12 sees the Northeast competition at Big C in Khon Kaen, and on November 13 Bangkok bands will take to the stage at the World Trade Center.

Only three bands from each region, 12 bands throughout the country, will be competing for the national championship, which will take place on November 20. The prize money awaiting Thailand’s best band is US$10,000 (400,000 baht). The champion band will be coached by leading Thai producers before joining the next stage in England on December 7.

GBOB took place for the first time in England in 2004. The winner was Spanish band Second, who carried off prize money of US$100,000 and have since played at concerts worldwide.

Awards and honors ceremony a time for thanks and rejoicing

Chiang Mai Ballet Academy annual awards ceremony

Marion Vogt

The Chiang Mai Ballet Academy held its certificate commencement ceremony in the Grand Nanta ballroom of the Sheraton Hotel Chiang Mai on Sunday, with hundreds of students gathered to give a warm thank you and acknowledgment to their families, loved ones, teachers and staff of the academy, in short, to all those who made it possible for them to receive this special education.

HSH Prince Bhisadej personally congratulated ML Preeyapun upon her achievements and generosity.

The ceremony, which is recognized by the Royal Academy of Dance in the UK and the Commonwealth Society of Teachers of Dancing in Australia, welcomed HSH Prince Bhisadej Rajani who acted as chairman, and the children from five years upwards had the honor to receive their certificates from him.

Thousands of private academies teach how to dance, but Chiang Mai is lucky to have an academy with a dedicated director like ML Preeyapun Sridhavat, who prepares students according to age and ability. The Chiang Mai Ballet Academy offers a full range of classes, from pre-ballet to pre-professional training, a unique opportunity for students of all ages and abilities to study the traditions and discipline of ballet, jazz, modern dance, tap, national, pointe and more. Whether a student’s goal is a career in dance or purely recreational exercise, personal attention and professional training is offered to match each student’s interests.

Consul General
of Japan Katsuhiro
Shinohara was one of the witnesses watching the little dancers receiving their certificate of

The audience was treated to a variety of dances from the different dance groups who study at the ballet academy and who proudly showed off the skills learned during the year. Many prizes and awards were given out including those to the prize winning dancers from the Nescafe Challenge 2004, the top award winning team for the Oishi Green Tea Combat contest, the top award winners of the Niyom Panich dance contest in the junior and adult levels plus another award winning team for best back-up dancers at the folk dance competition.

Scholarships were given out, a relief fund for this year’s flood was given to a representative to the Regina Cherry School, donated by the Chiang Mai Ballet Academy and HSH Prince Bhisadej personally congratulated ML Preeyapun upon her achievements and generosity.

A time for thanks and a time to reflect on the past year. Students of Chiangmai Ballet Academy thank their teachers.

What an honor to receive your certificate from HSH Prince Bhisadej Rajani. This recipient is Sabrina Penney.

Quite a task, to take a photo of 250 ballerinas plus their teachers and arrange them all according to age, dresses and importance!

Harmoniously, noble and elegant, all grade levels and classes show off what was rehearsed and learned this last year.