Nok Lae Band charms over Songkran
love what they are doing and they know the honor to be part of Nok Lae, the
children pose here with their huge mascot.
Chiangmai Mail reporters
One of the many highlights during the recent Songkran weekend took place at
Anusarn market, attracting foreign and local tourists.
The dynamic market place was packed every evening for the
three performances of Chiang Mai’s Nok Lae Band, which was established
some 26 years ago. Over the years, the band has played host to well over 400
musicians, all between 7 and 10 years old, each performer usually staying
for a period of five to six years.
One young performer, whose bi-lingual talents were very
much appreciated, was the band’s own ‘children’s MC’, who welcomed
the new listeners, watchers and onlookers in both Thai and English. The
young musicians played a wide variety of music, ranging from old Lanna to
contemporary Thai songs and well-known pop music.
With all members being from Chiang Mai, the audience, both local and
foreign, was thrilled, and the house was packed every night.
it all: dancing, singing, playing instruments and looking cute at the same
“If the Good Lord’s Willing and the Creek Don’t Rise”
New play coming up by Grace International students
Cast: (Back Row) Bradley Favazza, Daniel Collingwood, Justin Hughes, and
Peter Harris (Front Row) Molly Ellis, Sarah Palmer, Natalie Hallead,
Stephanie Percy, and Kari Silkwood.
Students from Grace International School are gearing up to perform this
year’s stage production entitled, “If the Good Lord’s Willing and the
Creek Don’t Rise”. A unique and quirky title for an equally quirky play.
This zany comedy, in the spirit of comedic playwrights,
Kaufman and Hart, centers on Doc, an eccentric old man whose house caters to
love sick teenagers spouting Shakespeare, an irate school bus driver and an
occasional artist or two. Throw in a psychologist on her first case and his
daughter with her lawyer and it’s anybody’s guess if Doc will be
committed or not. “You ought to try tilting at windmill every so often,”
he philosophizes. “It’s great exercise and a nice breeze goes with
As playwright, Pat Cook writes about his central
character, “Doc has a story to tell, and his spirit is boundless. He has
the enviable talent of recognizing and acting on the absurd and nonsensical,
and at the same time touching that which is genuine in each of us. He is
able to make us laugh even with a lump in our throats. He has the gift to
celebrate each day as special and each friend as unique. And there is no
such thing as a lost cause.”
This year’s show is undeniably the funniest production
GIS has produced. This character driven play is full of smart humor and
quick wit. This year’s ensemble cast is exceptionally good and have really
connected with their characters. Justin Hughes, who plays Doc, has brought
his own unique sense of comedic timing to the role. Somewhat of a cross
between the two Willy Wonkas (Gene Wilder and Johnny Depp). Natalie Hallead
does an excellent job playing Amanda Pemberton, the psychologist. Obviously
comfortable on stage, she brings a naturalness to the character that helps
the audience to really connect. Peter Harris plays Leo Jenkins, the
love-struck teenager. A role that is quite different than any of the others
he’s played in GIS productions. A true test of his acting ability, he
really steps up to the challenge. Stephanie Percy, who plays Maxine
McCallister the bus driver, has proven herself to be a driven and dedicated
actress. Bradley Favazza plays Gerald Firestone, the “by the book”
attorney with ulterior motives. Bradley has the unique ability to turn a
seemingly insignificant character into a memorable one. People are still
talking about his performance as the Captain in last year’s, “The Mail
First timers to the GIS stage include, Kari Silkwood, who
plays Doreen Furst, the passionate Shakespearean actress; Sarah Palmer, as
Charlotte Dinsel, Doc’s controlling daughter; Daniel Collingwood is Steve
Renfro, who directs high school plays and dabbles in oils, and finally,
Molly Ellis, who plays Elizabeth Claybourne, and old friend of Doc’s. That
is, she’s known him for a long time.
Sound like a recipe for crazy? Just wait until you meet
them! Wholesome fun for the whole family, audiences will not leave
Performances will be May 18, 19 and 20 at 7 p.m. in the
GIS multi-purpose Room. Seating is General Admission and all tickets are 200
To purchase tickets contact Jeanette Hall at 053-131-175 or email
[email protected] Tickets can also be purchased at the door
but seating is limited.
Rooftop party supplies new dormitories
the Hmong children, volunteers, teachers from the school and representatives
of FERC Chiang Mai and Samsara.
Just before the rainy season approaches, charities that take care of hill
tribe villages and their children are at their busiest time, as many places
cannot be reached once the rain starts. At the end of March, two new
dormitories, - one for boys, one for girls, two water purification
installations and furniture for an existing canteen were given to the Mae
Taa Laa school for Hmong children, two and a half hours drive, far beyond
Samoeng in the hills.
of the new dormitories which was built with the donations from individuals
who have a big hearts.
The school desperately needed dormitories for the
children and the teachers. While inspecting the school earlier last year,
FERC members noticed that the canteen needed furniture and there was no
clean drinking water available for the little ones. Donations from Samsara,
the Chiang Mai Rooftop party back in January (which Chiangmai Mail
extensively reported), including some generous individual donations have
made it possible to give the school everything they needed most, with
volunteers from the nearby villages building the dormitories in just two
The official opening ceremony drew the eager attention of all the Hmong
girls and boys (during their school holiday) and was attended by the
director of the Department of Education, volunteers from the villages who
built the dorms, teachers from the school and representatives of the
Foundation which donated the funds.
girls in their colorful dresses, proud to have new furniture and equipment
in their canteen at the Mae Taa Laa school.