Million Wind Philharmonic

Although the Million Wind Philharmonic is a relative newcomer to Bangkok’s vibrant music scene – the ensemble has only been together for four years – its first concert in nearly two years was eagerly anticipated by both players and audience alike.

The brainchild of Vichit Teerawongwiwat, piccolo player in the Thailand Philharmonic Orchestra, the Million Wind Philharmonic is a very special ensemble. It was formed to compete in a wind band competition in Thailand boasting a 1st prize of 1M Thai Baht (approx £23,500). Vichit (lovingly known as Yeah) invited all his friends and colleagues to join the ensemble and, after much rehearsal time, duly won the competition, and the ‘Million’ Wind Ensemble was born!

Yeah discussed the win with his colleagues and it was decided to put the winnings to good use and more concerts were organised along with the creation of the Million Youth Philharmonic.

I was thrilled to be invited to perform with the ensemble as guest principal trumpet and was immediately struck by the passion and commitment of the players and the high standard of performance by the students who were playing ‘side-by-side’ with the professional musicians.

The pro players are drawn from the Thailand Philharmonic, Royal Bangkok Symphony Orchestra and the talented pool of freelance musicians who give their time freely to rehearse and perform for the benefit of the Bangkok community.

The concert on Saturday 14th May 2022 took place in the Bansomdejchaopraya Rajabhat University, showcasing some of the low brass principal players as soloists, culminating in an extraordinary wind band version of Stravinsky’s Firebird Suite to a capacity audience of over 300 people.

For more information about the Million Wind Philharmonic please use the following links:

All photographs courtesy of Million Wind Philharmonic

Siam Duriyang Music Workshop 2022

I was thrilled to be invited by Dr Yos Vaneesorn, principal clarinet in the Royal Bangkok Symphony Orchestra and one of the most highly regarded musicians in Thailand, to work with some of Thailand’s talented young trumpeters as part of the Siam Duriyang Music Workshops 2022.

Thailand is rapidly becoming a key player in the development of some of Asia’s best young brass players. The country boasts two superb symphony orchestras, a collection of excellent university music faculties, several specialist music colleges plus several stunning concert halls. Throw into the mix highly committed and experienced teachers it is no wonder that young Thai musicians are picking up some of the top orchestral positions in Asia.

The trumpet workshops were held at the Horwang School, one of the best schools for young musicians in Thailand, and it was clear all the students present were committed and determined to realise to the full their talents as musicians. Apart from covering aspects of basic technique we also rehearsed and performed two short pieces by Dr Yos, The Crocodile followed by The Spider.

Siam Duriyang Music Workshop 2022 also included masterclasses by Dr Daren Robbins (horn), Supat Hanpatanachai (saxophone) and Prapat Prateepphlipon (bass trombone)

Trumpeters (from left to right:
1.Loy Siang Kang (YST)
2.Chanun Mallanoo (YST)
3.Attaphat Khunrattanaprakarn (SatiKU)
4.Suraseth Prasunthawong (CU)
5.Chatchanok Pibool (CU)
6.Nunnapat Tanjitsatum (CU)
7.Wasin Chaiprasert (TUN)
8.Kanapod Wangtrakool (Horwang)

Thailand Brass

It was a great start for the newly inaugurated Thailand Brass. A recording session for a new promo video saw some great music recorded by Samuel Scheidt, Victor Ewald and Leonard Bernstein.

Thailand Brass play Bernstein’s ‘Tonight‘

There’s plenty of activities planned for the group in the future starting with a Brass Day towards the end of June and educational concerts in schools around Thailand later in the year. You can keep up to date with future performances by following the group on its Facebook page which can be found here

Paul Archibald (trumpet), Wirote Srisununrat (trumpet), Krit Vi (horn), Thanapoom Sriwiset (trombone), Sittidech Saohong (tuba)

Thanks to Yamaha Thailand for the use of their superb concert hall and for facilitating the audio/visual recording and to World Group Thailand for design of Thailand Brass concert wear.

Discovering a Hidden Gem in Bangkok

A chance invitation by a student at the Princess Galyani Vadhana Institute of Music to attend a concert given by her wind trio introduced me to another hidden gem in Bangkok. Thailand Creative and Design Centre (TCDC) is situated at the side and back wing of the historical Grand Postal Building, itself one the most impressive post offices you’ll ever see

TCDC provides a broad range of resources and services including several libraries, exhibition spaces and workshops and it offers a place where people can connect, discuss, and work together.

Interestingly, this resource centre isn’t planned as a traditional ‘silence’ library. Instead, a large portion of the space is designed to encourage conversations in a setting more like a cafe or a co-working space.

It’s a bright, modern airy building with a very ‘creative’ feel to it. I signed up as member on the spot and I was delighted to find out the organic coffee in the centre’s cafe was just the best. By the way, the concert was fabulous and the students from PGVIM did themselves proud.