After performing at a gala charity dinner in Bangkok honoring His Majesty the King’s birthday, the renowned Preservation Hall Jazz Band (PHJB) of New Orleans headed to Hua Hin to visit the Wang Klai Kang Won School on Wednesday, November 10 for a fun and informative day filled with jazz. The school's marching band welcomed the visitors with an outstanding rendition of Glenn Miller's classic "In the Mood." After that, PHJB conducted a festive and lively music workshop with 100 students from the school, as well as 17 students from the U.S. Government-sponsored English training program, "Access."
The PHJB wowed the students with their opening performance of classic original New Orleans jazz tunes, and then, each of the seven band members, along with Thailand's own Dr. Pathorn Srikaranonda, worked with individual sections of the school band. PHJB leader/tuba player Benjamin Jaffe and clarinetist, Charles H. Gabriel, took the lead in transforming the students into true New Orleans jazz musicians. The highlight of the day was His Majesty’s own composition, “Klai Kang Won,” performed jointly by PHJB, Dr. Pathorn, and the marching band. By the end of the workshop, the room was truly infused with the liberating spirit of jazz, and the students were thrilled that they had just shared a once-in-a-life-time moment with PHJB.
Earlier in the day, Embassy Regional English Language Officer, Damon Anderson, and his assistant Khun Nina Logsdon warmed up the crowd by offering an informative presentation/English language lesson on American jazz, and Cultural Attaché JP Schutte had the honor of introducing PHJB. Assoc. Prof. Naraporn Chanocha, Vice Chairman of the Distance Learning Foundation, and Ajarn Chaiyut Saennamwong, Director of Wang Klai Kang Won School graciously hosted the day's events, including a lunch for the band and the Embassy visitors.
Since Wang Klai Kang Won is home to the Royal Distance Learning Foundation, this event was seen well beyond the walls of the school. Distance Learning Television (DLTV) broadcast the workshop live to over 600 provincial training and educational centers nation-wide, and the UBC Cable TV Network carried it to its over 400,000 subscribers. Moreover, an edited rebroadcast via DLTV will go to 8700 schools in the near future.