Suranaree Girls’ Wind Symphony clinched the Top Prize from Concert Band Class A at the recently held Thailand International Royal Trophy Band Competition.
Organized by the Department of Physical Education of the Ministry of Tourism and Sports, the highly regarded annual competition marks its 34th appearance this year, making it the longest and oldest competition in the country.
“This is our first time winning a concert contest in Thailand. We are a marching band, but I decided to let my band participate in the concert band class to learn and be exposed to another side of music, so there is a balance of both music education and physical activities,” said Mr Apivut Junt Minalai, conductor of the wind symphony.
The competition is divided into six classes, namely Concert Band A and B, Display Band B and C, Marching Band and Drum Duel. Each class has a qualifying round, where bands compete to be selected into the finals by a panel of 14 adjudicators, from both USA and Thailand.
As part of the competition rules to play 40 minutes of music, the wind symphony performed a repertoire of three pieces, namely the set piece, “Is Daowadung”, by Thai composer Kiiti Kuremanee, “Full Phase of the Moon” by Jinnawat Mansap and “Godzilla Eat Las Vegas” By Eric Whitacre.
“On usual days, we practice 3 days a week; but when we prepare for the competition, we practice for about 2 to 3 hours after school for 6 days each week. It was really hard to put everyone together.” said Mr Apivut.
The hard work of the wind symphony seemed to have paid off, as they came through the finals with an average score of 93.49, with second place Ratwinit Bangkaeo Wind Symphony trailing at 92.64.
The Suranaree Girls’ Wind Symphony also won the Best Choice Piece award.
“I am happy to have won the contest with my band, because we have played great music for the audience. It was a new way for us to entertain the audience and we have also enjoyed the music we played,” exclaimed Mr Apivut.
Band Director Mr Adul Pleangsantia, was also pleased with his students’ performance, stating, “I am pleased that the students have learnt the value of hardwork, and that their achievements have made the school proud.”
Singapore International Band Festival (SIBF) 2014’s 1st Division Winner, Horwang Wind Ensemble, also achieved Top Prize in Concert Band Class B with their choice piece “In The Spring when The Kings Go off To War” by David Holsinger.