Student Spotlight: YST Student Creates International Trombone Festival

Since his third year at YST, trombone student Pradch Limvoranant has wanted to bring an international trombone festival to his native Bangkok in order to inspire low-brass players throughout Southeast Asia. Now in his fourth year, Pradch - under the leadership of the Thailand Trombone Association - will act as coordinator of the inaugural ‘Thailand International Trombone Festival’ (TITF), to be held at the Thailand Cultural Centre from 15-17 December 2017.

I wanted to create a festival that would bring together both the Thai and international trombone community, so that everyone can learn from one another.
— Pradch Limvoranant (BMus Year 4, Trombone)

According to Pradch, most young brass players in Thailand are trained in wind ensemble programs and rarely get an opportunity to perform, as well as listen to live chamber or orchestral performances. He wanted to create an opportunity to give students the chance to not only listen and learn from international artists, but also to play alongside them in various brass performance classes.

In preparation for creating the TITF, Pradch attended the International Trombone Festival (ITF) festival in Redlands, California in June 2016. It was at this festival where he collated his ideas and was even more inspired to create a similar festival in Southeast Asia.

Above: Pradch Limvoranant (BMus Year 4, Trombone) and Pawin Pungbua (BMus Year 2, Trombone) are co-coordinators of the inaugural Thailand International Trombone Festival

Above: Pradch Limvoranant (BMus Year 4, Trombone) and Pawin Pungbua (BMus Year 2, Trombone) are co-coordinators of the inaugural Thailand International Trombone Festival

After his return from ITF, Pradch approached his major teacher, YST artist faculty Zachary Bond, with the idea of creating TITF. Met with support, Zachary offered to mentor Pradch through the process.

Although this is quite an ambitious project for Pradch, he has been achieving musical and technical excellence expected of a fourth year student at YST, so he is at a place in his development where gaining skills such as project planning, administration and artistic management, will help him grow and develop a deeper appreciation for what goes behind the scenes, and also learn valuable skills that can be developed throughout his career.
— Zachary Bond, Artist Faculty, Trombone

During their student-faculty mentorship sessions, Zachary and Pradch generally discussed potential career pathways, as well as the long-term impact and benefits from making particular choices. Zachary says, “Managing a festival - especially on an international scale - comes with many challenges, but I think that overcoming these challenges gives Pradch a rich experience to learn from, which can prepare him for a future career in pedagogy and event management.”

Zachary will be the international artistic director for the festival, providing Pradch with international contacts from his wide global music network. As co-coordinators, Pradch and Pawin Pungbua (BMus Year 2, Trombone) contacted the artists directly to discuss logistics and program performances, warm-ups and masterclasses. Leading up to the festival, Pradch has already learnt a lot from the process: “I’ve learnt how to be more effective in communicating and negotiating with artists, ensembles and exhibitors, so we can all get the most of the festival experience.”

The international guest artists for TITF will be:

  • Martin Schippers (Netherlands) - Royal Concertgebouw Orchestra
  • Peter Körner (Germany) -  Bilkent University, Turkey
  • Sittichai Ong sa-ard (Thailand) - Royal Bangkok Symphony Orchestra
  • Marques Young (US) - Solo artist
  • Arunkorn Chaisubunkanok (Thailand) - Royal Bangkok Symphony Orchestra, Thailand Trombone Association (TTA)
  • Zachary Bond (US) - Artist Faculty, Trombone, Yong Siew Toh Conservatory of Music, Singapore
  • Brett Stemple (US) - Head of Brass, Tuba, Yong Siew Toh Conservatory of Music, Singapore

For additional support in putting together the festival, Pradch and Pawin had also contacted their previous trombone teachers, who are organizers of the Thailand Trombone Association (TTA), Sukanit Sasomsin from Bansomdejchaopraya Rajabhat University and Anuntapond Iamchanbanjong, Rajamangala University of Technology Thanyaburi. In addition, head of the TTA, Arunkorn Chaisubunkanok is supporting the festival as the Thailand Artistic Director and will be leading warm-ups and masterclasses.

TITF will include brass instrument exhibitors from Thein Brass, Germany and Vivezza Musical Instruments, Taiwan which gives festival participants the opportunity to try and purchase world-class brass instruments.

Above: The YST Trombone Choir, with Pradch Limvoranant (third from right), Pawin Pungbua (far right) and Zachary Bond, Artist Faculty for Trombone (centre).

Above: The YST Trombone Choir, with Pradch Limvoranant (third from right), Pawin Pungbua (far right) and Zachary Bond, Artist Faculty for Trombone (centre).

There will be two ensembles-in-residence, the Thailand Trombone Ensemble and the YST Trombone Choir which includes seven current YST students and YST alumnus Aldwyn Tan (BMus '17, Bass Trombone). In addition to the YST Trombone Choir, three tuba students from YST will be attending to support and participate in the festival.

YST Conservatory’s Head of Brass, Brett Stemple gives his full support and will be a guest performing artist at the festival. According to Brett, there have been low brass festivals before in Thailand with local artists, but this is the first international festival specific to the trombone.

It’s great that our students and faculty at YST are using their international experiences and networks to make an impact in the Southeast Asia region. The international low brass community is a small and close knit community, so this festival is a chance for international performing artists to support aspiring young brass players in Southeast Asia.
— Brett Stemple, Head of Brass

The TITF has an aim to be as inclusive and accessible as possible, regardless of economic circumstance, so the registration fee is waived. To participate in the masterclasses, participants must send in a short admission video. So far there are 94 participants registered for the festival. Next semester, Pradch will present his reflections about his experience as TITF festival coordinator for his ‘Independent Project’ module, with Brett Stemple as his faculty advisor.

For more information about the Thailand International Trombone Festival, please click here.

For the festival's registration details, please click here.