The greatest reward and luxury of travel is to be able to experience everyday things as if for the first time, to be in a position in which almost nothing is so familiar it is taken for granted.
— Bill Bryson
It’s hard to believe that just a few days ago we were in Thailand. Our trip home was long, but uneventful. Still feeling a bit jet lagged, but rested enough to write this final post. As I mentioned in my previous update, Friday was our last day in Thailand, but also one of the busiest. In the morning we performed and taught at Sarasas Ektra, a bilingual school in Bangkok. As we had come to expect at schools in Thailand, the students at Sarasas Ektra were incredibly polite, and eager to learn. I worked with some young but very talented students. Horn playing in Thailand is in good hands, and is continually improving.
Our final stop of the day, and of our trip, was the Royal Thai Navy Music School. We weren’t quite sure what to expect, but from the moment we arrived we were made to feel welcome. A special banner had even been created for our residency there.
The students at the school were actually high school aged – the school is sponsored by the Thai Navy, and I suppose the closest thing to it in the U.S. would be R.O.T.C. We performed, and then did some individual teaching and a group master class with a student brass quintet (a special thank you goes out to our translator shown below, who had studied in the U.S.)
From there we had one last meal in Thailand, which as usual was amazing and very inexpensive. I can’t thank our host Dr. Daren Robbins enough for organizing our stay and setting up all of the performances and school visits. I only hope that at some point in the future we can return the favor to Daren and his colleagues at Mahidol. It is truly a world class music program with some incredible faculty and students. I’d also like to thank the other members of Black Bayou Brass for making this trip a success: I couldn’t ask for better colleagues and traveling companions! If you’d like to read more about our stay in Thailand, be sure to check out this article by our trumpet player Alex Noppe. That’s all for now – this week will be a light one for me, but we will be giving an encore performance of our Thailand program in Monroe on June 19th.