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Yala Municipality Youth Orchestra
Thailand Government Public Relations Department Translate This Article
27 August 2012
The Yala Municipality Youth Orchestra from southern Thailand has become better known and gained greater recognition.
This youth orchestra was founded in 2006 by Mr. Pongsak Yingchoncharoen, Mayor of Yala Municipality, who wished to use music as an instrument of peace to bring young people of different faiths in southern Thailand closer and spend time fruitfully together.
It came after violent incidents erupted in the deep South of Thailand in early 2004, despite great efforts to cope with the situation. It is eight years now that the southern situation has caused pain and suffering for all Thais, not just people in the southern border provinces, especially Yala, Pattani, and Narathiwat.
The southern border provinces of Thailand make up a multi-cultural society. Although different views have existed, as in other societies, local residents lived together happily and the situation had rarely got out of hand. Aware of the need to restore the situation and promote unity among local youths, the city of Yala launched the orchestra project, so that people of different faiths and origins would learn to live together again in peace and harmony.
It began the project by sending a number of teachers to receive training from College of Music, Mahidol University, Salaya Campus, in Nakhon Pathom province. Musical instruments were bought with a budget allocation from Yala Municipality, and interested children from primary to secondary school age were selected to join the orchestra, regardless of their gender, faith, or knowledge.
There are currently more than 200 Muslim, Buddhist, and Christian youths who have joined the Yala Municipality Youth Orchestra. Apart from Yala province, they are also from Pattani and Narathiwat. Many of them have lost their parents, relatives, and friends from violent incidents. Playing music helps heal the wounds in their hearts, in addition to connecting people in society and creating better understanding.
The orchestra has received good cooperation from all sectors of society, including the business community. The city of Yala has received financial assistance from the Stock Exchange of Thailand and other organizations, as well.
Parents and members of the local community are willing to give a helping hand. By being part of the Yala Municipality Youth Orchestra, local youths now have more positive attitudes toward their friends of different faiths.
The orchestra has plans to perform both inside and outside Yala each year. When members of the orchestra leave the band to continue their studies elsewhere, the municipality accepts newcomers and recruits more music teachers for the continuation of the project. It is determined to carry out the project in order to promote social harmonization and lasting peace in the southern border provinces of Thailand through cultural dimension.
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