Last month, on Saturday June 12th, we had a very special day for our school - the annual fundraiser concert, at the Taj Tashi Hotel in Thimphu. Featured in this concert was world-renown cellist Frances-Marie Uitti, who came from Holland especially to donate her time and talents to Kilu Music School. Her primary reason for coming to Bhtuan was to begin discussion and plans for opening a string program at Kilu. And we took the opportunity and planned a concert around her visit.
Along with wonderful performances by Ms. Uitti and Kilu’s teachers (myself and Saito Ryohei), the concert featured collaborations between Ms. Uitti and our students as well as individual and group performances of piano and singing by Kilu’s students.
The concert was a smashing success. The children did fabulously well, we had a full house in attendance, and managed to raise a good deal of money for the school. The Minister of Education, Lyonpo Thakur S. Powdyel honored us with his presence, and spent time with our school board, teachers and Ms. Uitti after the concert complimenting us on our work, and offered his pledge to support our future endeavors of music education in Bhutan.
As was the case with our annual student recital which took place in December, I was immensely proud of the hard work and dedication of our students in preparation for this performance. They worked really applied themselves in rehearsals, and in the concert itself, they all rose to the occasion and did a marvelous job.
On a personal note, I had the great pleasure of performing an improvised piece with Ms. Uitti during the concert and it was a wonderful musical experience. Indeed, during her entire stay in Bhutan, I was lucky enough to spend many hours with Ms. Uitti, enjoying great conversations, music and good food!
Here are a few photos from the concert courtesy of Xochitl Rodriguez: