Standing room only for PCEC annual Christmas Program

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After Member Judith Edmonds presented Somkiat (Paul) from the Orphanage with the PCEC’ Certificate of Appreciation to the Orphanage, he thanks everyone for their generosity. He then extends an invitation to all to attend the Orphanage’s annual Christmas Party on 25th December.
After Member Judith Edmonds presented Somkiat (Paul) from the Orphanage with the PCEC’ Certificate of Appreciation to the Orphanage, he thanks everyone for their generosity. He then extends an invitation to all to attend the Orphanage’s annual Christmas Party on 25th December.

It was standing room only at the Pattaya City Expats Club (PCEC) meeting on Sunday, December 17, for their annual Christmas Program. The room buzzed with chatter and anticipation as a multitude of eager faces waited for the children from the Pattaya Orphanage to appear on stage. Even Scrooge’s ‘bah humbug’ was swept aside as hearts were melted by the oodles of magical Christmas cheer generated by the children.

Adding to the festive nature of the PCEC’s meeting room at the Pattaya Holiday Inn, was a computer-generated backdrop on the three big screens, reminiscent of Christmas past. It was in this wonderland environment that Master of Ceremonies Roy Albiston welcomed the children from the Pattaya Orphanage, Marcus Tristan and Ben Rudolph. He thanked everyone for their support and explained that their donations over the past weeks and months had enabled the Club to purchase individual gifts for the children and additional funds would be donated to the Orphanage on their behalf.

Judith Edmonds, who had orchestrated the collection and purchased the gifts with the able assistance of her husband Les, was given a rousing round of applause and thanked for her tireless efforts.

Enthusiastic applause also echoed throughout the meeting room as six beautiful girls in spectacularly ornate national costume, alighted the stage and performed a traditional Thai dance. Their majestically, graceful movements and soft rhythms, radiated presence. It is said that there are few performances more elegant and graceful than the traditional Thai Dance, and all those present would definitely agree.

It was a very enthusiastic, standing room only, audience that gathered at the PCEC meeting to hear the delightful voices of the Pattaya Orphanage Choir as they entertained them with several traditional Christmas Carols.
It was a very enthusiastic, standing room only, audience that gathered at the PCEC meeting to hear the delightful voices of the Pattaya Orphanage Choir as they entertained them with several traditional Christmas Carols.

The art form is very strict, employing 108 basic movements and keeping the body upright from the neck to the hips, moving up and down using only the knees, and stretching to the rhythm of the music. A great deal of symbolism is displayed in complex and beautifully executed finger and hand movements. All of it blended to produce a hypnotic and memorable performance by the girls.

Marcus Tristan and Ben Rudolph provided the musical accompaniment for the PCEC’s Christmas Caroling. Here Ben does a solo song for everyone as Marcus looks on.
Marcus Tristan and Ben Rudolph provided the musical accompaniment for the PCEC’s Christmas Caroling. Here Ben does a solo song for everyone as Marcus looks on.

Following the dance, they were joined on stage by the boys and girls of the Orphanage choir. Accompanied by guitar and piano they sang ‘Oh Christmas Tree’, followed by ‘Jingle Bells’, ‘Joy to The World’, ‘Oh Come All Ye Faithful’, ‘Long Time Ago In Bethlehem’, ‘Feliz Navidad’ and finally, ‘We Wish You a Merry Christmas’. Heartfelt, rapturous applause ensued after each song.

These six beautiful young ladies from the Pattaya Orphanage dressed in traditional costume began the PCEC’s Christmas program by performing a graceful traditional Thai dance for the audience.
These six beautiful young ladies from the Pattaya Orphanage dressed in traditional costume began the PCEC’s Christmas program by performing a graceful traditional Thai dance for the audience.

Following a very jubilant, harmonic performance, which brought a smile to the sea of faces in the audience, Santa Claus made his appearance on stage to the delight of the gathered children and adults too. Musically accompanied by Marcus Tristan and Ben Rudolph, he entered singing ‘Santa is Coming to Town’. He then greeted the children and, to their delight, spoke to them in fluent Thai.

There were huge smiles on their faces as Santa, with a little help from Judith, handed out the bags of presents to the children as they exited the stage. Somkiat (Paul) from the Orphanage thanked Club members and guests for their generosity and said, ‘…you have brought happiness to our house.’ He also invited everyone present to the Orphanage’s Christmas Party on 25th December.

After their performance, as the children from the Pattaya Orphanage Choir leave the stage, they receive presents and a few kind words from Santa. PCEC members and guests donated over 105,000 baht of which about 63,000 baht was used to purchase the presents and the remainder given to the Orphanage for their use.
After their performance, as the children from the Pattaya Orphanage Choir leave the stage, they receive presents and a few kind words from Santa. PCEC members and guests donated over 105,000 baht of which about 63,000 baht was used to purchase the presents and the remainder given to the Orphanage for their use.

As the Children from the orphanage took their leave, Santa once again took to the stage to lead the audience in a medley of favourite Christmas tunes with musical accompaniment again provided by Marcus Tristan, a well-known composer, and Ben Rudolph, a youth who plays the keyboard, sings, and even composes some of his own music. Both have previously given separate presentations to the PCEC this past year; a summary can be found in previous editions of the Pattaya Mail (http://www.pattayamail.com/ourcommunity/visionary-music-vocal-ensembles-188129 and http://www.pattayamail.com/ourcommunity/food-music-pattaya-city-expats-club-190031,respectively ).

The words for the Christmas tunes were displayed on the large screens to allow the audience to join in the fun of celebrating Christmas by singing Christmas carols.

Santa also took time to greet several children from the audience and wish them a Merry Christmas.
Santa also took time to greet several children from the audience and wish them a Merry Christmas.

After a hearty sing-along-song, Santa said his farewells wishing all a Merry Christmas. After all he has many stops to make before the big day!

Judith and Ann Ensall concluded the Christmas Program by leading the singing of the “The Twelve Days of Christmas” by performing various gestures to represent the twelve gifts mentioned in the verses, much to the delight of some of the audience.