SHOM is the shortened term for Spouses of Heads of Mission, the members of which organized a welfare concert and dinner titled ‘Music for a Better World’ on Saturday, February 4 at the German ambassador’s residence in Bangkok. Two very lovely ladies, Lucia Constantini-Pruegel, this year’s president of SHOM and the wife of the German ambassador Peter Pruegel, and Juri Segiguchi-Drofenik, the wife of the Austrian ambassador Enno Drofenik worked in tandem with the German-Thai Chamber of Commerce (GTCC) to stage the event.
Sponsors and important business people were joined by guests from Bangkok and Pattaya, including Anselma and Gerrit Niehaus, the owners of Thai Garden Resort, their friends from Germany, Juergen Koppelin former member of Bundestag and his wife Ina, Axel and Bo Brauer of Brauer Holdings, Peter Schlegel the president of the RC Phoenix Pattaya and his brother Markus, and Ingeborg and Juergen Schlag.
The stars of the event were young musicians of the Immanuel School who played right after the champagne reception had ended. They were guided by the famous conductor Somtow Sucharitkul and the King’s anthem was followed by a short speech by the German ambassador.
The Austrian ambassador’s wife Juri Sekiguchi-Drofenik entered the stage next and explained to the audience that the main aim of SHOM is to help build relationships between Thailand and SHOM member states and also to engage in philanthropic endeavors and give back to the society.
“We are very proud that we could organize the first benefit concert since the founding of SHOM 10 years ago”, said Juri, before she introduced Lucia Constantini-Pruegel, the president of the organization and the person primarily responsible for the concert.
Lucia emphasized that SHOM choose the Immanuel School Orchestra as all the members come from the underprivileged community of Klong Toey in Bangkok.
“ Since the year 2000, the Immanuel Music School has been giving free and formal music lessons to children to promote self-esteem and social opportunity for those living in impoverished conditions”, she said. “We didn’t want to just raise funds for needy people – instead we wanted to raise awareness for the work and dedication of passionate volunteers who change the lives of hundreds of children through music.”
Lucia Constantini-Pruegel ended her speech with words of the German poet Heinrich Heins: “When words leave off, music begins”.
Then the music started in earnest and the young performers played classical pieces by Johann Sebastian Bach, Ludwig van Beethoven, Joseph Haydn, King Bhumibol’s composition ‘Alexandra’ and Thai traditional Long Mae Ping.
The young musicians received enthusiastic applause both during and at the end of the concert and all guests agreed that, even though they might have lacked some experience, the orchestra members more than made up for it with heart, enthusiasm and their simple love of music.
(Photos courtesy German Embassy Bangkok)