Case Studies

Chulalongkorn University Choral Festival

Chulalongkorn University Choral Festival started in 2014, and is the first and only festival in Thailand to bring choral musicians and directors together to learn and sing in a friendly, non-competitive atmosphere, with an emphasis to promote both choral excellence and education.

The first three annual festivals were organized with partial financial support by the US Embassy in Bangkok to bring in top American choral conductors and educators to Thailand. They were Dr. William Dehning, Professor Emeritus, University of Southern California (2014). Dr. Jo-Michael Scheibe, Chair, Department of Sacred and Choral Music, University of Southern California (2015), and Dr. Timothy Sharp, Executive Director, American Directors Association (2016).

Our 2017 festivals onwards have been organized independently by Chulalongkorn University. Clinicians were Timothy Brown (Cambridge University) in 2017 and Dr. Jo-Michael Scheibe returned in 2018, and Dr. Rollo Dilworth, Temple University in 2019. This seventh festival in 2020 will be led by Dr. Jason Max Ferdinand from Oakwood University, USA.

The festival is offered free of charge to choirs and audience as academic service of the university.

Events in the festival are:

  • 1) Education for directors: Two lecture and workshop sessions, one conducting masterclass, observation of masterclass, two clinics for choirs, and three mass choir rehearsals
  • 2) Education for singers: Two clinic sessions for choirs and three mass choir rehearsals
  • 3) Choral excellence: performances by choirs in three concerts

The number of participating choirs has grown from five local choirs in the first year to twenty local Thai and international choirs and choirs from overseas in 2018. Overseas choirs that have participated in the festival are choirs from Malaysia, Russia and Canada.

The year 2020 sees the seventh annual Chulalongkorn University Choral Festival, which is taking place during February 14-16, 2020 at Music Hall, Chulalongkorn University. Choirs of any level from secondary school level and older are welcome. Secondary school and university choirs, including individuals, participate without registration fee. However, there is nominal administration fee for community, professional and semi-professional choirs.

The university strives to be a center for choral music and choral education in Thailand. The results we see in the Thai choral scene encourage us to work harder to ensure the continuity of the choral and choral education events in the years to come. The festival welcomes everyone regardless of races, religions, or genders.