..........As Dang Fantastic and his wonderful musician friends brought "Small Wonders" to a close with the swinging sounds of "When the Saints go Marching in" we stood on the huge stage of the Kad Theatre surrounded by dozens of singing children, scores of balloons and streamers, and experienced a mixture of exhilaration, joy and relief. The sleepless nights were behind us, the show a success, the performers wonderful - two of us had arranged it somehow, but not without a lot of help from like-minded people, who all shared our vision and objective.
This page is dedicated to them, for without their support, advice and encouragement, there would have been no show at all.
PREPARATIONS & PROMOTION
We are very grateful to Khun Chalermsak Suranant, Director of TAT Chiang Mai, who took time off to preside at our Press Conference, and especially to Khun Kawaila Luangtoomma (Khun Ping) of the Amari Rincome Hotel who presented the "Small Wonders" project in Thai at the same event, and also on a 20-minute interview in Thai on local Radio FM 100.
We also thank Raini Hamdi of TTG Asia Magazine; Khun Phairoj Pinyosakul and the Rimping Supermarket staff, Prem Tinsulanonda International School, The Expat Newsletter and 'In Focus 4 You' magazine who so willingly helped us with promotion; and a special thank you to to "Sam" and the staff of www.Thai.English.com in Bangkok who translated our materials into Thai free of charge, often coping with panicky last minute jobs - which on at least one occasion had people working until after midnight - far beyond the call of duty!
We also thank the people at ticket-selling outlets: Wim Fagel and Khun Ping at Amari Rincome, Absolute Hair, Khun Prapai and team at Rimping, Khun Noriko at Cafe Pandau, Hillside Condo 4, Khun Jim at La Gondola Restaurant; Khun Patchara at The Green Mill Restaurant, Ajarn Santi and his team at Santi Music School, Khun Bee Blackett at CMU; Khun Jurairat at Prem Tinsulaononda International School, Khun Nipaporn at Christian German School, Khun Jarm at The Children's Shelter Home, Patricia Cheesman from Studio Naenna and not forgetting "Khun Bell" and "Khun Ting" - the always cheerful and helpful girls at the Kad Suan Kaew Information counter. Thanks also go to Chotana Print Company and to Khun Vittawat Ruadrew of Microgenesis for their supreme patience in handling the many changes in equally panicky last minute artworks and print jobs. A big thank you also goes to Khun Luxami of Frangipani Serviced Apartments who provided complimentary accommodation for Dr Penguin's team.
Japanese dancers from Payap University
THE "SMALL WONDERS" PERFORMERS (The full programme can be seen here)
Without the voluntary and wholehearted support of the various schools and their students, nothing could have happened, and we are grateful to all those who took part, including: Chiang Mai Christian German School, The Children's Shelter Foundation, Joy's House Foundation, Nawattuphume International School, Payap University Japanese Department, Prem Tinsulanonda International School, Russian Ballet School, Santi Music School, Wichai Wittiya Bilingual School, & MIFA Music School
Captain Treetops & Dr Penguin making magic with an unsuspecting volunteer!
THE "BIG WONDERS"
We are indebted to "Dr. Penguin" and his son Ali (who worked back stage, but was finally 'levitated' on stage!) plus "Captain Treetops" who all travelled up from Pattaya to Bangkok (departing at 4am!) followed by a 12-hour journey by train in order to transport their heavy props and equipment. We are particularly grateful to Dr. Penguin whose 'Magic Medicine' and long theatrical experience finally brought discipline and technical expertise into our (very) shaky rehearsals, and averted disaster!
A special and heartfelt thank you also goes to the delightful Dang Fantastic and his wonderful musican friends, who not only provided us with a fabulous finale, but solved numerous problems with the hire of special equipment and backstage blips. Khun Dang - you really are fantastic! Another very special thank you goes to Khun Sutthinee Jitmart of Third Eye Travel who, when our scheduled Thai translator and MC inexplicably dropped out at the last minute, bravely took over the task with no previous experience, and saved the day. (No wonder Dr Penguin began calling her "Angel") We also sincerely thank Dr Thorsten Wollmann (piano) and Dr Pimonmas Wollmann (vocal) with the excellent "Village Vanguard Trio" featuring Khun Bundit Sittison (bass) and Matthew Fritz (drums) Last but not least, our thanks go to the Kad Theatre stage personnel, in particular to Khun Jarat, Khun Pat, and the team of technicians for their patience and assistance.
Jazz pianist Dr Thorsten Wollmann appeared with the Village Vanguard Trio and Dr. Pimonmas Wollmann
OTHER WONDERFUL PEOPLE
The following lovely folks either sponsored Baht 100 tickets allowing several hundred children to see the show, or otherwise made extra-special efforts to support us in time of need. We are grateful to them all, not only for their generosity and kindness but for the motivation to keep us repeating : The show must go on!
Student tickets were kindly donated by (in random order) Peter Diethelm and Annie Kenmore in the UK; Gil Sutherland & Joe Wiersma in London; Reg and Nennie Whatley in Cyprus; Lyman Duggan & Pat in Florida; Hanspeter Kappeler in Japan; Khun Dusit and Khun Achara Thammaraks (INTCO) Luzi Matzig (Asian Trails); Bert & Gisi Van Walbeek (The Winning Edge); Shane Beary (Track of the Tiger); Niki Prachensky (Siamese Traders); Michael R. Böder (Helfen Germany); Fred Perry; Michael Richter; Richard Colburn (Sterling Assets); "Khun M" in Bangkok; Joe Evans; Rene Fritschi (RPF Group); Eric Hallin (Rembrandt Hotel); David Hardcastle (Good Morning Chiang Mai) ; George Hooker (Larive Thailand); Khun Yut & Khun Aom (Earth Wind & Fire Company); Karen Low; John Wickenden; & Richard Shaw.
Invaluable assistance and encouragement of all kinds came from from (in random order) Wyndham Hollis (photographer) Khun Santi Saengtong (Santi Music School) David Baird & Khun Jurairat Narajit, Prem Tinsulanonda International School; Jane Nelson; Khun Asiyah (Natiryas Galleria); Marc & Luxami Dumur (Frangipani Serviced Residences); Celeste Tobias-Holland; Patricia Cheesman (Studio Naenna); Lars & Sabrina Magnusson (eTurboNews) & (Steve Yarnold (Hillside 4 Charity Rooftop Party) and Charles Begley (Tuskers Bar)
Delightful deaf mute children from the Children's Centre Foundation who can 'listen' to music 'with their hearts'