Kilu Music School

Playing Beethoven

Are you a parent in Thimphu? If so, have you grumbled that the city does not provide enough after-school activities, especially during the holiday season, for your children?

I have. I’ve often wished that Thimphu provided better opportunities to learn about art, literature, culture, religion, music and sports.  But, I, like most parents, haven’t got round to organizing any constructive activity that would keep our children productively engaged during their free time.

Not so, with the group of parents who, in 2005, decided to create opportunities for their children to learn music. And so they started Kilu Music School, a non-profit organization that is run by volunteers and parents. Support from donors – in cash, kind and sponsorship – help keep Kilu going. And, every year, they organize fund-raising concerts.

This year’s concert, held yesterday at the Taj Tashi, featured Frances-Marie Uitti, a renowned composer and cellist, and Kilu’s very talented teachers. And, of course, the students – they impressed their parents and guests with their singing, and their renditions of Rossini, Mozart, Bach, Beethovan and Linkin’ Park!

Druk Stars

Phurba Chencho

We were totally wrong.

Our poll predicted that Jangchub Choden would win the Druk Star contest. And that she would be followed by Jamphel Yangzom, Phurba Chencho, Sonam Tobgay and Chencho Norbu in that order.

In reality, yesterday, Jamphel Yangzom won the contest. She was crowned Druk Star, was declared the Voice of Drukyul, and drove off in a brand new Maruti Swift. Chencho came in second, followed by Sonam, Phurba and Jangchub.

We were completely off.

I’m happy for Jamphel Yangzom. And I’m happy for the other contestants who made it to the top 5. They’ve worked hard. And they’ve earned the adulation of the whole nation. Congratulations!

But I’m most happy for Phurba Chencho. He’s from Shari, a village of about 50 households in Haa. Before the competition, barely four months ago, he was a full time farmer tending to his cows, and preparing to plant wheat. He’d never been to school. And his singing was limited to impromptu performances during his neighbours’ chokus.

Phurba Chencho says that he’ll continue farming. But that he’ll take his singing a lot more seriously. Very good!

Photo credit: BBSC

Druk Star gazing

Bhutanese idol

We are divided on the question of Bhutan’s accession to the WTO. 40% of you answered “No” in the poll that asked “Should Bhutan Join the WTO?”, 37% replied “Yes”, and the rest said, “I’m still unsure”.

I’ll give my views on this important matter soon.

For now, we need to consider another important matter: Druk Star! After four months of music and entertainment, we are down to the final five contestants. One of them will be crowned Druk Star this Sunday.

Our poll asks the burning question: who will be the next Druk Star?