Blind Musicians Take the Lead in this Thai Orchestra

Blind Musicians Take the Lead in this Thai Orchestra
Kritsada Thanyawanichapong, 16, a member of the Thai Blind Orchestra, practices cello prior to a rehearsal at a school for the blind in Lopburi province, Thailand, on May 12, 2016.
Kritsada Thanyawanichapong, 16, a member of the Thai Blind Orchestra, practices cello prior to a rehearsal at a school for the blind in Lopburi province, Thailand, on May 12, 2016.

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BANGKOK – In Thailand, some Buddhists view physical or intellectual disability as punishment manifested for wrongdoing in a past life. The Thai Blind Orchestra, made up of children as young as 9, hopes to help combat this perception through its musical training and performances.

Rungroj Yongrit, a photographer with the European Pressphoto Agency, spent time at rehearsals and performances with the members of the Thai Blind Orchestra, showcasing their talents and dedication.

The orchestra currently includes around 15 blind children, who learn traditional Thai songs and classical Western compositions. It was founded by Alongkot Chukaew, a classically trained musician who also runs the Thai Elephants Research and Conservation Fund in northern Thailand.

Chukaew, who teaches the young musicians to read music in Braille, said he hopes to enhance both their skills and their pride in who they are. – By Johnny Simon – Mashable

 

Images by Rungroj Yongrit – European Pressphoto Agency

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Kanya Phu-ard, 12, bursts into laughter during a rehearsal.
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Members of the Thai Blind Orchestra rehearse.
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Cholticha Iamvijit, 10, tunes a violin during a rehearsal.
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Cholticha Iamvijit, 10, rests under a chair during a rehearsal break.
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Members of the Thai Blind Orchestra practice with their cellos.
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Members of the Thai Blind Orchestra dress for a May 17 performance at a Rotary Cub charity event benefitting aid projects for the blind
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Musicians with the Thai Blind Orchestra hold on to each other as they are guided into a performance at a Rotary Cub in Bangkok.
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The Thai Blind Orchestra performs in Bangkok on May 17.
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