Asia #9 Concert in the slum of Bangkok

On Tuesday we got a glimps of the hard reality under the surface of Bangkok. We went out in the slum and played a concert for and with kids living in the slum - litterarely speaking. But some of these kids have been tought playing both the violin and cello by the fantastic Solveig Johannesen, which has been living together with her no less fantastic husband Dag Johannesen in Bangkok for 11 years. Dag as a pastor and Solveig running her own music school at The Immanuel Church/"Home of Praise". "Home of Praise" is a kindergarden and an activity-center which lies under the highway in the slum of Kling Toey in Bagkok. In this slum-area there lives 300.000-400.000 people. "Home of Praise" is a kindergarden during the day for kids between 6 months and 3 years. 30 adorable kids attend it today. In the afternoon the house opens its doors up to everybody and offers different activities like for exemple violin-playing, art, computers, english. It is run by "The Norwegian mission Society".

Before we came to where the concert was to be held we had a mini-mini concert for some school kids from the Immanual Day Nursery at the Immanuel Church.





Then we were taken around the neighbourhood and shown the devestateing images of what kids and elder people has to refer to as "home".




And finally we got to meet the kids at "Home of Praise" - and fell completely in love with them, who wouldn´t! Bjarne had a small work-shop with them, rehearsing Humoreske by Dvorak, Kanon by Pachelbell, Bach double concert in d-minor and the Elephant song - a very famous Thai kids-tune! Aksel and Bjarne opened the concert with some duo-repertoire. The kids AMAZED us with their play and will and eager to learn. All of a sudden, we all forgot what was hidden outside the walls of the house - the slum and devestateing everyday tragedies. Inside the house there was just pure love, music and children´s laughter...















And then began the unforgettable concert with the kids








Watch the video from the concert here:



Here is some information about two of the amazing people working at "Home of Praise".

In 1999 Dag started to work on establishing the congregations work and establish the activity-center "HOP" in the slum of Klong Toey (Nong Mai-district) From 2001- 2005 he worked as a pastor in the Immanuel Church. Since 2004 he has been the Norwegian Mission Company´s representative in Thailand and the Mekong area. He is responsable for all 16 missionaries and their families in addition to supervise all projects with local churches in Thailand and neighbour countries.

Solveig has her education as an organist, pianist, choir instructor and a music teacher from the music conservatoires in Stavanger and Bergn in Norway. She has managed to turn the "Hope of Praise" into a music-school for children where she teaches violin, cello and piano. Some of her students have already been accepted in different music conservatories, and she has so many great talents that we are sure to see in the future in grand concert scenes - thank´s to the wonderful and impressive work Solveig is doing for kids in the slum area of KlingToey.

The history of Café de Concert

Café de Concert began a few days before the 19th of June 2003 when Aksel Kolstad together with a colleague performed live on Midt i Musikken, a classical music program on NRK radio P2. During the program, the trial concert was announced, to be held at Kastanjen restaurant on Bygdøy Allé in Oslo.
Read more...

Visit the old Café de Concert media centre HERE

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