History of the Program

Mahidol University’s Music Theatre program got its start during the annual Young Artist Music Program’s concert held August 13-15, 2009.  The concert was entitled "YESTERDAY ONCE MORE" and was presented in Mahidol University’s College of Music Auditorium (MACM).  The 3-day event featured the following program:

Thursday August 13, 2009                                                          
7:00 p.m.  Thai Music / Jazz / Guitar / West Side Story

Friday August 14,  2009                                                             
7:00 p.m.  Symphonic Band / West Side Story

Saturday  August 15, 2009                                                       
1:00  p.m. Thai Music / Jazz / Guitar / West Side Story     
7:00 p.m. Symphonic Band / West Side Story

Vocalists were featured in an abridged performance of the famous musical, West Side Story.  The musical was stage directed by Aj.Richard Ralphs, Principal of the Young Artist Music Program. The sold-out production was a success, praised by the university administrators and many distinguished guests in attendance.  The College of Music’s academic team acknowledged the importance of nurturing young people’s talent as singing-actors and decided to create a new department for Music Theatre.  

Music Theatre has always been Thai audiences’ favorite genre of live performance. Western influenced (Broadway – style) musicals came to Thailand during King Rama 6th’s reign and enjoyed instant popularity. Fortunately, music theatre has maintained that level of popularity with Thai audiences ever since.

In 2010, Dr.Sugree Charoensook, Dean of Mahidol University’s College of Music, opened the first Music Theatre undergraduate program in Thailand. In the beginning, the Music Theatre program was its own entity, separated from the existing classical voice program. The following year, Music Theatre merged with the classical voice department. After that, the administration decided the best solution was to allow Music Theatre to exist on its own, yet share resources such as teachers, stage directors and performing facilities.

Also in 2010, the first program in Music Theatre for pre-college students in Thailand was started.  It was the first time that the M.4 (1st Year) Young Artist Music Program students were able to choose training that emphasized classical voice study or Music Theatre. 
In 2013, the newly created Master of Music program, with an emphasis in Music Theatre, welcomed its first ever graduate students. 
In 2013, our Music Theatre program’s first year undergraduate students will use a new curriculum which is performance – based and focuses specifically on developing skills necessary for Music Theatre performance. Students take additional courses in Acting, the History of Music Theatre and Thai music theatre styles.

The 2013 annual Young Artist Music Program students will perform a series of four concerts that will highlight popular, light classical and music theatre selections written during the early to mid-twentieth century. The series of concerts features works by some of the 20th century's most outstanding composers, lyricists and playwrights.

Although Mahidol University’s Music Theatre program is a newly opened program, it provides vast opportunities for its students to perform both on and off campus. In 2013, students traveled to perform in distant provinces. Our productions receive excellent reviews from critics and press. Students in our program have received awards from international competitions.  Many of our students have opportunities to perform in professional and amateur Music Theatre productions throughout Bangkok.

Besides having Music Auditorium (MACM) as our current performance venue for fully-staged productions and student showcases, Mahidol University’s grand auditorium (2,040 seats) will be finished in December 2013. The new auditorium will be our new home beginning in 2014.  The College of Music plans to include a black box theatre inside its Southeast Asian Music Museum complex which will be finished in 2015.