The second Saturday in the second week of January, every year, is set to be a national Children’s day of Thailand. Government sectors, Private sectors and schools annually hold activities for children on this day.

     An important activity for juvenile is a student bands contest for the King’s cup. The band is in the same style as a military band. The King’s cup represents a great honour and the best performance of the band.

     The first contest was held in 1981 and, then, called a music contest. The objective was to encourage juvenile to fully present their musical ability. This supportive policy urged schools Nationwide to pay more attention on music classes for juveniles and, also, to provide more practice to improve skills on arrangement, training, systematic coordinating and teamwork. These activities help improving juvenile’s musical basis, patience and discipline.

     Department of physical education, Ministry of education is responsible for the student bands contest. The place for the contest is Supachalasai National Stadium. The contest is held 3-4 days before Children’s day.The three bands that are finalists have to perform there. The winner is awarded the King’s cup.

Since the first contest in 1981, the band which have won the King’s cup are;

  • 1981 Band from Suan Ku Lab College
  • 1982 Band from Khon Kaen College
  • 1983 Band from Monte Forte College
  • 1984 Band from Monte Forte College
  • 1985 Band from Mont Forte College
  • 1986 Band from Wat Makut Kasat School
  • 1987 Band from Monte Forte College

In 1988, the contest was divided into two categories in order to allow all-female bands to participate the contest. Since then, the winners are;

  • 1988 Band from Ratchasima College
                             Band from Dara College (Female)
  • 1989 Band from Monte Forte College
                                             Band from Sanguan Ying School (Female)
  • 1990 Band from Monte Forte College
                            Band from Dara College (Female)

In 1991, the student bands contest was, again, divided into three classes; Class A for King’s cup, Class B for HRH(His Royal Highnest) Crown Prince’s cup, Class C for HRH Princess Sirinthorn’s Cup.

     The criterion of the contest in class A, B and C are;

1. Number of band’s members Class A: 50-55 members
  Class B & C: 40-45 members
2. Sex Class A & B: The band’s member can be consisted of both male and female
  Class C: All female member in the band
3. Thai Song Class A: Tao Song
  Class B: Intro song
  Class C: Two-steps song
4. Associated performers (Flag unit) Class A: Not more than 25 performers
  Class B & C: Not more than 15 performers

The musical performances in the contest are in 2 types;

  1. Sit & Play : 15 minutes performance. Two compulsory are
    1. Song Written by the King of Thailand
    2. Classical Thai song

    Others can be either western style or King’s written songs. Unlimited numbers of songs but the show must complete within 15 minutes.

  2. March & Play: This deployed performance takes 12 minutes. Compulsory songs are the “Sporting Symphony” and “Thai Military Bank March”. Optional songs can be either western style songs or the King’s compositions. The show must not last more than 12 minutes.

Since 1991, Student bands which have won the contest and obtained the King’s Cup are;


Class A: Wat Suthi Wararam School

  Class B: Pi Mai Wittaya School
  Class C: Suranaree Wittaya School and Wathanothai Payup School are joint-winner

Class A: Monte Forte College

  Class B: Assumtion Lumpang School
  Class C: Wathanothai Payup School
1993 Class A: Rajwinit Bang Kaew School
  Class B: Bureerum pithayakhom School
  Class C: Wathanothai Payup School
1995 Class A: St. Dorminic School
  Class B: Hor Wang School
  Class C: Reiyee Nachelee College
1996 Class A: Sarasit Pithayalai School
  Class B: Sara Wittaya School
  Class C: Sanguan Ying School
1997 Class A: Assumption Sriracha School
  Class B: Tepbadintara Wittaya School
  Class C: Chaleomkwan Satree School
1998 Class A: Dara Samut College
  Class B: Rajvinit matayom School
  Class C: St. Frances sevres Convent School
1999 Class A: Rajwinit Bang Kaew School
  Class B: Maha Wajiravut School
  Class C: Wathanothai Payup School

     The student bands contest which Department of physical education has been continuously holding since 1981, and received royal kindness from the King to give the King’s cup to the winners, has enormously supported a great development in Thai music affairs. Besides, schools are paying much more attention in training their young resources for the country. Thai juveniles’ musical capabilities have been shown at international level and have won so many trophies. It began with the Monte Forte College band from Chiang Mai province, and the latest is the band from Dara Samut School from Chonburi province who has also won the international contest.

Translator : Aketawan Manowongsa
11 June 2000
Translation Service
Khanob Thai Co.,Ltd.