Sengsouriya Phonkaseumsouk also known as Noi, a professional architect-turned singer, grew up in a musician family. Her father, Mr. Kidaeng Phonkaseumsouk , was a teacher and musician. Noi started playing "Khim" - a traditional Lao music instrument, at early age. She was the youngest member and the only "Khim" player of the Red Flower band to perform for the "International Children Day" in Russia. She took "Khim" with her when she went to Australia to study architecture in Melbourne.
On returning to Laos with a degree in architecture, Noi worked as an architect, but soon after found a new passion instead. Noi told VOA that…"One day I was having lunch with my friends and saw many school-age children, not in school but on the streets begging for money and left- over food to eat. I said to myself that I have to do something to help these children. It's not their fault, and why do they have to face this kind of situation on their own without their parents and any supervision?" And that eventually led Noi to found the "Sengsourigna Children Music and Cultural Center (SCMCC)," where she provides helps to needy children and teach them music and dance. Noi also took over the music school that her father started in 1982.
Noi's Sengsourigna Children Music and Cultural Center (SCMCC) is a non-profit organization. The goal of the center is to help many disadvantage school children around Vientiane City to learn about music and performing arts. Since its inception many years ago, Noi and her troupe had attended the 2005 Asia Pacific Youth Forum in Okinawa, Japan, and in November of the same year, performed at a Live Concert with the group Gypsy Queen in Tokyo in celebration of the 50th anniversary of Japanese-Lao diplomatic relations. The following year, in 2006, Noi has joined with Kita Ward Government of Japan, performing at a concert titled "Dream Stage for Asian Children." Since then, Noi has brought the Sengsourigna Children Music and Cultural Center (SCMCC) to a new height.
Noi is currently touring America to network among Laotian-American communities in traditional music and performing arts.
We'll bring to you the second part of our interview with Noi Sengsourigna in the near future. Stay tuned!
Listen to our audio files for more details.