About Us

Our Mission

To preserve and share the Thai culture with everyone, especially the children and younger generations, so they can enjoy and appreciate it for year to come.  We welcome those who would like to participate in this vision to come join with us.

Our Story

We are a group of families and close friends who share the same love for Thai music and dance.  Most of the musicians and dancers of the Chaopraya Ensemble have been performing together for more than 35 years.  Some of us are new but we share the same passion and goals.  When we get together for a jam session, we have a great time sharing tasty home cooked Thai food and music.

Here are some stories about how we became friends and a close-knit group.

The music director, Pilaivan Britton and Allan Swenson initially met in Thailand while Allan was serving in the Peace Corps.  They went their separate ways without any further contact for over 20 years when they both left Thailand.  It was music that brought them back together again when they happened to run into each other in Seattle. 

Teresa Snope is Pilaiwan’s daughter. She has been playing music with her mother since she was a little girl.  She studied with a Thai master musician when she was a teenager.  She has been playing music with her mother for as long as she can remember.

Busbong Sears met Pilaiwan in 2010 and asked her and the Chopraya Ensemble to perform at the Seattle Symphony’s Celebrate Asia concert, an annual event dedicated to the Asian communities in the Seattle area.  Busbong’s son, Nirun has been learning to play the drum and has performed at a few events.  Busbong and her son are now part of the ensemble as well as her husband Kevin Turner.

Busbha Moore is Busbong’s sister.  She is a singer for Chaopraya Ensemble and is the newest member.  She is also a wonderful cook!

Busarakham (Topaz) met Busbong while working with the ACT Theater on play about Ramayana.  Topaz is a professional traditional and classical Thai dancer and has been performing as a solo and group dancer at various community events for the past two years.   She also makes delicious Thai desserts.  We have posted photos of her sumptuous dishes on this website.

We perform together on request for a small fee at various cultural events in Washington state’s Puget Sound area.  We’re lucky to be able to do what we love with our family and good friends.

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