British Council

Australian–Vietnamese artist and businessman Thanh Bui and the Soul Music & Performing Arts Academy and Trinh Cong Son’s Scholarship Foundation he co-founded have engaged in a strong partnership with the British Council. In the music education system he established, all certificates have strong connections with UK partners, underlining Thanh Bui’s belief in the UK.

Thanh Bui said he would never forget his first collaboration with the British Council Vietnam when he was invited to perform at the UK Alumi Vietnam Gala event in 2013. Soul Music & Performing Arts Academy (SMPAA) had also become the location for this special event in Ho Chi Minh City.

After this event, there were fresh collaborations between Thanh and the British Council. For example, a young artist from the UK named Rukhsana Merrise had a live performance on Soul Live Project stage in 2016 with Bich Ngoc Idol – a student studying at SMPAA.

The two singers quickly understood each other and performed well when on one stage. Thanh said: “My students at that time had turned from astonished to amused. The programme inspired and motivated them to develop themselves, especially when they knew Rukhsana Merrrise was a finance student who one day stopped her study and was determined to become a singer and gained success.

With Thanh, British Council support for Trinh Cong Son’s Scholarship Foundation is also a positive story. “Currently, Trong Nhan from Trinh Cong Son’s Scholarship Foundation has received an English scholarship from the British Council. And in the next three to five years, the British Council will continue to support 10 other students,” said Thanh. 

Thanh and the UK have enjoyed further quality collaborations. The most remarkable achievement is probably when SMPAA officially became the first training and examination centre in Vietnam for the world-leading music examination council Trinity College London in 2013 after one year in Vietnam. Since then, alongside with Trinity, SMPAA has also collaborated with other leading prestigious music and choreography examination councils in the world like Associated Board of the Royal Schools of Music – ABRSM, Imperial Society of Teachers of Dancing (ISTD) and National Association of Teachers of Dancing. SMPAA is also proud to be the first dancing examination council in Asia to be recognised by ISTD, taught by ISTD certified teachers.

Besides, Young Lyricíst students from SMPAA are also proud to be the first representative in Vietnam and the only representative in Asia to attend the world’s biggest choreography event organised by prestigious British choreography organisations at the Royal Albert Hall in London in 2017. And that was one of the desire to introduce Vietnam to the world through music and art performance of Thanh and Dr Alexander Tu 

Talking about his future plans, Thanh said that Asia Music & Performing Arts Education (AMPA Education), he founded, will provide thousands of rooms for primary schools in Vietnam to study music and train music teachers, especially in remote areas. This project started in Vinh Long province in the 2018 school year. 

With a strong relationship in the last five years with the British Council, partners from the UK and music and art education system founded by Thanh, young Vietnamese artists are well set for the future.