MUSIC OF BHUTAN
RESEARCH CENTER

BHUTAN
Executive Director


Kheng Sonam Dorji, M.M.
Sonam Dorji is a master musician, vocalist, and composer who plays several instruments native to Bhutan and India. Originally from the village of Kaktong, Zhemgang District, Sonam moved to Thimphu as a child and studied drangyen under the primary elders of Bhutanese folk tradition, including Aku Tongmi. At 15 he began composing his own songs and he soon gained fame on national radio. After high school he spent 10 years in India intensively studying Indian music and earned a master’s degree. He has also released a string of hit rigsar (Bhutanese pop) albums and composed the first-ever nationally broadcast song in Khengpa, his native language, which earned him the name “Kheng” Sonam Dorji. International audiences know Sonam through his soundtrack contributions to the acclaimed Bhutanese film, Travellers and Magicians (2004) and his appearances at the Smithsonian’s Festival of American Folklife in Washington D.C. (2008) and the BT River of Music Festival in London with Arun Ghosh for the 2012 Olympic Games. Sonam’s ultimate goals are to document the music of Bhutan and to preserve and nourish its indigenous musical culture.

Advisory Board in Thimphu

Dasho Shera Lhundup
Chief Executive Counsel, Syang Law Chamber

Tobgyel
Managing Director of Mila Communication

Karma Wangdi
Vice Principal, YHS

Tshewang Loday
Managing Director of Khuju Luyang



U.S.
Board of Directors in Santa Cruz, CA


Jane Hancock, President
Photographer and retired teacher

Janet Herman, Ph.D., Secretary
Independent folklorist/ethnomusicologist

Shelley Phillips, M.M. Treasurer
Executive Director, Community Music School

All three U.S. board members come from the world of music and education programming and have extensive non-profit experience. Ms. Hancock and Dr. Herman help create and distribute MBRC educational materials outside Bhutan and have conducted multi-media presentations on Bhutanese traditional music and culture in the U.S. and Europe to raise awareness of MBRC's mission.