Photo Credits: Friendship Ambassadors Foundation, Inc.
In 2015, the band was officially named UNRocks, and comprises H.E. Simona Miculescu (lead singer), Ambassador Ib Petersen of Denmark (guitar), Ambassador Oh Joon of the Republic of Korea (drums), Ambassador Milan Milanovic of Serbia (guitar) and Ambassador Virachai Plasai of Thailand (guitar and keyboard). In December 2015, in commemoration of the United Nations 70th Anniversary, they released a new single, “Strong UN, Better World,” and recorded a new cover of Status Quo’s “Rockin' All Over the World,” with artistic direction from award winning composer Gary Fry.
After an inspiring performance at The Rhythms of One World International Choral Festival in celebration of the 70th Anniversary of the signing of the UN Charter "We the People" on June 26, 2015, the UNRocks Music Group is coming back to ignite people's hearts with the soft power of music.
The UNRocks Music Group, composed of the former Ambassadors of Denmark, Kingdom of Thailand, Kingdom of Tonga, Republic of Korea, Republic of Serbia, and the former Representative of UN the Secretary-General and Head of United Nations Office in Belgrade, step out of their usual roles ath the UN rostrum to bring us the joyful original single titled "Strong UN, Better World", which was derived from the taglind of UN70, the global celebration of the United Nations' 70th Anniversary.
Composed and arranged by Emmy Award-winning composer Gary Fry, with lyrics written by H.E. Mrs. Simona-Mirela Miculescu, former Ambassador of Romania to the UN, the single is produced in honor of the United Nations' 70 years of service and commitment to addressing the world's greates challenges.
The Drummer Ambassador Oh Joon, formerly to the Republic of Korea to the UN and now posted as Professor at Kyunghee University, expressed that "recording 'Strong UN, Better World' has been a particulary symbolic experience as this year is also the 70th Anniversary of Korea's Independence."
Ambassador Mahe 'Uli'uli Sandhurst Tupouniua, the percussionist who was former Permanent Representaive of Tonga to the UN remarked "The UNRocks Music Group is an expression of why the United Nations continues to exist after 70 yeasr; 193 Nations working together to make the world a better place and leaving no one behind." Ambassador Tupouniua is now the Secretary of Foreign Affairs to Tonga.
Ambassador Ib Petersen, the former PR of Denmark to the UN who is now the Assistant Secretary-General to the United Nations Population Fund said it was "great to be part of this special way of- through music commemorating UN at 70. 'Strong UN, Better World' is what it's all about has been since the beginning 70 years ago".
Ambassador Milan Milanović of Serbia to the UN expressed that "Music has the power to heal souls, create peace, and destroy hatred. It speaks louder than a thousand words and expresses things which cannot be said."
H.E. Simona- Mirela Miculescu, the Representative of the UN Secretary-General and Head of the UN Office in Belgrade mentioned that "The UN and its member states have utilized and will continue to pursue the power of arts to bring about a more interconnected world. Since music carries meaning for all societies, and crosses all borders, bringing people together, around shared aspirations for freedom, dignity, and peace, UNRocks thought of expressing and spreading the UN message in this way."
A great loss for the band was the recent passing away of Ambassador Virachai Plasai of Thailand lately posted from his position at the United Nations to Washington D.C. Not only was Ambassador Plasai the guitar and pianist, but he was a main organizer of the group from its startup and a proponent of it. His spouse always hosted with him the participants who attended- she was always present.
Once a year, the orchestra were honored to play for a special event organized by the International Association of Permanent Representatives onboard a yacht. The group furnished all the muscial entertainment for their colleagues at the UN. Ambassador Plasai recalled "The control room sent into my cans the rhythm of 'Strong UN, Better World' that we had just recorded, starting right before the empy instrumental sequence. I went through the fourth take of my solo almost instinctively, filling those bars with the sound and melody...".
Photo Credits: Society & Diplomatic Review
This group which was high-ranking dignitaries from all over the world, deeply cared and still do to send the message of peace and music worldwide.
Copyrights: Friendship Ambassadors Foundation Inc., Gary Fry/High Touch Music., SAE Institute of Technology New York, and YINAXIS, LLC.