THE Korean Traditional Marching Band wowed southerners who filled the Southern Academy for the Performing Arts (SAPA) on Wednesday night for a concert, in spite of the bad weather.
The audience was invited to express its appreciation during the performances and was even taught a few Korean expressions, which they used liberally for the band’s two-hour performance.
In the very interactive session, audience members' comments about the recital were also invited.
They noted the similarities between the samdo suljanggu, an hourglass-shaped drum, which started with a slow rhythm and picked up speed as it ended, to the tassa and TT’s rhythm sections.
Exposed to this form of culture for the first time, the audience also commented on the spirit, energy and passion of the musicians, who later joined CAL Skiffle Bunch for a dynamic grand finale.
Korean Ambassado Moonup Sung lauded the relationship the two countries enjoyed and pledged to foster closer relations using culture as a tool.
He said there is a lot the two countries could learn from each other as he noted the cultural similarities at the Resonance of Korea performance featuring the band, which was established in October 2008 as a non-profit organisation. The band’s mission is to inherit, revive and preserve the Korean cultural performing arts and to bring cultural diversity and enrichment to the countries in which it performs.
The ambassador said he was impressed with the southern audience, which left few seats vacant in the SAPA auditorium, in spite of the rain
San Fernando mayor Junia Regrello echoed the ambassador’s sentiments, while hailing Korea as one of the most technologically advanced societies in the modern world.
“Coupled with a deep respect for its cultural past, there are many lessons to be shared between our two nations.
“The ability of the citizens of Korea to embrace the budding internet after the Asian market turbulence of the late 1990s, and adjust their culture to suit, represents one of the greatest Cinderella stories of our time. By adapting their culture and embracing change, the Republic of Korea invested heavily in their human capital to have achieved one of the best standards of living in South East Asia."
He said the city of San Fernando had much to learn, "with a perfect example being the Silicon Valley of Korea, Pangyo Techno Valley.”