June 18, 2015 | noon
By Lauren Pareigat ’08, Communications Specialist for College of Arts & Sciences
The Bethel Wind Symphony returned recently from a 12-day tour to South Korea. The ensemble had seven performances, including stops at Korea International School, Keimyung University, Korean Service Corps Battalion Church, Gyeongju First Presbyterian Church (one of the largest Presbyterian churches in the country), and Chuncheon MBC Open Air Theatre.
The outdoor concert included a performance with a youth orchestra from El Sistema, an international non-profit organization that uses music education to impact children in need in more than 50 countries, including South Korea. The El Sistema orchestra joined the Bethel Wind Symphony in playing Arirang, South Korea’s national folk song, and Beautiful Savior.
The Wind Symphony was well-received at each venue, but for conductor and Professor of Music Steven Thompson, the joy came when the Wind Symphony played Korean Fantasy: Rural Morning, by Dong Jo Kim. The song mimics animal sounds as they wake in the morning and features the use of traditional Korean drums and gongs.
A few highlights from experiencing South Korean culture included a Tae Kwon Do lesson from a master, palace tours, and attending a Miso performance. Miso is a traditional performance of dance, Korean drumming, and stylistic folk opera that includes incredible costumes worn by the performers. Students also spent several nights in host homes during the trip.
The Bethel Wind Symphony is Bethel’s premier wind instrumental ensemble and the group participates in all of Bethel’s major festivals and tours annually throughout the United States and every fourth year overseas.
See more photos from the trip on the Bethel music department’s Facebook page.