YONGSAN GARRISON, Republic of Korea (Dec. 27, 2012) -- U.S. Army Garrison Yongsan hosted a Korean-American Friendship Concert led by the Republic of Korea Military Symphony to strengthen the ROK-U.S. alliance and friendship through the power of music here, Dec. 20.
Frequently visiting other countries to perform, the National Military Symphony Orchestra is internationally known for its unique talents to fuse Western and Eastern styles. As to reflect its popularity, service members, families, civilians, Korean Nationals, retirees and Good Neighbors of Area II filled the Seoul America High School Auditorium.
Led by Capt. Bae Jong Hoon, the orchestra started off with the National Anthems of Korea and U.S.A. The musical team then presented a collection of songs, including New Arirang, Korean Folk song, Nella Fantasia and Time to Say Goodbye. Highlighting the sound of Korea, Korean Folk Song Suite for Tae Pyung So, a traditional Korean Instrument, drew a big cheer from the audience. Also various soloists showed off their musical talents.
"It feels different and good to perform in front of audiences composed of U.S. military service members and civilians," said Linda Park, a musical singer and professor at Suwon University. "I was initially worried they would react little differently, but it was an unnecessary concern. They cheered us with all their heart, and I feel honored and pleased. Tonight's performance proves that music is universal. We become one through music."
After the performance, Col. Michael E. Masley, garrison commander for U.S. Army Garrison Yongsan, presented a bouquet of flowers to the conductor and honorary coins to the soloists.
"It was a great performance," Masley said. "I am very grateful for the music they presented to us. I especially enjoyed the sound of Korean traditional instruments integrated into the western instruments. Events such as this one truly enhance the ROK-U.S. alliance."