By Pfc. Lee Min-hwiMay 28, 2008
YONGSAN GARRISON, Republic of Korea Aca,!" Yongsan kicked off summer early with a block party at the Main Post Club Saturday.
Organized by Yongsan's Directorate of Family, Morale, Welfare and Recreation, the Bash featured various contests for youth and adults, Korean entertainment, jazz and hip-hop performances along with vendor booths.
"It is a summer of fun and enjoyment. So, we wanted to start with some really good music and entertainment for the Soldiers and their families," said Mario Farrulla, supervisory recreation specialist. "I hope everyone who came here enjoyed today's features."
The Bash kicked off with a powerful performance that combined Korean traditional culture called "Kag-sul-ee," meaning a singing beggar, and recent Korean pop songs. Other Korean groups performed famous American pop songs.
One of the best performances was the Qades Jazz Orchestra. Park Sun-hwan is a veteran jazz singer who has been performing for more than 20 years.
"I believed that it would be a perfect opportunity to introduce this jazz band to foreigners in Korea. It was the very first time that this band performed like this, and it was very successful," Park said.
The Qades Jazz Orchestra's performances impressed 1st Lt. Carlos Moura, 19th Military Police Battalion, who was celebrating his 12th wedding anniversary with his wife, Ana. Park accepted Moura's request to play a special performance for their anniversary, "Fly me to the Moon," a song covered famously by Frank Sinatra and Tony Bennett in the 60s.
Moura said, "I enjoyed every moment today. Especially when the jazz band came out; we really loved the performances. I thought it would be a good idea to ask for a special song, and it was very wonderful."
The Bash also featured contests such as hula-hoop and limbo. The hip-hop Korean group Blood Shed Beatz performed the final concert of the day before prize drawings were announced.
Chief Warrant Officer Janice Harrison was the grand prize winner, taking home two round-trip airplane tickets to anywhere in Korea. Staff Sgt. Quinones Jasson won a cell phone.
"The entertainment was really great today, "Jasson said. "The kids enjoyed drawing and other games. It was fun for the kids and fun for the family."
In the spirit of the Good Neighbor Program, a local private organization, People to People, New Seoul Chapter, donated 5.6 million Won - about $5,300 - to help defray the cost of the Bash.