Anchor: An orchestra comprising both disabled and nondisabled members held its first concert on Thursday at the Seocho Culture Center in southern Seoul. KBS was there to capture the moment.
Our Bae Joo-yon has more on the special event.
[Sound bite: Seocho Hanwoori Wind Orchestra performing]
A solemn melody is played as instruments release their unique sounds while simultaneously working in harmony to not overpower each other.
The musicians’ touch and breath become one.
Eighteen-year-old Kang Song-kang, who has been suffering with a developmental disability since she was a child, says she is the happiest when she’s on stage.
[Sound bite: Kang Song-kang – member of Seocho Hanwoori Wind Orchestra (Korean)]
“Hello. My name is Kang Song-kang. I go to Bundang Jungang High School and I play the flute. It was nice to tune my flute with the sound of other instruments. The flute makes a pretty sound.”
The Seocho Hanwoori Wind Orchestra is made up of 15 people with developmental disabilities and five nondisabled people.
The orchestra’s music director, Lee Hyun-joo, says she hopes that through music, disabilities can be overcome and prejudices will disappear.
[Sound bite: Lee Hyun-joo – music director of Seocho Hanwoori Wind Orchestra (Korean)]
“You know that accompany means walking together, side by side. We in this orchestra are walking together toward the same goal based on a shared dream.”
Kang’s mother, Kim Myung-hwa, says it means a lot to her family that her daughter, though belatedly, came to be a part of the orchestra.
[Sound bite: Kim Myung-hwa- mother of Kang Song-kang (Korean)]
“I first had Song-kang learn piano with hopes that she would be able to express herself better with words by communicating with music. On top of enjoying playing music, I hope that the members will be able to have a lifelong vocation with this music. I realized that following my daughter to where she wants to go led to dreams coming true. On the way to realizing dreams, good things happened and I felt we were given gifts on each road we took.”
The Seocho Hanwoori Wind Orchestra is again set to mesmerize audiences as it has been invited to perform in a concert marking preparations for the PyeongChang 2018 Olympic Winter Games.
Bae Joo-yon, KBS World Radio News.