Some 48 students of the Yonsei Academy came together at the Pacific Islands Club’s Charley’s Cabaret on Sunday to play beautiful music and raise funds for the victims of Typhoon Haiyan in the Philippines.
The performances were stylistically arranged into the different periods of music history, such as the Baroque Period, the Classical Period, Popular Music & Hymns, Romantic Period, and Nationalism and Modernity.
Brian Youn kicked off the program with the high-stepping Pomp and Circumstance March No. 1 by Sir Edward Elgar, who is famous for his orchestral works. Other composers whose works were also highlighted at the concert were Johann Sebastian Bach, Johann Pachebel, Antonio Vivaldi, and Ludwig van Beethoven.
The Manta Band Trombone Ensemble, composed of Sarah A Young Kim and Da Hyun Hyun, also gave a special stage performance.
The last performance was held as a senior stage for Lica Ishida performing Franz Liszt’s La Campanella. She got a gold medal in 2013 at the Tumon Bay Music Festival in Guam and plays the flute with the Saipan Southern High School Manta Ray Band.
One of the student performers was Cloency Zuriel Chua, 16, who played the Prelude op. 23 No. 5 by Sergei Rachmaninov. His father, Celso Chua, said his son became interested in music when the first Harry Potter movie came out. He said his son, who was then only 6 years old, kept playing the movie’s intro on the piano. That’s when he knew that Cloency wanted to play music.
His son started taking music lessons from their Korean neighbors. A pianist at Mount Carmel High School then tutored him. Soon he moved to Yonsei Academy and came under the tutelage of teacher Young Mi Han.
Han said that Yonsei Academy is meant to “educate students with musical senses and help them express the beautiful musical world.”
“I hope I can take my students abroad for music solo competitions in America and Europe. It is important for students to have backgrounds therefore I want to help them with music,” Han added.
She said they decided to hold the concert “not only for the academy and my students but also for the typhoon victims in [the] Philippines.” That was the whole reason for the concert: “Helping other people through music.”
Han graduated from Gyeonsang National University with a bachelor’s degree in music education. She taught music for 13 years as a high school music teacher in Korea.
In 2002, Young came to Saipan and opened Yonsei Academy and established the Saipan Junior Choir. She then left for New Zealand and came back to Saipan in 2008, where she reopened and became the director of the Manta String Ensemble in 2009, when they became overall winners at the Tumon Bay Music Festival in Guam. (Jason Camacho)