Korean musicians, Manta Band to hold concert for London trip

Posted on Nov 18 2011

Over a hundred students from Global Education Oriented School in Korea will join forces with Saipan Southern High School’s Manta Band in a July 2012 concert that will raise funds for the Saipan band’s trip to the 2012 London Olympic.

GEO School principal Seo Kwang Yul and SSHS principal Jesse Tudela disclosed this to Saipan Tribune Thursday during the schools’ first cultural exchange program on island.

Amazed by the talent demonstrated by the Manta Band during the whole-day celebration, Yul, who is also his school’s music director and conductor, sealed the concert agreement with a donation of $2,000 to the band’s fundraising account.

Manta Band music director William DeWitt described the Korean school’s offer as truly generous.

“That’s fantastic. It sounds really generous of them and way beyond what is expected. We’re very grateful for all the help from our friends from Korea,” he told Saipan Tribune.

DeWitt and his group entertained their visitors, composed of 18 high school students, during the program that was also highlighted by the musical talents of the GEO School students.

Among band’s performances were pieces that they will play at the Olympics next year, including the popular We Are The World by Michael Jackson.

“We know we have a lot of improving to do and we are really working hard. Considering that we’re only two months in the rehearsal and preparations, we really appreciate their compliments. We just love to share our music even we are in the preparation process,” DeWitt said.

Over 40 students and eight chaperones will travel to the Olympics next year.

On Thursday, GEO School Yul expressed willingness to make the cultural exchange with SSHS an annual event.

Since Oct. 30, 18 of their students have been shadowing their local counterparts, attending classes and participating in all activities. This week, another batch of eight students will be on campus to continue the cultural exchange activities until Dec. 2.

Yul told Saipan Tribune that he first visited Saipan 10 years ago and fell in love with the island. He said he wants to bring his students and friends here so they could also experience the serene beauty of the island and its warm and hospitable people.

Both Yul and SSHS principal Jesse Tudela credited JP Entertainment president Jun Park for arranging the details and logistics of the students’ travel. Park also vowed to bring a big contingent to the upcoming concert in July.

Tudela said the Manta Band’s collection for their London trip has already reached $20,000. The band needs to raise a total of $300,000.

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