The Yeosu Gifted Youth Orchestra, in tandem with the Southern High School Manta Ray Band, filled the American Memorial Park stage last Wednesday night with music.
The orchestra featured dozens of student musicians from South Korea’s city of Yeosu, and the renowned Manta Ray Band. The Public School System and Yeosu Office of Education recently established a memorandum of understanding to establish a sisterhood relationship to promote educational and cultural exchange.
Wednesday night’s performance featured a joint concert with the Yeosu Orchestra and Mantas jointly playing the compositions Stars and Stripes Forever and Arirang.
Separately, the orchestra first wowed the packed crowd with compositions like Light Cavalry Overture, Yesterday, Gabriel’s Oboe, tunes from the Pirates of the Caribbean movie and Tears in Mokpo.
The Mantas, with their conductor William Dewitt, played Sinatra!, Land of Make Believe and other pieces.
Conductors for the Yeosu orchestra were Du-Sup Park and Sung-Won Kang.
Park said in an interview that he hoped to visit Saipan again soon. He said one piece they chose was a “very famous Korean song.”
“Everybody knows that piece,” he said, adding that they hoped to connect with the Korean community here, as the piece would remind them of their home country.
The Korean Association of Saipan facilitated the event.
Association president Hong Kyun Kim said they decided to do this because of the sisterhood relationship between Yeosu and the CNMI.
Yeosu performers have performed in the CNMI in events in the past, he said through a translator.
He said the Yeosu musicians are comparable to adult musicians.
“They are still in elementary and junior high school but their quality and their play of music is wonderful,” he said.