Korea 2014 - Voices of Joy at the 10th Annual World Choral Symposium: A journey in pictures

So let's talk about...KOREA! Here are my reflections after almost a month back in the States. 

First, the people. They are lovely. They have a respect for others, elders, and life in general that is unequaled in today's American society. The history of the Korean people is ancient and tumultuous, and its roots have survived thousands of years; that resilience is echoed in lives of its people. 

The landscape is beautiful - abundant with coastline and mountains alike. We stayed in Seoul with several day trips into the surrounding areas. Seoul is on the forefront of technology and a very safe place to live and work (see previous comments about the people). 


The food. Plentiful and exquisitely prepared...also not at all my thing. I had emergency gallbladder surgery four days before my trip and couldn't each much anyway, so it all worked out. Plain white rice became my new best friend.

The music. That's what we're all here for, right?! In addition to performing and conducting workshops at the 10th Annual World Choral Symposium held at the National Theatre of Korea, we also performed at the Camp Casey US Military base and a wonderful Korean Presbyterian Church (whose name escapes me right now). Eating at the sports bar on the Base and trying to sing along with familiar American praise and worship tunes being sung in Korean at the Church were our closest traces of home. 


One of the most poignant of our day trips was the Demilitarized Zone (DMZ). There, the memorialized tourist site is a cold reality of the still-divided peninsula and a reminder of loss for both Koreans and Americans. Many South Koreans will never find out what happened to their loved ones trapped on the other side of the border. Though the South Korean people remain hopeful their country will one day reunite, landmines still riddle the forests (relics from a war fought more than 60 years in the past) and there are still barbed wire fences and military outposts along the coast near the border due to the constant fear of Northern invasion.




One of my favorite experiences of the trip was the Taekwondo class and demonstration. This form of martial arts originated in Korea in the 1940's and is a combination of several different martial arts. Korean boys and girls start learning this in grade school and continue on and is practiced daily in the Korean military. 

Thus ends my journey! Feel free to comment, ask me any questions, and SHARE! As they say in Korea, kam sa hae yo!