Domingos and I were invited to go to the Korean Ministry of National Defense Military Band concert last night. This band is the premier military band of the South Korean military, and it showed in an exceptional, polished, varied performance. Unfortunately, I wasn’t able to take any photos or video during the concert.
There was a fantastic traditional Korean drum performance (here’s a much more involved performance from the Royal Edinburgh Military Tattoo), a traditional concert band selection, multiple singers (some were apparently quite well known and popular), and an orchestra, as well as a few other traditional Korean music performances. Oh, and some sort of opera/musical drama that seemed to be about the assassination of a Japanese official. Here are some of the pages from the program:
I was delighted when I sounded out the Hangul at the top and realized it said “Puh-roh-guh-raim”; also, the last syllable of the Mussorgsky selection is the Korean word for “night,” “pahm” – one guess what that piece was!
After the concert, we were invited to the VIP reception, and as we were walking there, a very nice young man introduced himself to us as Captain Yang, a band officer and conducting doctoral student. He took us under his wing for the entire reception, helping with introductions and explaining what was going on during the many speeches. I liked him right away because he introduced himself to me – I’ve learned pretty quickly that many of the Korean men meeting my husband slide their eyes right past me as if I don’t exist, and I’ve already told Domingos not to force an introduction upon them and me since it’s clear it’s an awkward, unwanted situation.
I’ll leave you with two random photos from an Insadong trip last weekend that didn’t warrant their own blog post. We found a fabulous dumpling place that we had to stand in line for – totally worth the wait!