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NO.396 05.09.2018

‘Huma Lecture Hall’ Transforms Itself into a Concert Hall

On Thursday, April 12, when light spring rain sprinkled the Seoul Campus accentuating the season’s flaunty elegance, excitement was palpable in lecture hall 507 of Cheongwoon Building. One hundred thirty seats were completely filled, but students continued to pour in to find standing room. They were gathering for ‘Lecture Hall Concert,’ the featured highlight of the new program called ‘Today in Orchestra.’

Humanitas College and the Seoul Symphony Orchestra (SSO) joined to offer a new program, ‘Today in Orchestra’, which brings the world of music into the university lecture hall. Students can attend SSO’s rehearsal sessions for their regular concert schedule, thereby getting a front row seat in the lives of musicians ‘here and today.’ Moreover, the members of SSO make class visits to offer ‘in-class concerts,’ and ‘Special Lectures on Concert Planning,’ giving voice to the musicians’ perspectives on their scheduled performances, which adds a unique luster to ‘Today in Orchestra.’

Humanitas College and SSO offer ‘Today in Orchestra,’ a joint Fine Arts Program
The ‘Today in Orchestra’ program began in June 2016, when Humanitas College and SSO signed an MoU for the Design and Implementation of an Elective Program, which garnered a sizeable attention as the first ever agreement that SSO entered into with an educational institution.

Seven members of the SSO joined this in-class concert with a program of ten pieces of music, varying in time and genres, from baroque and classical music of Handel and Mozart, to Romantic music of Borodin and J. Strauss II, as well as original soundtracks (OST) from films such as Schindler’s List and Beauty and the Beast the Disney animation. Professor Eun-Ah Cho of Humanitas College, who is also the academic advisor of the ‘Today in Orchestra’ program, provided artistic interpretation and pointed out segments deserving special appreciation, helping students to obtain a deeper understanding of the musical pieces.


More than musical appreciation, it offers a “musical experience felt by the entire body”
The performance did not end until an encore piece was played, followed by a Q&A session. Students asked questions about musical arrangement, musical expression, exchange of eye signals between musicians, use of dampers, as well as about the conductor, who left a lasting impression. In response, musicians provided detailed answers that the students could easily understand.

Joo-Hyun Lee (Journalism and Communication, ’15) expressed her appreciation. “Nothing was the same after learning so much before the actual concert. Not only did I listen to the pieces before the performance, but I also learned about the different characteristics of the instruments, their placement, and the role of the conductor.” Kyu-Min Kang (Journalism and Communication, ’13) also shared his pleasure. “I am so happy to have been given such a close access to such sophisticated musical experience on campus.”


‘Today in Orchestra’ helps to promote social understanding through orchestra
Professor Cho described the goal of the in-class concerts as following: “The program provides a rare opportunity for students to obtain a close access to musical experience, by feeling the reverberation of wooden instruments on their skin, and collaborative performance, by witnessing synchronized breathing, eye sight and body language among the performers.”

‘Today in Orchestra’ offers a series of lectures that are organically arranged to provide a glimpse into the real world of music. It illustrates how such a large and unique organization as orchestra is managed, and presents the evolution the musical genre called ‘symphony.’ The program is composed of many courses besides in-class concerts.

Professor Cho shared her perspective on how the program may help to foster social understanding. She said, “In an orchestra, while pursuing a unified and harmonious performance, each member’s unique character is kept alive. In this scene, the most important virtue is attentive listening. In orchestral music, there is equal respect paid to the fortissimos, the strongest voice, and the pianissimos, the softest voice. It is this concept that, I hope, will serve as an inspiration to students in how they should try to understand our society.” ‘Today in Orchestra’ is offered every semester.


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