This Sunday, June 29, The Melody of Hope concert will take place at the 2000-seat El Camino College Marsee Auditorium in Torrance. Musicians from the Christian Television System (CTS America) and El Camino College will come together to perform.
“We are helping the homeless, and a couple of families who are financially unstable and have a family member with a disability, with one-hundred percent of our [proceeds] through… the Well Mission. We hope that through this concert, we can share the hope and love that we received from the people around us,” stated Dr. Andrew Park, conductor of the CTS String Chamber Orchestra, in an interview with JSR.
Special guests, Joyce Yoo Jin Noh and Seung Won Choi, will each perform a special piece at the concert. Noh, a pianist, will be performing Edvard Grieg’s Piano Concerto alongside the CTS String Chamber Orchestra and the El Camino College Orchestra under the direction of Dane Teter. Choi, a tenor vocalist, will be singing “Nella Fantasia” and “Panis Angelicus” accompanied by the CTS String Chamber Orchestra, El Camino College Orchestra, and the CTS womens’ and iDream choirs.
Noh is a blind pianist who studies under Conductor Park. She will soon be finished with her Doctoral degree at the New England Conservatory in Boston.
“I cried many many times when I taught Joyce. The work that she did… she sat for hours and hours and she practiced. She has to spend so much time to read braille music. It takes Joyce about six months to learn a really long piece, unlike professional pianists who only take about one month. Because she was unable to see my hand position, I had to place my hands on top of hers so that she could feel my muscle movement,” said Dr. Park.
The Grieg Concerto is an extremely challenging piece for professional pianists because it features many jumps between notes.
Choi, the other featured performer, contracted polio when he was very young and nearly gave up hope because he was having a hard time trying to walk. His teacher challenged him to try opera singing. Choi competed in the Metropolitan Competition in New York and received the first place prize.
“When I called him over to be a guest singer for our concert, he gladly accepted [because] he was excited to share the hope that he received from people when he felt the most helpless,” said Park.
According to Park, “This is my honor and pleasure even to come here and prepare. I get happiness when I give something to people… bigger happiness than when I receive something.”
Park continued, “It makes me feel good and I’m thankful and grateful to work along with these musicians who jumped to say yes when I invited them. We are all together to help the disabled [and] our partnership tripled our ability to help the people. We all share the same vision and I think we all feel the same way about helping people.”