Lovely evening of Korean sounds

The event featured an all female group Queen, a Korean traditional music group that promotes traditional Korean music with a contemporary twist.

In his welcome address before the start of the concert, Korean Ambassador Dooyoung Lee told the audience that each of Queen’s concerts aims to highlight the aspects of traditional Korean song and dance. He said: “I believe culture is one of the most effective ways for the people to understand each other well.” Lee said of the group: “Each of them plays unique, traditional Korean instruments with harmonies originating from both East and West.” Queen has been invited to perform in 20 different countries.

Lee said he hopes his Trinidadian friends, having been exposed to the groups music, will acquire a better understanding of the Korean culture and heritage through a more relatable and modern perspective.

“Likewise, I do hope that such an understanding will serve to further strengthen and promote the friendship and cooperation between our two countries in the years to come.” Dressed in traditional Korean wear, Youlee Lee on the haegeum, a traditional Korean string instrument, Ahreum Lee on the gayageum, a Korean board zither, Goeun Jeon on the janggu (drum), and Hyekyung Kwon on daegeum, a bamboo transverse flute, danced as they played their instruments over an up-tempo track. It was a dramatic start to a lovely evening of Korean sound and dance.

Ahreum Lee remained on stage for an interesting gayageum sanjo (gayageum solo), then came Yunju Ha to do a vocal solo Sijo - hwangjinlee. Over tracks and based on a Korean poem with animated visuals in the background, it was hauntingly beautiful.

Youlee Lee then played the familiar You Raise Me Up on the haegeum and the audience readily related to it.

The full ensemble returned centre stage and with vocalist Yunju Ha delivered another song familiar to the audience, You Are My Everything, from a Korean drama film Descendants From The Sun.

From the very first bar of the song the crowd reacted favourably.

Complemented with scenes from the film in the background, loud cheers came at the end of the song.

The ladies followed with an equally entertaining performance of Queen’s Arirang, getting the audience to clap along to the uptempo piece before the group closed the first half of the concert with Beautiful Korea, moving gracefully throughout their performance and leaving the crowd wanting more.

Indeed more came in the second half, this time though, with K-pop music.

For this half, the group changed outfits to pleated short skirts, fitted tops, tall socks and sneakers/high heels.

Lee, Jeon and Kwon showed off their dancing skills during their delivery of their K-pop medley of 21st century Korean songs.

Another outfit change saw the group in white fitted tops and frilly, red, pink and fuchsia skirts, delivering Spring of Queen. The next item elicited loud applause.

The Queen ensemble was highly entertaining with their playing of Mission Impossible and Vivaldi: The Four Seasons - Winter Ballad.

The group and vocalist Ha then entertained with Queen’s Melody and Gangwondo Arirang before they launched into Trini to D Bone, by David Rudder and Carl Jacob.

As that track began, hands started clapping and, with Youlee Lee and Kwon taking the lead on their instruments, the crowd sang in measured tones.

The lead singer tried to get them to sing into her microphone but they chose to remain as they were. However the performance evoked the loudest and most sustained applause of the evening.

Encouraged by the reaction, Queen returned for a lagniappe and, at the announcement of Gangnam Style as the final song, the crowd roared with approval.

Towards the end of the performance the group put down their instruments and did the dance to the song.

The crowd loved it and rewarded Queen with some more loud cheers.


"Lovely evening of Korean sounds"

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