Ben on Tour

Korea Master class - 1999

On invitation from my friend and former student at the Amsterdam Conservatorium, Hong Hyun Choi, I flew on July 31 with a KLM airplane full Korean people to Seoul, South Korea.
 A very long and energy taking 9-hour flight to the other side of the globe.
On Seoul airport, Choi and another former student of mine, Mr. Yeon were waiting for me. In the evening Mr Lee joined them and it was great to see all three of them again.

It was raining cats and dogs in Seoul and they told me a Typhoon was coming in our direction, what a great start.
Choi and Yeon took me to a very nice restaurant to have my first real Korean meal. Many will follow! Choi speaks English and Yeon German so it was a real Babylonian conversation but very cosy.

After the lunch we drove to the Kwangwon province where the workshop was aking place. A very nice building surrounded with trees in the mountains, a river flowing in front of us.
After two days of heavy rain the weather changed into typical Korean warm and very humid weather.
I was to give a master class during the Seoul Trombone Ensemble summer camp. The STE exist of 45 young Korean trombonists and 12 teachers. The students are divided in high school and university students. All very nice people who were very eager to learn as much as possible from me.

Every morning I started with a one hour warm up session with all the students and teachers, working on breathing, tone quality, slide exercises, scales and lip flexibility.
After this session I had to give private lessons for two hours, always translated by a teacher or one of the students who speaks very good English, Ms Hong.
In the afternoon I had another session of private lessons.
The level was very high, especially the embouchure and slide technique were very good taucht to the students. I had to work mostly on the breathing technique and I was very happy I had some wonderful results during this period on this matter.

The evening started with an open lesson with a piano player and after that a trombone ensemble rehearsal.
After working on intonation and interpretation the ensemble of university students started to sound better and better.

During our 9 days period in the summer camp I also made some very nice trips sight seeing the beautiful Korean landscapes. Choi drove me everywhere and this made my visit extra worthwhile. One of the highlights for me during these two weeks in Korea was the delicious Korean kitchen. Wow, what a wonderful, diverse and above all healthy food these people eat.

In the beginning of the workshop there was some distance between the students and myself, probably due to culture differences but after the first week and our great party, with some Karaoke, we came closer to each other day after day.

On the 9th day we left for Seoul, the students by buss and the teachers by car. During our journey I had the change again to enjoy the beautiful sights the Korean country gives.

The last four days I stayed in a hotel down town Seoul. We had to give a concert at the Jonsei University. A very big campus, a nice classical department with a small concert hall where we had our rehearsal and concert.

Teachers from left to right
Yong-Jun Choi,Jae-Man Bae, Jong-Man Park, Seung-Young Song, Cheol-Woong Lee, Sang-Kyun Back, Ben van Dijk, Hong-Hyun Choi, Jeong-Hyun Park, Young-Jun Park, Chun-Heum Yeon, Un-Seong Kim
Mr. Sang-Kyun Back and I conducted the ensemble in a very divers program and I played the Blue Topaz bass trombone concert by Tommy Pederson with the ensemble. The concert was very well received and I felt like a pop star after the concert, signing program books and trombone cases.

Mr and Ms Choi and two very nice students showed me some of the nicest places in Seoul.
 A beautiful old castle, museum and the most beautiful open-air museum I ever saw.

Of course they didn’t forget he Korean kitchen and Ms Choi and Ms Han cooked me the most wonderful meal of the whole trip.

The trip was such a big success; they invited me back for the next season. This time together with my friend Michel Becquet. I hope this will be possible with both our agenda’s.
For me this period was one of the high lights in my career.

Thanks Mr. Choi, thanks Seoul Trombone Ensemble, thanks Korea for this new experience.

Published Sep 17 1999, 02:16 PM
Filed under:


No Comments

Leave a Comment


About Administrator

Bass trombonist of the Rotterdam Conservatory "Codarts" Ben is professor at the Rotterdam Conservatory "Codarts. He plays exclusively "Thein" tenor-bass and contrabass trombones.
Ben on YouTube Ben on Facebook Ben on MySpace Ben on iTunes Powered by Community Server
Copyright © 2009 Ben van Dijk