CULTURAL POTPOURRI | Phoenix Cultural Exchange Foundation’s “My Classical Music for Peace” Concert

INDEED, as the Nuestra Senora de Musica Nenita Belda-Azarcon is wont to believe, there is one and only one extremely talented opera singer in Davao City who is remarkably of international calibre. Yes, the gifted Korean opera diva is none other than Miss Mee Hai Cho.

“MY Music for Peace” concert featuring Korean artistes (l-r): concert pianist Kim Eun Hee (seated),  jazz pianist Kang Yoon Sook, bassist Kim Sung Kwang, saxophonist Park Su Yong, drummer Min Ho, tenor Song Tae Wang, soprano Nam Hyun Joo

“MY Music for Peace” concert featuring Korean artistes (l-r): concert pianist Kim Eun Hee (seated), jazz pianist Kang Yoon Sook, bassist Kim Sung Kwang, saxophonist Park Su Yong, drummer Min Ho, tenor Song Tae Wang, soprano Nam Hyun Joo

It has been more than a decade since Mee Hai Cho last performed at the CAP Auditorium to a highly appreciative audience. I could still remember the coloratura soprano’s performance that time. She used her uncommonly wide vocal range to remarkable advantage. Her warm and gracious stage manner won the Davao audience immediately. The florid Kundiman she sang, despite her difficulty in mastering the Filipino lyrics, was rendered in a charming, restrained manner that left the listener with elation and warm feelings. But definitely, Miss Cho’s magnificence shone through with her interpretation of the works of the great classical composers. I became her instant fan, like the rest of Davao’s classical music aficionados. Lucky for me, for whatever reason, Miss Mee Hai Cho always chose me to emcee the handful of concerts featuring South Korea’s impressive artistes she had presented in Davao in the past.

     The opera diva is super stressed out since the beginning of the new year 2018.It’s been a long time since we last saw each other and I was so surprised when she suddenly called me up and arranged for us to have a meeting last at a cafe. The good news for Davao’s culturatti is that Miss Mee Hai Cho’s Phoenix Cultural Exchange Foundation, Inc. (PCEFI), in partnership with the Mango Radio FM station (102.7 for Davao and 91.5 in Zamboanga)is presenting a classical music concert entitled, My Music for Peace” scheduled this Feb. 20, 2018, at the Tropika Hotel’s Palmera Hall (by invitation only); and another one for Davao’s music lovers on Feb. 21 at 4 p.m. at SM Lanang Premier’s Atrium.

     “This concert will featureseventalented, professional artistes from South Korea who are all with good soloist virtues; and they attain authenticity by making the most of their considerable experience with opera, symphonies and orchestra music. Their musical experience have been acquired through years of extensive studies and training in the best music conservatories both in South Korea and Italy which only added to their passion in excelling in theirrespective field of specialization in music. These Korean artistes have been performing in numerous concerts in South Korea and abroad. Each of their performance is a showcase of their intense passion and devotion to classical music. They are all either active directors or professors of music academies in South Korea presently,” informs Miss Cho with pride.

OPERA diva, Mee Hai Cho

OPERA diva, Mee Hai Cho

     Performing for this special concert in Davao City for the first time are respected Korean artistes Song Tae Wang (tenor), Kim Eun Hee (concert pianist), Nam Hyun Joo (soprano), Park Su Yong (saxophonist), Kang Yoon Sook (jazz pianist), Kim Sung Kwang (bassist), and Min Ho (drummer).

   Mee Hai Cho, with great discipline and passion, earned her degree in Bachelor of Music major in Voice at the Seoul National University of South Korea. She then enrolled at the Roma Conservatorio S’Cecilia in Italy, Rome, where she acquired her Diploma in Voice. This opera singer performed in various musicales all over the world. She founded the Phoenix Cultural Exchange Foundation, Inc. in March 2001, with the goal of showcasing the rich culture and music of the people in South Korea and Davao City.

     The Mango Radio FM Station, on the other hand, is a Gospel-centered Christian Radio Network of the RT Broadcasting Specialist Philippines, Inc. which presently broadcasts through its FM radio stations in Metro Davao (FM102.7 mhz) and Zamboanga (FM 91.5 mhz) simultaneously. Mango Radio FM Station Davao uses the airwaves to communicate the love of God with inspiring, uplifting and encouraging music and messages in various live programs that run 17 hours daily from 5 a.m. until 10 p.m.

OPERA diva, Mee Hai Cho, in concert at the Marco Polo Davao

OPERA diva, Mee Hai Cho, in concert at the Marco Polo Davao

     “In this endeavour to help our two peoples move closer to one another in the pursuit of strengthening our Christian faith and cultural ties, I hope Davaoenos would spare some time to spend an afternoon with us listening to excellent classical music at the SM Lanang Premier this Feb. 21 at 4 p.m. It will be such an honour and truly an immense pleasure for us if you could join us in this wonderful opportunity to pray for peace in Mindanao,” invites the opera Diva in Davao, MissMee Hai Cho.

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