WVPE's Kent Fulmer spoke to the Elkhart Co. Symphony conductor about a concert scheduled for Saturday.
(A transcript of the interview is below.)
- KENT: You’re listening to 88.1 WVPE. I’m Kent Fulmer and we have a special guest on the phone this morning. We’re talking with Soo Han, who is the new conductor of the Elkhart County Symphony Orchestra. We’re getting ready for his very first concert as the conductor of the orchestra, is that correct?
- SOO HAN: Yes. Thank you so much for having me Kent and hello to you.
- KENT: Kind of a big event coming up this weekend, correct?
- SOO HAN: Yeah. This has been a long time coming. Our musicians have worked so hard. Actually, we’ve been working on this for the last couple of months. The recording itself was actually produced towards the end of January and we’ve spent a good amount of time since then in post-production and bringing this concert together virtually.
- KENT: I love the theme you’ve chosen for the concert. The Concert of Hope, Reflection and Joy. Tell me about that theme.
- SOO HAN: When it became very clear that we needed to figure out a way to make music together, not just for the musicians in the orchestra, but also for the community, we talked about how we wanted this concert to look and feel and when we were talking about designing a concert, we kept coming back to what are we trying to share with our community? And what are we feeling and what do we want to express? And these three words kept coming to us. Words of hope, reflection and joy. And that there’s a lot of hope in the tragic year we’ve all experienced and, of course, there still remains a lot of hope moving into the future. It looks like we’re headed towards the right direction, but we can’t ease up. So, there’s certainly a lot of that. But there’s a great amount of reflection because during this past year…during the pandemic…we’ve lost a lot of family members that we’ve reflected, but we’ve also grown individually and as a community and as a family and I know I have grown a lot and have had a lot of chances to reflect and just reassess all the important things that matter to us as human beings.
- KENT: Now…I understand that you have a special guest joining the orchestra this weekend.
- SOO HAN: Absolutely! We are so excited to be collaborating with Third Coast Percussion, who is a Grammy Award winning percussion ensemble. They are based out of Chicago and they are brilliant performers and it’s so exciting to hear them play but also just incredible human beings, as well.
- KENT: Are there songs that people might recognize as part of your program?
- SOO HAN: Oh, absolutely! The piece that we’re performing with Third Coast Percussion is a piece called 'Selene' by Augusta Read Thomas, who is a brilliant American female composer. Her writing is so imaginative and creative and it’s for the percussion ensemble and actually only features a string quartet from our orchestra and so, it’s very possible our listeners may not have heard that piece, but our listeners will definitely recognize many other pieces We’re opening up our entire concert with Copland’s 'Fanfare for the Common Man' and we’re also closing with Aaron Copland’s 'Appalachian Spring.' Both beautiful tunes.
- KENT: Absolutely, and so reflective of the message of hope, reflection and joy. Now Soo, the concert is going to be this Saturday…. What time?
- SOO HAN: At 7:00pm and it’s going to be a virtual concert presented by one of our corporate sponsors, Conn-Selmer, and our listeners can go to https://www.elkhartsymphony.com and register and the concert is free to everybody and anyone who wishes to join us. It is going to be part pre-recorded but part of it is also going to be live and we’re going to be hosting some special guest interviews and it’s also going to feature a live green room and we’re giving out prizes and we hope to really help to bring the community together through this concert. And it’s absolutely free, which is one of the most wonderful things about it.
- KENT: Absolutely. What was that time again for the performance…the watch party on Saturday?
- SOO HAN: 7:00pm.
- KENT: So, if somebody’s interested in enjoying the concert, they just go online to register. It’s at https://www.elkhartsymphony.com and be ready to enjoy some incredible music Saturday evening.
- SOO HAN: Absolutely.
- KENT: Soo Han is our guest this morning on WVPE. Thank you so much for taking time to be with me this morning.