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IU Chamber Orchestra to perform in Seoul, South Korea, over spring break


BLOOMINGTON, Ind. -- The Indiana University Jacobs School of Music will launch its first Asian tour March 16 to 21 when the IU Chamber Orchestra travels to Seoul, South Korea, for a series of four concerts.

Professors Jorja Fleezanis and Stephen Wyrczynski, both faculty members in the string department at the Jacobs School, will lead the group of 36 IU students.

The student ensemble will perform at Sookmyung Women's University and Seoul National University before entertaining American military personnel stationed at U.S. Army Garrison Yongsan. The visit will culminate with a concert at the Seoul Arts Center, the country's foremost art and culture complex.

"The decision to take a gifted group of our students outside the United States to perform is, in and of itself, a tremendous vote of confidence to them and to the school," Fleezanis said. "Leaving their home turf of Bloomington to face audiences in a major international city will spark a level of growth and confidence like no other they will receive during their time in school. It will teach them the importance of art as the universal language and provide perspective.

"The tools and skills they have attained at the Jacobs School of Music will carry them through this exciting week of four performances in four different venues. They will be forever changed by this."

Cultural ambassadors

The music students also will serve as ambassadors of Indiana University, showcasing their exceptional talent to various South Korean audiences, which include IU alumni.

For the orchestra's last three performances, IU President Michael A. McRobbie and several other university officials will be present. During the president’s visit to South Korea, he also will meet IU alumni, spend time with Hoosiers serving in the U.S. military and attend meetings in the College of Music at Seoul National University.

The IU Chamber Orchestra will perform at these times and locations:

In the concert at Sookmyung University, the IU Chamber Orchestra will perform works by Rossini and Copland. An orchestra from the private women's college will present the other half of the program.

The IU Chamber Orchestra also will add Mozart to the repertoire when performing on its own at the other concerts.

Student perspectives

"I'm thrilled to share this cultural experience with my colleagues," said violinist Ella Loman, a freshman from Dallas. "As an orchestral musician, this will be a great opportunity to grow and develop our skills, together -- all while experiencing a whole other culture.”

Trumpet player and doctoral candidate William Koehler said, ”I'm very excited, as I've never been out of North America. It will be quite an experience to be with my colleagues, take part in a different culture and be on a different side of the world.”

For several of the Jacobs School students, the trip will be a homecoming. Violinists Jimin Lim, Suji Ahn, Junghyun Park, Yerim Lee, Haeni Lee and pianist Kyunghoon Kim all are from Seoul. Flutist Gina Yoon is from Daejon, South Korea.

The other members of the IU Chamber Orchestra are Kelsey Badger, Nathan Bomans, Andrew Boylan, Rose Brown, David Carter, Michael Casto, Andrew Cheshire, Jacob Darrow, Michael Drennan, Queenie Edwards, Xiao Ti Guo, Eliot Heaton, Erica Hudson, Andrew Keller, Hyeok Kwon, Joseph Miller, Patrick Miller, Ines Molares, Steven Munson, Sara Page, Kyle Sanborn, Aaron Smith, Dakota Smith, Claire Solomon, Jessica Stewart, Lindy Tsai and Vivian Tong.

More on the orchestra

Artistic director and concertmaster Jorja Fleezanis has served as a professor of violin and Henry A. Upper Chair in Orchestral Studies at Indiana University since 2009. Previously she was concertmaster of the Minnesota Orchestra, associate concertmaster of the San Francisco Symphony and a member of the Chicago Symphony.

Stephen Wyrczynski is professor of viola and chair of the string department. He was a member of the Philadelphia Orchestra for 18 years, beginning in 1992.

Print-quality photographs of the faculty and individual students are available at the Jacobs School of Music blog about the trip to South Korea.