The ‘Nelson Mandela Centenary Concert’ held at the Nanpa Concert Hall on October 31 was a resounding success.
Over 600 guests, including school representatives Choongsik Chang, Chairman of the Board and President Hosung Chang, around 100 diplomats from 34 countries, including the honorable Nozuko Gloria Bam, the South African ambassador to Korea, and many authorities from the field of education, not to mention numerous students, filled the concert hall. The concert paid tribute to Mr. Mandela through musical performances and honored his legacy of ‘forgiveness, reconciliation and peace.’
In his speech, President Hosung Chang noted, “President Mandela ended apartheid policies and was a politician and leader dedicated to the human rights movement to usher in equal opportunities for all,” and added that he “looks forward to the concert serving as a special opportunity to recall Mandela’s beliefs.”
Ambassador Gloria Bam of South Africa expressed her thanks to “ Choongsik Chang, Chairman of the Board and President Hosung Chang for working with the South African Embassy for the past 8 months to prepare the concert,” and shared “wishes that Dankook University, which was founded based on the mottos of ‘national salvation, self-reliance, and independence,’ reaps success in nurturing talent who will contribute to humanity.”
In order to shed new light on the life of Nelson Mandela, who demonstrated peace, unity and reconciliation throughout his entire life in order to deal with a painful history and eradicate racial discrimination, Verdi’s opera ‘Nabucco’ kicked off the concert. Nabucco (Chorus of the Hebrew Slaves), which sings about the painful history of Jews taken as slaves by Babylon, was performed to console Africa on the pain it underwent in the past and to emphasize racial harmony.
Former Seoul National University professor and member of the Seoul Arts Center Council, Professor Docki Kim, conducted the performance by Dankook University’s College of Music orchestra and choir. It was followed by performances from Professor Sungeun Hong, the Dean of the College of Music, who played the Hungarian Rhapsody (cello), Professor Lanhee Kim who sang ‘Pining for Mt. Geumgang,’ and Professor Jooeun Ahn (Department of New Music) who performed ‘African Dream.’
Ambassador Gloria Bam also took the stage to reply to the orchestra’s performance by singing ‘A Wonderful day in October’ composed by Norwegian composer Rolf Lovland. Ambassador Bam thanked Choongsik Chang, Chairman of the Board for hosting the event and invited him to the stage where he performed ‘the Soft Wind’ and ‘Arirang’ to a standing ovation.