The 44th Crimson Masters Concert “Legend of Fall” Takes Place
With the KU Future Sharing Scholarship awardees and their mentees invited, the concert was all the more meaningful than ever.
On September 22, the 44th Crimson Masters Concert was held at the Inchon Memorial Hall at Korea University. The concert, a specially organized musical event, occurs four or five times a year to demonstrate love and support from the sponsors. The event, titled “Legend of Fall,” was emceed by Baritone Dong-kyu Kim, and Soprano Min-sung Kang and the Korean Pops Ensemble performed.
This concert was notable as Korea University president Jaeho Yeom invited disadvantaged students and their mentors. In 2014, Korea University signed a memorandum of understanding (MOU) with the Seongbuk District Office and JUMP, a socially responsible start-up company, to provide educational opportunities for these students in the Seongbuk District. The MOU stipulates that both parties raise funds to financially support Korea University students who volunteer to teach these youngsters. The KU Future Sharing Scholarship Fund aims to help educate younger generations from minority groups and to nurture the college students who will be leading our future. Since then, the University has selected a total of 115 scholarship awardees for the last three years and sent them to seven community centers for children and three middle and high schools in the Seongbuk District. They have helped about 500 children from low-income families to date, providing educational and emotional support. To those who volunteer, Korea University annually grants a 4 million scholarship to each student. Aside from the financial support, the scholarship recipients are also given an opportunity to meet their mentors who have graduated from Korea University.
This scholarship fund differs from traditional scholarships for teaching volunteers. The company JUMP is in charge of planning and running the events where the awardees and their mentors gather and share their experiences. JUMP also closely monitors the career paths of the awardees to support their success in future.
The KU Future Sharing Scholarship Fund has been praised as an innovative model for the private-public-academic cooperation. For the past three years, all of the participants in this teaching volunteer program have shown satisfying results.
Min-sung Park, a graduate student in the Department of Economics at Korea University, has been selected as a scholarship awardee for three consecutive years, teaching as a volunteer at Solsaem Community Center for Children located in the Wolgok neighborhood of Seongbuk District. He met a high school freshman, named Kwon, who then had no interest in studying. However, after regular meetings and candid conversations, Park found that Kwon had a hidden interest in economics. When Kwon met Park for the first time, Kwon was cynical about what he could do and what he would become in future. After meeting his teacher and receiving a sort of personalized education, Kwon’s attitude has positively changed. Kwon was fortunate that he met a teacher who was an economics major and acted as his own mentor. With his new attitude, Kwon has improved his grades, feeling hopeful for a better future.
Along with the story of Park and Kwon, the other community centers for children and secondary schools share similar success stories. According to last year’s research on academic achievements of the students, their test scores have risen about 21.2 points on average compared to the scores before partnering with the KU Future Sharing Scholarship awardees.
Myeong-woo Kim (’15, Graduate School of Bio-Medical Science), one of the scholarship awardees attending the concert, said that although it was not easy to spare his time for volunteer teaching, he found it very rewarding. Kim remarked, “I learn a lot from teaching students. By tackling difficult situations together, I see myself becoming more mature.” He continued, “Marketing and promotion strategies are needed for the volunteer teaching program and related scholarships so that more students will be encouraged to join.” Hye-min Kim, a sophomore at Korea University Middle School, who received tutoring and mentoring from Myeong-woo Kim said, “I have learned a lot from him and will continue learning more. I cannot thank him enough.”
The first session of the concert opened with the performance of “Four Seasons of the Korean Peninsula,” by the Korean Pops Ensemble. Baritone Dong-kyu Kim, who was responsible for emceeing the event, was very adept in leading the concert with his sense of humor and gentle voice. Soprano Min-sung Kang captivated the audience with her beautiful voice, singing various songs including “Je Veux Vivre” from Romeo and Juliet. Following some world-renowned songs and a Korean song, “New Arirang,” Dong-kyu Kim closed the first session with “Nathalie.”
The second session began with the performance of “Also Sprach Zarathustra” by the Korean Pops Ensemble. Baritone Kim continued his performance with “The Phantom of the Opera,” “Shingo-san Taryeong” (a Korean folk song originating from Hamgyeong Province) and “White Butterfly.” In between his performances, he told the audience that when he was little, he dreamt of escaping temporarily from his parents who both were classical singers. His imaginary escape seemed to come true whenever he sang a song, titled “Love.” Right after his anecdote, Tae-hwan Kim, a guitarist from the ensemble, started playing the song. As soon as the guitar played, the baritone singer grabbed spoons and started to use them as a percussion instrument, creating a dramatic performance. Before singing “Jurame,” he added that “As I get older, my mind opens up more and my ears tend to listen to various genres other than classical music. I promise you that I will dedicate myself to sing great songs from now on.” He even played the drums when Soprano Kang sang “I’ve Got Rhythm” as an encore. During the second encore, the audience stood up from their seats and enjoyed the finale of the concert.