JSerra Catholic High School’s first graduating international student Seung Hyun (Andrew) Lee, from Seoul, South Korea, has been teaching his fellow chamber singers his own arrangement of a Korean folk song for choir’s Spring Farewell Concert. Four years ago, Lee and his family searched for the right school in Southern California that would give him a unique high school experience.
“When I saw that JSerra was accepting international students I took the opportunity,” Lee said. He started his freshman year of high school at JSerra with a love for music and a prodigal talent that would impress his fellow chamber singers.
“It’s really interesting to know that someone so young can be so musically inclined,” said JSerra sophomore and first-year chamber singer, Ian von Gremp. “It’s nice to know that my friend Andrew arranged it,”
Lee became president of the chamber choir, and with his leadership taught his fellow chamber singers the ancient Korean folk song, “Arirang,” which he arranged to fit his own interpretation of its meaning.
“Andrew has always been our leader,” junior and third year chamber singer, Annie Pfost said. “Choir is like a family and Andrew is like the cool big brother.”
“Arirang,” a song handed down through many generations, was inscribed on the Representative List of the Intangible Cultural Heritage of Humanity by United Nations Education, Scientific and Cultural Organization, UNESCO, in December.
At last year’s Spring Concert, Renée Bondi, Christian inspiration singer and mother to JSerra chamber singer, Daniel Bondi, told Lee about her concert in Korea. She said when she sang “Arirang” for the finale, everyone there began to sing along with her. With that motivation, Lee decided to arrange “Arirang” for his high school choir.
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