Director of Orchestras Wes Kenney and Music Professor Leslie Stewart are spending two weeks in South Korea where Maestro Kenney will conduct the Changwon Philharmonic. These entries document their latest experience!
Saturday, June 22
Four laps around the lake starts what will be a long travel day. We choose to have breakfast outside the hotel this morning and get some very tasty baked goods at the “Greenhouse Bakery and Cafe” just down the street. We decide to skip the Black Squid Bread and some of the largest bagels we’ve ever witnessed. The rest of the AM is spent packing. Choi picks us up at 11:00 and we stop at the corner Starbucks one last time. Choi has been given a coupon by the principal Vvolist who is an important member of the orchestra. She has been all smiles this week and not only offered up a coffee house treat, but brought us drinks to the rehearsal with Jaehong last Thursday.
We get on the road to the Airport, a 50 minute drive into Busan. We bid Choi farewell and make our way through security and passport control – nothing unusual here. Although there are shops and restaurants in the terminal, there is a limited amount of choices once inside by the gates. We choose the one sit-down cafe to grab some lunch (the food is excellent) and soon after are on our way to Narita outside of Tokyo, a short flight before our long flight back to LAX.
The week has introduced us to yet another Asian culture, one that is unique in this region and feels very different from the cultures in other countries visited. We feel fortunate to have been introduced to this part of Korea as it is less cosmopolitan than Seoul and perhaps gives us a better feel of how life in Korea works. There is not doubt they take the fine arts seriously and I truly hope that another visit is in the cards sometime in the near future.
~ Submitted by Wes Kenney, Director of Orchestras