|▲ They performed on TV show ‘Star King’.|
On August 20, 10 A.M. The thunderous applauses didn't die down for some time. The performing artists seemed somewhat uncomfortable. A marimba player looked like he was groping for the right location. Soon, he started the performance. The beautiful melody of the marimba was spread all around the hall. And audiences were absorbed in their recital.
Their name is the ‘Hanbit Performing Arts Company.’ They are a professional concert group composed of visually handicapped people. They have performed domestically and overseas. They played musical instruments skilfully beyond the belief and their recital was perfect. DKH met the ‘Hanbit Performing Arts Company’ playing beautiful harmony in the dark and like a father figure to them, Kim Yong-Bok.
It's meaningful to Hanbit Performing Arts Company to communicate with people through music. The concert at the Youth Detention Center was considered the most impressive show for many members. Yoon Suk-Hyeon who plays trumpet
said, “We healed juvenile delinquents by our music. I was very impressed. Nobody said we can do it. But we did it! I can’t forget the happiness of that day.”
The Hanbit Performing Arts Company was a ray of hope for visually handicapped people. What did they gain from performance? Jun Kyeong-Ho who plays marimba in the introduction said, “Visually handicapped people can't do
anything when they are alone. I gain confidence that I can perform on the stage. I’m also happy to move someone's feeling by my music.”
Although they can’t see anything they can move audiences’ heart their own way with music. To achieve it, they practice much longer than non-disabled. Kim Yong-bok is an affectionate supporter of them and the conductor. He said his
only regret is "I should have started this work earlier."
Q. You may teach students through a difficult process unlike non-disabled people. Is there any trouble?
A. Visually handicapped education has some teaching materials. However there is no musical education for visually handicapped. Finally, we had to make textbooks personally. We have three steps in the education process. Whenever we practice music, we translate to braille. If a few members don't know braille, we play the music by various programs. Lastly, we let them know the notes. It takes a long time. Generally, recording takes three times per one person. If you add all these amounts together you can get a huge figure.
Q. How have they changed after entering the Art Company?
A. They have become more mature since their names were widely known and recognized by many people. Also, they learnt independence. Even if the stage greeting seems nothing but they had to learn it for three years. In addition, I blew a whistle and shouted using a signal system, so I was often misunderstood as a vicious person by the audience. But those difficult times earn trust in each other, and their sense of sound direction make things easier. Music gave a confidence and passion to them. They can't see anything, so they have to memorize all musical notes. Beacause they memorize about 50 pieces of music-pop, jazz, rock, song and etc., they can perform the music whenever music is suddenly changed.
Q. What kind of person do you want to be in the future?
A. Father. I want to be a father to them eternally. It is not a vertical relationship like a teacher but a father who can share a sincere mind and cry together. I wish to do it continually as far as my energy lasts. I just feel sorry that I started it when I was older. I fill a void for myself through them. I'm also a learner. Education for the handicapped doesn't have a justice as well as an end. Disciples don't exist for education for the handicapped.
Q. Please say a word to people who have a prejudice to disabled person.
A. It is a fatal misunderstanding that has a prejudice about them. If one side is inconvenienced, then the other side is supposed to develop. They can do something the same or even more. Even though the president of Hanbit School for the Blind also has a disability but he ascended to that position. The thing impacting on the mind of a disabled person is not their disability but bias. Let's open the mind first, and then they will be a crystal-clear friend to you. The important thing is time.
When he said that he wants to remain as a father, his eyes were brimming with tears. Hanbitarts, they are playing hope, not the score. There is a bright image when they are playing, and many people smile when they see and love them. Don't you agree it is the most gorgeous thing beyond anything else?
Go Dae-Seung, Kim So-Yeon firstname.lastname@example.org