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Korea America Friendship Holiday Concert

Santa Claus makes an appearance with the Eighth Army Band

Santa Claus makes an appearance with the Eighth Army Band during the annual holiday concert at the Seoul Performing Art Center in South Korea Dec. 9. Photo Credit: Pfc. Choi Joon, Eighth Army Public Affairs

U.S. Army
By Cpl. Shin Ji-hoon, Eighth Army Public Affairs

The fifth Korea America Friendship Holiday Concert was held Dec. 9 at the Seoul Arts Performing Center here. The concert was performed by the Eighth Army Band and Prima Donna Ensemble and sponsored by Seoul Cyber University and Seoul Arts Center.

The annual concert was intended to enhance the alliance between Korea and the United States, which continues to stand proudly on Freedom’s Frontier, as it has for more than 62 years. Also, it aimed to boost the morale of the Soldiers from both countries.

The Eighth Army Band, which performed in the first half, played mostly Christmas carols, such as Christmas on Broadway and Silent Night, and featured two skits about Soldiers during Christmas.

“Music is a universal language that helps us to share the joy of the holiday season with our Korean friends,” said Eighth Army Commanding General Lt. Gen. John D. Johnson. “Thanks to the Eighth Army Band and the Prima Donna Ensemble, we are privileged to enjoy some of the finest holiday music in the world today. These musicians personify the pride and professionalism of our enduring alliance.”

The Prima Donna Ensemble, which featured 80 of the most talented female vocalists in Korea, performed in the second half, singing Opera Arias, such as “Quando Menvo” from “Opera La Boheme” and “Caro Nome” from “Opera Rigoletto,” and cathedral classics, such as “Sancta Maria” and “Ave Maria.”

The Prima Donna Ensemble’s performance included a brief intermission during which guests were treated to a stirring duet by violinist Zia Hyun-su Shin and pianist Jong-yoon Kim.

“This is going to enhance the alliance through creating a positive relationship between Korea and the United States Army by having a more interactional relationship on the appreciation for the cultures that we share together and support,” said Eighth Army Civil-Military Operations Coordination Center Operations Chief Maj. John S. Lizama, one of the coordinators of the event. “Building a better community relationship between Korea and the United States Army leads to a better understanding of our support for each country and strengthens the alliance.”

The last performance was a collaboration by the Eighth Army Band and Prima Donna Ensemble, followed by repeated standing ovations.

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