Korea Choir’s First Ever Evensong Service at Westminster Abbey

Yemel Choir Presents a Historic Performance

News provided by
Yemel Choir
August 24, 2023 08:00 Korea Standard Time
  • The Reverend David Stanton of Westminster Abbey & Yemel Choir

    The Reverend David Stanton of Westminster Abbey & Yemel Choir

SEOUL--(Korea Newswire)--The esteemed Yemel Choir, under the directorship of Professor Emeritus Hyunjoo Yun from Seoul National University, marked an exceptional milestone in its illustrious journey by gracing the hallowed halls of Westminster Abbey in London. Founded in 1968, this distinguished choir’s debut performance at the venerable Abbey on August 7, 8, and 10, 2023, was a moment of profound significance.

The Yemel Choir, entrusted with leading the choral elements of the Evensong service, lent its melodious voices to this age-old Anglican tradition. Evensong service follows the traditional pattern in The Book of Common Prayer. It consists of choral music (psalms, canticles, and anthems) from the rich Anglican musical tradition, scripture readings, and prayers. The service, characterized by its prevailing theme of praise, occurs daily at the resplendent Westminster Abbey, dating back a millennium, attracting devotees and enthusiasts from across the globe.

The choir’s repertoire encompassed psalms, hymns, and chants. The Yemel Choir’s rendition of 15 captivating songs over the course of the three-day event showcased their versatility and mastery of their craft. This selection comprised five psalms, Responses, three renditions of Magnificat and Nunc dimittis, and three Anthems.

Navigating the challenges of interpreting unfamiliar pieces, the Yemel Choir garnered admiration and gratitude from clergy members and congregants alike. Maestra Hyunjoo Yun reflected, “In my nearly six decades of immersion in music, this experience has been particularly poignant. Our dedication to delivering an impeccable performance within the sacred precincts of this thousand-year-old abbey has indeed borne fruit, as we received praise from both priests and worshipers.” Notably, The Reverend David Stanton, Sub-Dean and Canon Treasure of Westminster Abbey expressed his deep appreciation for Yemel’s contribution.

The Yemel Choir’s London sojourn extended beyond Westminster Abbey, resonating with cultural harmony at Walworth Methodist Church in East London. A vibrant congregation predominantly comprising African immigrants from nations like Ghana and Nigeria hosted the choir. A unique exchange of artistic expressions ensued, featuring a medley of spiritual songs, Korean folk melodies, children’s songs, and hymns. The concert culminated with emotive performances of Stanley Dickinson’s “Thanks Be to God” and “Hallelujah” from Handel’s timeless masterpiece, Messiah, in conjunction with the Walworth Methodist Church choir.

The finale of the Yemel Choir’s London expedition unfolded at Wesley’s Chapel, where every choir member traces their origin back to Ewha Girls’ High School. This connection is poignant, as the school was established by a British Methodist Church missionary, echoing the origins of a revival movement within the Church of England known as Methodism led by The Reverend John Wesley. This pivotal London performance journey concluded on a note of profound significance.

Photographs and materials provided by Pete’s Music Inc.

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For Yemel Choir
Jenny Shin

This is a news release distributed by Korea Newswire on behalf of this company.